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Riding the train Monday, October 29, 2007

This weekend I took a trip up to Seattle to visit Kim. But rather than drive, I decided to take the train. It was the first time I'd taken the train in a few years, and it reminded me of how much there is to love about riding the train.

For a single traveler, the cost of the train ($76 round-trip, + $8 parking in Portland) isn't much more than the cost of gas these days, let alone the wear and tear on the car. The seats are wider than an airplane or bus, and you can wander around the train as much as you please. They have plugs for your laptop.

You do have to travel on Amtrak's schedule instead of your own, but you can sleep or work or whatever while you ride. And for me, at least, the stations are in very convenient locations at both ends of the trip.

As I rode up on Saturday morning I spent time processing some photos from Friday's work. It was a gorgeous day, and the scenery for much of the trip is beautiful. It is particularly nice between Olympia and Tacoma as the train runs alongside Puget Sound; the fall foliage across the water was radiant in the cool autumn sunshine.

Just as I finished my work and reached for my camera, though, we arrived in Tacoma where it was somewhat foggy and we promptly headed a ways inland. Sunday, too, was nice, but I took the evening train back to Portland in the dark.

Nathan spent most of the trip to Seattle walking up and down the train with his mother.