Episode 25: Infinity Transit Odyssey Part 6 - San Francisco Portland Seattle

Beginning in late September 2005, I took a rail trip in which I visited eleven cities and rode transit in all of them. I had bought a North America pass from Amtrak and Via rail. This pass allows virtually unlimited travel by rail in the U.S. and Canada for 30 days.

In this sixth episode of my travels I continue my stay in San Francisco, where I ride the great PCC streetcars that run on the historic Market Street F Line. This is a streetcar museum that operates as standard mass transit. I also visit the Embarcadero, where a freeway was torn down and made into a bustling pedestrian plaza.

Then I continue my overland journey boarding the Coastal Starlight train up to Portland. We pass thru northern California and southern Oregon landscapes of such rainy beauty that I still have not recovered. We get excellent views of Mount Shasta, but we do arrive in Portland 5 1/2 hours late. It does not seem to matter. I will take all the time I can get on the train.

In Portland I visit my family and ride the Portland streetcar and Max light rail. I walk the walkable streets there, and take the bus to Portland's Union Station. There I catch the Cascades train to Seattle, with its long ride along Puget Sound. The Cascades train are funding by the states of Oregon and Washington, and run more frequently than other Amtrak services.

In Seattle I hang out with old friends, and catch the train up to Vancouver. On the way there I see more of the Sound, and meditate on mind and geography and their inter-relation.

Watch a clip from show 25.

Upcoming episodes will continue my trip in the shape of an infinity sign.

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