Portland, Oregon [May 2003]

Usually, when I travel from the San Francisco Bay Area to Essex, I fly up to Seattle, then transfer to the Empire Builder there. However, the connection between SEA-TAC and King Street Station is a transit nightmare, as this requires a trip on I-5, at a time close to rush hour. More than once, I've nearly missed my train, and a few years ago actually did, necessitating an unplanned (and expensive) flight to Spokane to catch up. For this trip, I thought I'd give Portland a try instead. Logistically, this worked much better, especially with the new Portland MAX light rail connection from the airport to downtown. The only hitch was the gap between the MAX and Portland Union Station, which required me to hump my stuff a few blocks. I still prefer the scenery of Stevens Pass, but the route of the former Spokane, Portland and Seattle along the Columbia River was a nice change of scenery.
Having arrived at Portland Union Station on time, well in advance of departure, I had the opportunity to compose a few shots on a nice sunny day.
Union Station is a busy place these days, with the Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, talgo trains from Seattle, and commuter trains to Eugene.
Shortly after our departure, we cross the Columbia River into Washington State, and arrive at the picturesque depot for Vancouver.
On returning to Portland a few days later on Amtrak #28, skies are a little darker.

[February 2001][May 2001][May 2003]