Friday, March 5, 2010

Riding the Amtrak Empire Builder from Spokane to Portland

I'm planning another trip to Portland, Oregon. By train, of course.
The ride from Spokane to Portland is beautiful. The Empire Builder pulls out of here sometime around 2am. Most of the trip is made in the dark and that's ok. We sleep.

But just about sunrise, when it's time to get that first cup of coffee, the train rolls into some of the most beautiful scenery of the trip.
The wide Columbia River escorts you through the gorge. And sitting in the domed observation car, a cup of coffee and cinnamon roll in hand, it's a beautiful way to see the sights.

Thanks to an excellent public transportation system, we can walk or take the bus or MAX light rail to our hotel. From there everything we want to see - the Oregon Zoo, the Rose Garden and the shops downtown are easily accessed.

Of course, another benefit to walking is the chance to watch people. And, like the scenery wherever you go, people are always fascinating.

Read one of my favorite Home Planet columns (which just happens to be about Portland) here.

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