Friday, May 20, 2011

Stella's Most Excellent Train Adventure--Post #1

I had planned to drive to Vancouver to see my dad before leaving on my Sierra Cascades trip. Two of my boys were going to come with me. They ended up not being able to come, so I decided to take the train and bring Stella with me. The weather forecast was for sunshine and warm temps. It would allow me to do some riding and see my dad.

I made my reservation (and Stella's--she cost $5.00) online and arrived at the train station to print the tickets. I arrived somewhat too early because the station wasn't even open yet. Just as an aside, one would think the train station in the capitol city of Washington would be staffed. It is not (except by volunteers--mainly older gentlemen who like trains). Anyway, after the station lobby was opened, I was able to print the tickets and go out to wait for the train. As I was waiting a large amount of 8th graders from Komachin Middle School started arriving. A friend of mine was there also, as a chaperone for the kids. They were going to Portland for the day. There were about 50 of them. Fortunately, they had 3 cars to themselves.

When the train arrived, I took Stella to the Baggage car. The conductor guy loaded her on one of the bike hooks and I walked throughout the Baggage car to the car in front. The conductor showed me to a nice seat and off we went. Stella was not too happy to not have a window, but I told her her ticket was only $5, what did she expect!

All to quickly we arrived in Vancouver. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to go to the back of the car I was in to get to Stella or if I was to go up to a car that had a door open. Since it didn't appear that anyone was coming to open the door, I hustled up through the gauntlet of middle-schoolers to the next available open door. As I got off the train, I told a different conductor I needed to get my bike off. He asked if I was in Car 9 (which I was) and said someone was headed back to baggage to get my bike off. I walked back to the Baggage car on the platform and retrieved Stella.

Below are a couple of pictures. One of Stella at the Olympia station and one at Vancouver.

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