Beautiful rail journey from St. Paul to Seattle


Well, it’s the last day of August, and I arrived in Seattle on the train yesterday. It is indeed surreal to be back in the Northwest, and reconnecting with my sister and her partner after not seeing them since July of 2021.

Today I completed many administrative tasks and phone calls, which feels like such a relief. I may do a few more tomorrow, and possibly a Zoom or two. I also need to work on lodging for some of my next Northwestern stops.

But today’s blog will mostly be a photo essay on my two-day Amtrak journey from Minnesota to Washington. It was a beautiful ride.

Nathan kindly gave me a ride to the train station in St. Paul after dinner on the 28th. That Amtrak station—recently renovated—is breathtaking. I enjoyed seeing it at night, with very few people in the grand space when I arrived a few hours early for the 11 pm train, so that I could appreciate the architectural splendor.

(And of course, what should I find inside—next to the first-class lounge—but a Little Free Library! They are absolutely everywhere.)

The ride went smoothly, through Minnesota overnight, then North Dakota and Montana the next day. There were enough vegan options in the dining car at each meal to keep me satisfied, and I once again enjoyed my “Amtrak cocktail” (sweet tea and vodka) in the sightseer lounge car as the beautiful scenery rolled by outside the windows.

We headed into nighttime again right as we reached East Glacier (I was having a great dinner conversation at the time, with my Indiana tablemates in the dining car).

I awoke the next morning in Wenatchee, Washington, with beautiful golden hills right outside my berth.

Around 11:30 am, we disembarked in Seattle, and my sister and her sweetie picked me up from the station, to save me the hills on the way to their Greenlake abode. The occasion was bittersweet: one of our favorite Seattle vegan-dining stalwarts, the Wayward Café, was closing on that very day, after just a couple of weeks’ notice after many wonderful years in business. Fortunately, the two of them had swooped by the restaurant before they picked me up, and snagged us each a brunch entrée, which we then plated and savored once we reached their house. My garden benedict was delicious.

I’m looking forward to another day of downtime here in Seattle (and even doing a recording for a podcast that will soon feature me—stay tuned!) and then I’ll be heading north to Bellingham for a few days, where I’m looking forward to connecting with several friends.

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