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Reply To: Tangents and Train Trips


Hello Stephen,

Thank you very much for sharing your personal train journeys on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, “traveling from the Bay Area up to Seattle past Mt. Shasta and through the beautiful snow clad mountains of northern California and Oregon on into Washington”.  Must be memorable indeed. Such a fascinating story behind “Harvey Houses” &   “Harvey Girls” for providing a hearty meals to the travelers.  Thank you for sharing your mom’s time as a Harvey Girl. The  Sierra Nevada foothills, along the Verde River Canyon in Arizona, Colorado and Southern Railroad in the Rockies are all on my to do list.   A friend and I planned on the Sierra Nevada Amtrak trip until Covid-19 came along. Just a week before the Canada-US borders closed, I did the Denver Rocky Mountain Getaway. Just beautiful.

On the east coast, my last memorable Amtrak journey was on the Vermonter, which begins in Washington DC, and meanders through the Hudson Valley, the shimmering blue lakes, and the the most gorgeous Hudson River. It stops in St. Albans, Vermont, and then after a border check, the Train switches tracks, and engine driver + other staff,  to join the Canadian side of the railway line. From St. Albans, it’s just a 40 minute train ride into Montreal’s great  “Garre Central”.  Joe Campbell described Montreal’s underground train stations as “Alladin’s cave”. I am not sure exactly where I read this but I also met two individuals who said they attended his lecture, given on the campus of Lyolla College, Montreal. “What an amazing man, and what an awesome lecture”,  they said. Now I am going in tangents again!!

“..we rode more than an hour on the outside platform at the front of the locomotive (which you can see in the photo below – alas, we don’t have a good one of us there), at over 10,000 feet elevation – quite a rush! ” I can just imagine! On that note, I have a recommendation, one place to visit and a must train trip to observe, nature’s granite mountains, the elevation, the rustic scenes, the deep lakes, the silent forests, the old fishing villages, fjords, waterfalls~~~~~ infinite beauty, is Norway’s Train Journeys, especially, Norway in a Nutshell – Fjord journeys.

I do want to follow R’s(cubed) reference to Joe Campbell and Taxilla. Also, I want very much to read Nandu’s  discussion of where he disagrees with Campbell. Did he publish that piece? Here, we have so  much to read, digest, absorb, and engage.