|Originally posted by Ted Promo |
HAHA YOU WANNA DO WHAT NOU DOES
The Empire Builder is one of the most beautiful trips you can take on rail in the US.
It starts out in two places, Seattle and Portland.
If you take it from Portland it travels up the Columbia River Gorge on the Washington side, which is a spectacular area with huge high cliffs and the river. It then begins to travel north along the plateaus and river, and then cuts up to Spokane.
If you leave Seattle it heads north along Puget Sound to Everett before it turns east and heads up into the Cascades, where it travels along forest lined mountain sides till it reaches one of the longest rail tunnels in North America, the Cascade Tunnel, which is nearly 8 miles straight under a mountain peak. From the other side it travels down the mountains into the Wenatchee river valley where it cuts through orchards and small farms before it also reaches the plateaus region and heads east into Spokane as well.
In Spokane both trains are joined into one and head off towards Chicago, crossing the Bitterroots in Idaho and crossing the continental divide in Glacier National Park. It travels across eastern Montana and the Dakotas and down into Chicago for its eastern terminus.
I'd like to ride it all the way. It is a 48 hour trip though, and I'd want a roomette for that. From Seattle to Wenatchee it is only 4 hours, but it is the best looking part.