Here we go again on to the next stop, after four great days in Glacier National Park. The weather seems to have changed here with some heavy rain, thunder and lightning recently. When we arrived at the station we had a very spectacular sky as you can see from the photos. The train was only 45min late which for a 1500-mile journey is great going. The journey from Glacier to Seattle is 650 miles and was scheduled to take 17.5 hours with another time zone change.
We got on and into our roomette number 2 but the carriage had been reversed so it was all the other way around which was very strange! The train seemed to be a newer model, minor design differences but they created more space in the cabin and a smoother ride. We had dinner at 20:45pm so we had some time to catch our breath before we eat. When we went back to our roomette we listened to The Archers Omnibus (hurrah for Podcasts) with the lights off looking at the fantastic night sky, special moment. Then it was off to bed for the last time on a train for this trip.
Apparently, during the night the train had to negotiate a forest fire alongside the track, we were completely oblivious and slept right through it. At breakfast the waiter said it had been touch and go that the track would be closed but the firefighters dowsed the flames alongside the train and we were able to creep through.
After a goodish night sleep and a good breakfast, where we were seated with a nice couple from Illinois – we returned to our roomette to watch the scenery and listened to the next Archers Omnibus (we were quite out of touch with the fast moving events in Ambridge!). The observation car was closed so the train manager gave us a running commentary on things to look out for on our route in to Seattle. Initially the landscape looked a lot like California with dry rounded hills and lots of fruit farms in the valleys; but as we got closer to the west coast the pine forest took over and everywhere looked greener and more lush.
When we arrived we collected our luggage and walked to our hotel. It is becoming a routine to pick up a map at the station and walk to our hotels. This gives us a feel for the place and some much needed fresh air and exercise after being shut up on the train. Unfortunately, the direct route we chose took us passed the homeless hostels and bail bond offices – maybe not the introduction Seattle Tourism might have wished for us. When we got to our hotel and checked in and were greeted with a great view of the Space Needle from our room.