End of Train Ride and Arrival in Seattle – Day 3

The Cascades greeted me outside of the train window as I awoke this morning.  After taking a stretch break in Wenatchee, WA, I simply sat and gazed at the landscape I will soon be trekking over myself.


Hunger for breakfast struck around 6:30 a.m., but knowing the inflated price of breakfast on the train, I decided to try to wait it out.
It only lasted temporarily and at about 7:00 a.m. I succumbed to my stomach and headed to the dining car.

I was seated next to Kim, a very nice lady on her way home to Everett, WA.  We had a wonderful conversation as we enjoyed the delicious Amtrak breakfast.  As our conversation came to a close and the plates were emptied, I proceeded to pay for my food but was beat to it by her as she insisted it was her contribution to my cause.  I thanked her kindly.

Those are the amazing people I want to highlight on this trip.

I arrived at King Street Station in downtown Seattle about 15 minutes ahead of schedule.  Within 45 minutes of arrival, my bike was ready and I was on my way to my friend Nati’s place. 8 miles from the station, I was greeted by the co-worker and friend I had seen only 2 weeks before back in MN.  His family greeted me warmly.  A nice shower, the first in two and a half days, not only helped me clean up, but revived me and started getting the blood flowing after the 37 hour train ride.  After some Pizza Hut, a quick nap ensued.

Ethiopian food is amazing, at least the stuff I had.  Doro is a spicy, tasty dish that I enjoyed that had chicken, a cooked egg, and some cottage cheese to balance the spice.  It really was great.

The evening consisted of a few hours spent at Matthews Park and Green Lake Park.  The flawless weather continued into the evening as the sunshine beamed through the 78-degree sea air.  Here is a picture at Green Lake:


I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Seattle today.  This city is scenic, surrounded and filled with nature, and it even has many bicycle friendly roads!  I wouldn’t mind living here someday, but tomorrow I will be on my way out.

Seattle will be hard to beat!

Train Ride – Day 2

Today has consisted of gazing out into the wide open expanses of North Dakota and the big sky country of Montana.  Rain fell on the later half of the day, as the scenery outside began to transition from a flat plain to a hilly start of the mountains.

It really is hard to fathom how much open space there is, especially in the vast state of Montana (ask my brother Nathan or my sister Alicia about that reference).  Riding a train or passing through by car is a good way to appreciate the expanse  but I suspect riding through on my bike will help me truly appreciate the environment that I pass through.

Passed through Glacier National Park in the late evening.

Here is an image from Cut Bank, MT.  This town truly had a reason for it’s name.


Train ride day 1

Preliminary ride – Amtrak Empire Builder train
Day 1

June 1st is here!  Can’t believe it’s already time for my tour.
I arrived at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Amtrak station with the gracious company of my uncle Dan Maranell and my mother.  I acquired the bike box for my bike, packed it, taped it up with a little help, and checked it in with my other checked baggage.

Still having plenty of time, my mother suggested the local Arby’s for dinner.  The roast beef sandwich and curly fries satisfied my stomach’s appetite, but the appetite of my imagination for the trip about to commence only became more poignant.

We arrived back to the station together for a few pictures to satisfy my mother.  After the photographs, it was just myself and everyone else heading westbound at the station.

While waiting in the reception area, I noticed two individuals who were quite good at juggling.  Peter and John Wagner could juggle anything.  Discs, bean bags, bowling pins – you name it.  I asked if I could get a video clip of them and they agreed.

Just from the short time I’ve been at the station, I sense that the people I met in this trip will help me stay together mentally.  I may not be the must sociable person all the time-I do like my space-but we are social beings and other people can help us not only get through things, but enjoy and cherish it as well.

The train arrived a little late to the station, but I boarded and was off around midnight.

The journey has begun!