Here is 40 hours on the train.
I didn’t take a ton of pictures (by my standards…lol) on the train but enough to see some of the really cool scenery we went through. Traveling across this beautiful country by train was so amazing. You see things you can only see by train.
There was terrible flooding in the Dakota’s just weeks before we left. Amtrak was actually shut down for a couple of weeks and only starting running this route about a week prior. It was kind of scary going through these floods. The water came right up to the track. We actually had to go through it really slowly. The devastation was crazy!
We brought projects to keep the kids busy. Kirsten made a lot of pot holders on the trip. 🙂
Doing more projects in the observation car. This car was a really neat place to spend some time.
Below the observation deck there is a dining and snacks area. Cale and Matt spent the entire day building this new lego set.
And Brady didn’t miss his nap most days.
It was really neat to see the mountains come up.
The kids watched a lot of movies. We worried about electrical outlets and thought they would be scarce but every seat had a couple.
The Empire Builder goes across some pretty high and long bridges. This was one of them. You kind of hold your breath until you are completely past them. I had to remind myself that these trains do these bridges every single day.. They were scary!
I think this is a well know resort along the track. It’s a popular Amtrak destination.
These tiny mountain towns are so peaceful!
We lucked out with really good weather on the train. I worried before we left of bad storms. There was a beautiful bright full moon the second night.
I believe these are the Cascade mountains coming up. I’ve never seen anything like them. They were so gorgeous!
You can kind of get an idea just how long this train is. That’s the front below. I think there were a handful of cars behind us still too.
This area of the trip was probably my favorite. The tracks were not as rough and because of all the turns and climbing up the mountains we went slower. The scenery along this stretch was so peaceful and gorgeous.
This new construction area was surprising. This didn’t seem like a very populated area. Plus it overlooked the waterway you see more of below. Talk about a million dollar view!
I *think* this is the Columbia Basin. I should have done
a better job of noting where we were.
I think this is one of the only times I actually got off the train. You can get out at most stops but you have to stay close to the train because it will not wait for you! And most stops are really quick (10 minutes or less) especially when they are trying to make up time.
This might be Leavenworth, WA or close to it. This stop is the same as above.
There are two long tunnels on this route. This is the second one and is 7.8 miles long. It’s weird to go through these tunnels and just a bit scary 😉 I stood in the last car through this tunnel because I wanted to see us come out of it.
The first tunnel was during the second night and it’s around 8 miles. I knew it would be while we were sleeping and was hoping I would sleep through it. But I woke up while we were in it! It kind of freaked me out. I could tell we were in it because the sound was echoed and I could see the mile marker lights as we passed them. I was not fond of the tunnels and bridges on the train.
It was cool to catch the exit of the tunnel. As we traveled on a bit further this is what I saw:
It dawned on me that that was the mountain we just passed through! Seeing it like that is quite crazy. I’m just glad I saw it after the fact and not before..lol.
Finally coming up on Puget Sound! Almost there! This was a beautiful sight to see… the end of our journey!
Quest Field. The station is right near it so we knew we were there!
Ready to get off the train:
Even though the train was almost 3 hours late leaving Minneapolis I think we arrived in Seattle 1-2 hours behind schedule. It was pretty crazy how much time they made up along the route. We were so thankful there were no major delays.
Here is part 1 of our cross country adventure on the Empire Builder.