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by Fred Dunn

Day 2

Wednesday, June 11

I woke up the next morning about 5:40 a.m. and within a few minutes, we were pulling into Dunsmuir.  We left Dunsmuir at 5:50 a.m., 46 minutes late.  I showered and dressed and was up in the dining car when it opened for breakfast at 6:30 a.m.  I ordered scrambled Egg Beaters, potatoes and croissant with a side of bacon.  I was seated with a fireman and his daughter and a retired marine engineer, and the four of us got into such interesting conversation that we lost track of time, and eventually the waiter asked us to leave because they had a line waiting for breakfast.

After breakfast, I went to the Pacific Parlor car, and chatted with some of the passengers.  Because of the official beginning of the upgraded Parlor Car service on this trip, we have a large number of railfans on board, and it was interesting to listen to some of the discussions. 

We arrived Klamath Falls at 8:33 a.m., and departed at 8:43 a.m., 28 minutes behind schedule.

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Klamath Falls
Klamath Lake

Leaving Klamath Falls, we began our assent of the Cascades, passing over the summit, and descending into central Oregon.  During the descent, we could see the area of the huge landslide that closed the UP tracks for several weeks.  The construction equipment in the right center of the picture below gives some perspective as to the size of the slide area.

Train going through Cascades
Descending  the Cascades

Descending the Cascades

View of landslide below tracks

I went to lunch in the diner at 1:00 p.m. and ordered the special of the day, which was a hot turkey sandwich with a small salad.  It was real carved turkey, not the processed stuff that you usually get in a sandwich, and was served on a biscuit with gravy.  It was very good.

We arrived in Albany, departing at 2:12 p.m., 43 minutes behind schedule.  After leaving Albany, I walked the length of the train to see the lounge, coaches, and arcade room on the lower floor of one of the coaches.  I expected to find the arcade room full of kids, but when I went by, the only people in there were a bunch of adults.

Albany, Oregon
View from rear of train (note drumhead sign)

Arcade room with adults at play
Arcade room

The wine tasting was begun sometime after leaving Albany.  Brian Rosenwald again conducted the event, but the attendance was only about half of the attendance of the previous day.

Continuing on to Salem, we arrived in Portland at 4:40, about 1 hour behind schedule.  After we pulled into the station, the Empire Builder pulled out on time at 4:45 p.m.  I gathered up my bags and left the train.  My car attendant, Joy Cortez, was there to help me.  He was very friendly and helpful throughout the trip, and I gave him a well-deserved gratuity. 

I then set out walking to my hotel, the Mark Spencer, which was about one mile away.  I was staying at an annex of the Mark Spencer, called the Washington Plaza.  I checked in at the Mark Spencer, got my room key, and then walked around the corner to my room in the Washington Plaza.

Hotel Mark Spencer
Washington Plaza Hotel

I had a fairly large room with a kitchenette and it included a continental breakfast at the Hotel Mark Spencer.  And the price was right.

[ Next:  Day 3 ]