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The Coast Starlight to Olympic National Park

A Great Trip to the Pacific Northwest on Amtrak

by John Linder

Santa Maria, California

Most retired folks don't consider traveling to the Pacific Northwest on a vacation, as it is quite remote and can be very cold or wet. When I suggested a train trip to Washington to Pam, she balked at first, stating, "Why would you want to go on a trip on a train?" Well that statement from her, since I had never hit the rails for a very long trip, set the wheels in motion for a journey that neither of us had ever embarked on before.

Because of the need to get there quick and easy on the airlines, we've always preferred to travel that way. I've never considered being a travel agent before, but searching for and finding train schedules, car rentals, hotels, logging tour busses and ferry routes made me realize how valuable those folks really are.

I worked for two hours coordinating our trip and presented plans to Pam along with virtual tours of rail car interiors, scenic views along the way and the estimated cost involved with our journey. While we were to log many miles watching the scenery, she liked the concept of not having to drive and having a private room for travel comfort. Off we went in the middle of June to a great adventure that will be in our minds forever.

We headed out to San Luis Obispo to catch the train. After boarding the "big silver bullet" as we called it, our pilot took us thru some very beautiful places like Mt. Shasta, Klamath Falls, Chemult and Eugene. We got off the train in Olympia, Washington, and spent some time touring the northwest part of Washington.

After spending five days enjoying the area, we started our train trip back home to Orcutt Ranch with wonderful memories and many pictures of a great vacation in Washington State.