West to east on Amtrak (from Seattle)

Minneapolis Travel Blog

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Train views

Ahead of us we have approx 40 hours on Amtrak coaches and trains to get to Minneapolis-St Paul.  We think we are very prudent shopping for some healthy foods to keep us going on the long trip.  Back at the Guest house I section the roasted chicken and freeze the portions and suddenly remember the US checkpoint at the beginning of our trip.  We know the citrus wont be allowed so we donate it to the house, plan to verifiy at the border what we can't take, then ditch the prohibited foods.  We farewell our delightful hosts Ken and Janine in Vancouver, forget the yoghurt and cheese in their fridge and taxi to the bus station.  Decide to eat the fruit and hand out some of the lovely apples to other passengers.

At the US border we take our dutifully filled in declaration card and are passed through by a cheery guard and nobody wants our declaration card.

Train Views
  Lucky for us as we get to keep and eat all our healthy foods.  We are unsurprised to find that the train is running so far behind that Amtrak decide to coach us up the mountains to Spokane from Seattle.  We get to see some beautiful scenery again before it gets too dark.  Leaving behind Seattle we are climbing into the mountains and very soon snow is all around us and will be for the next 4 or five days.  I see names of towns flash by like Ephrata Soap Lake, Horses Lake and reach Summit a ski resort, which is all lit up and busy as with night skiers.  The driver's digital readout of the outside temperature sits at around 12 degrees farenheight and when we stepped off the coach at a Subway Restaurant for a complimentary meal we had to take a deep breath, jam our beanies, scarves and jackets on and step out.
Views of the plains from the train

We make it into Spokane much faster than the train would have even if it had made it all the way down into Seattle and have to wait at the depot for it arrive, unload and clean up for our embarkation.  Once done we settle in.  We are already in snow country and next day's light shows the emmense landscape of nothing else.  Mountains and plains covered in it.  Lakes and rivers frozen solid.  I am beginning to feel unwell and believe a cold is happening.  The scenery comforts me and I sleep.  Andrew had a sniffle a few days ago and it didn't get to a full blown cold.  Later my back appears to have gone out after a night's fitful sleep.  The throat feels funny and I have a strange cough.  I spot a pheasant in a field and 20 or so miles later see a railside sign declaring "Fergus' Pheasant Farm" and wonder if it escaped?  I also see American Eagles ( the brown ones with the white heads) and plenty more snow.

and some more!
 

By the time we reach Minneapolis-St Pauls I am not worth much and need to get to a proper bed to sleep for a long time.  Have had a raised temperature and coughing and snorting big time.  The train is about 50 mins late so we arrive at the station before 8 am.  A quick phone call to our Motel 6 and they are happy to have us check in early.  The taxi ride costs about $US12 as the station is halway between the twin cities.  I am in no mood to do anything but sleep and once into our room do not surface until 2 days later to catch a taxi to the station for our next trip!  I know that I have flu big time now and coughing send my back into agonising spasms.  Andrew gets me drugs. 

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Train views
Train views
Train Views
Train Views
Views of the plains from the train
Views of the plains from the train
and some more!
and some more!