The Amtrak Cascades train

Wow. Just wow.

I am on the Amtrak Cascades train, which departed Vancouver at 6:40 a.m. this morning and is bound for Portland, Oregon. I thought I’d get a little sleep on the train. I should be sleeping, as I’m mentally and physically exhausted after four months of nonstop travel. But sleep ain’t happening. Between watching the sunset over the ocean and some of these spectacular views depicted below — Puget Sound and Mt. Rainer included — I have been dazzled awake by what’s outside my window.

My destination may be Portland, but this is one hell of an inspiring journey winding along the coast of Washington state. Sometimes the journey trumps the destination, and this journey to Portland could exceed the sparkle of a city I already adore. What can I say, I am a sucker for nature on magnificent display.

I am coasting through some of Mother Nature’s finest work, on a blue-sky day speckled with the perfect amount of fluffy white clouds. A soft palette of blues and purples and greens color the beautiful scenes outside of my train window. I’ve passed peaceful harbors housing fishing boats, timber mills with fresh-cut logs piled up high and ruggedly rocky beaches where golden retrievers and other happy dogs frolic with their owners.

So many postcard moments condensed into an eight-hour train ride!

I am so grateful to not be driving, as I was yesterday while touring the Sea-to-Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler. That drive was awe-inspiring, also framed by a picture-perfect blue sky, but it was a frustrating battle between the spectacular views and keeping my eyes on the road. On a train, I can sit back and take it all in without any real responsibility.

Oh, what my eyes are taking in … the world is such a beautiful place it makes me cry.

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