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The Amtrak Cascades is named after the Cascade mountain range that the route parallels.

Whistling in the Dark

A Journey from San Francisco to Seattle

by Carol Charlesworth

Littlestone, Great Britain

I have long had a love affair with trains and the trip from San Francisco to Seattle fulfilled all my expectations. The sound of the train whistling in the through the night was the stuff of movies. Coming as I do from Great Britain, (which is not the biggest country in the world, I am the first to admit) to be able to travel vast distances with little nothing in between was amazing.

I have been to America many times but never before have I appreciated just how much of it is not only big, it is empty. It was entirely due to the fact that, instead of concentrating on driving, I was able to sit back, relax and let somebody else do the work.

As we ascended the mountains, we went into snow. Normally, I do not like traveling in the stuff but this time, snug and warm in the Observation Car of the train, | could only look out and gaze in awe at the height and majesty of the Cascades.

My only gripe (and this is no reflection on Amtrak) is that I did not realize how cold it would get at night. The nice train lady provided a pillow but I should have taken a warm blanket with me. The buffet car was closed when we got on, at 11:30 pm, and breakfast the next morning was so welcome.

I cannot fault the friendliness and cheerful service we received at the hands of the Amtrak staff — chapeau to all.