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Home from Everett, Washington 7/30/2017

by Chris Guenzler

Last night we got talking and Bob asked me if I would like to take Sounder from Everett and that would be more mileage for me, so you know I said "Yes!" So this morning I was up early and after checking the Internet, had another great breakfast. Bob drove Elizabeth and I to Everett and dropped us off. Elizabeth used her Orca Card and a very helpful security guard helped me get my paper ticket.

Sounder 1707 7/30/2017

The Sounder 1707 at Everett. A BNSF freight pulled next to us prior to departure and one runner from the other side of the tracks missed his train as we departed right on time. I would get a short piece of new track up the main line switch in Everett. Once that was done we curved into the tunnel under Everett that took us to the shores of the Puget Sound. It was a beautiful morning without any clouds in the sky. Mount Rainier was seen the whole way along the water. We passed another BNSF stack train and the Cascade Talgo 510 for Vancouver, BC. The train crossed the Ballard Drawbridge, went through BNSF Interbay Yard, along the Seattle Waterfront then into the Downtown Tunnel before we arrived at Seattle's King Street Station. We waited for all the other passengers to detrain before we did, then took the elevator up to the bridge and then down the west side in that elevator. Inside the station Bob was waiting for us so I used the bathroom before saying goodbye to both Bob and Elizabeth Alkire. It had been another fantastic trip with two of my best friends in the whole world.

Coast Starlight 11 7/30/2017

They scanned my ticket with the sleeping car passengers and then waited for the door to be opened. Train time came and went. They announced the Coast Starlight would be late and I found out they had two cars they had to be replaced The train backed in at 9:38 AM and soon we were allowed to board. I took my usual rear seat west side of the train. Amanda is my car attendant. The train left at 9:58 AM {9:35 AM}, 23 minutes late and I was heading home.

New State of Washington locomotives soon to be put in service. I worked on my Winterail 2018 power point show as the train made its way south. I took a break at noon for lunch in the Dining Car having the Beef Angus Burger. Back to work I took a second break to photograph the Coast Starlight in Portland.

Coast Starlight train 11 during the Portland layover. After Portland I finished it so far then my Coast Starlight took a siding for a Union Pacific freight train. We made it to Labish, just north of Salem where we met the northbound Coast Starlight then sat waiting for trains to clear out of our way. I had put on my DVD of Queen Houston Rocks from the 1977 tour which was the first time I saw Queen at the Long Beach Arena. We finally left Labish at 4:47 PM and headed in Salem which we departed at 4:58 PM {3:37 PM} or I hour 21 minutes late. That delaying train was the Salem switcher and we continued south towards Albany. We stopped in the next siding south of Salem for Amtrak Cascade Talgo 508 from Eugene. From here we had a straight shot to Albany passing another Union Pacific freight this time in the hole for us. We stopped at Albany then headed towards Eugene. Since the Dining Car Steward never came down and they had started dinner service, Amanda took my order and I prepaid it. She brought me back the change and a few minutes later brought me Amtrak's signature steak which I enjoyed at my seat. I was still tweaking my Winterail Friday night show. At Eugene I took a fresh air break before I manually timed my program. After I finished the tweaking, I put on my DVD of Alice Cooper Theater of Death program. I then called it a night. I was sound asleep just before Klamath Falls when the people getting off were very loud and noisy and woke me up. They had opened the door and left it open. I glared at these detrainers and finally said, "You woke me up and please close the door!" They did that but a man and women came in and talked in loud voices the rest of the way to Klamath Falls where they both got off and peace returned. I had the lower level all to myself since Eugene. I returned to my nightly slumbers.

8/1/2017 I survived the night and woke up very well rested at Chico. I changed clothes then went to the Dining Car at 6:30 AM for my breakfast of French Toast and bacon. I checked my blood pressure, caught up the story and watched my DVD of Aerosmith You Gotta Move. The train stopped in Sacramento and I took a fresh air break on a wonderful cool morning here instead of the usual August heat. I just want to get home. We departed SAC at 8:45 AM and headed to Davis across the dry Yolo Bypass. The Aerosmith took me to Martinez and beyond. I got my 12:30 Lunch Reservation as we passed the California Zephyr just west of Martinez. Next I listened to the audio set that came with the DVD which took me to Emeryville and Oakland beyond.

Caltrains new locomotive 2105. I took a fresh air break at Oakland which we left at 11:24 AM after they added the Silver Lariat and Silver Solarium to the end of our train. We made our way to San Jose but here are my pictures before we got there.

Santa Clara Tower.

Collage Park station.

Caltrains 911 San Carlos.

Caltrains 912 San Bruno.

Caltrains 908 Redwood City and 909 Menlo Park. The train pulled into San Jose and I went to the Dining Car for lunch of a Beef Angus Burger. After lunch I put on my DVD of Ladies and Gentlemen The Rolling Stones which took me to Salinas and beyond. Once that was done then it was my DVD Jeff Beck Performing This Week Live at Ronnie Scotts which took me up the Salinas Valley to Paso Robles and beyond to Atascadero where we waited three minutes for the northbound Coast Starlight. Then it was down the hill to San Luis Obispo and a fresh air break. I ran into Conductor Bobbie Lee on the platform so I gave her one on my 2018 calendars. We left SLO and headed next to Santa Barbara. The Dining Car Steward once again passed me up for dinner reservations so Amanda took my order and I used my six dollar off Business Class coupon. She brought me back too much money which I returned and then I received my Signature Steak and really enjoyed my meal in the peace and quiet of the lower level. I put on my DVD of Emerson, Lake & Palmer Masters From the Vaults. The nail was put in the coffin when we reached Tangair where we went into the siding and waited for over thirty minutes for Pacific Surfliner 777. Unless a miracle happens, I will be taking the bus home from Los Angeles. I put on my DVD of The Mummy Tomb of Dragon Emperor that would take me to Santa Barbara and beyond. After Point Conception I called Elizabeth who told me our ETA is now 11:10 PM. The bus it will be! I took my last fresh air break of the trip as we arrived in Santa Barbara. We continued to Oxnard, Simi Valley, Van Nuys and Burbank Airport. We arrived in LAUPT at 11:10 PM {9:00 PM} ending the rail part of my trip home.

The Bus to Santa Ana 8/12/2017

I walked out to the bus loading area just as the 11:10 PM bus for Santa Ana was leaving but the driver would not stop. I called the 800 number since not a single Amtrak person was out here and she called the ticket office to tell them we were all out here waiting. Finally she came out and told us that Amtrak could not hire any buses to take us. We had been told on the train that the buses would be waiting for us! She told us that anybody going to Fullerton or Santa Ana would take the 12:55 AM bus and those going to Anaheim, Irvine, San Juan Capistrano, Oceanside, Solana Beach or San Diego would take the bus at 2:55 AM. Some people found other ways to get to their destinations.

8/2/2017Then we found out there would be no buses until 2:55 AM. This is a big joke and Amtrak is the cause of all this. The bus from Bakersfield broke down which is unacceptable. The 2:55 AM bus came in and I boarded that one which stopped at Fullerton but had no Anaheim passengers, so it was a straight shot to Santa Ana dropping me off at 3:50 AM, ending this busing adventure. My mother picked me up and I was home in my bed by 4:15 AM ending this adventure.