October 15, 2017

Travelling to Portland by Rail

 Getting from Vancouver to Portland by train is surprisingly easy provided you are willing to get started VERY early in the morning. The train leaves town at 6:30am and since it is an international trip, you are encouraged to arrive at least an hour early for ticketing and customs while some websites suggest an earlier arrival to ensure a good seat. Since we did not expect to be the only people going down for the eclipse, we were at the station by 5:15am and even that left us fairly late in the line. Protip: if you leave early for this trip, make sure you remember the delicious lunch you packed or it becomes the delicious dinner you return to.
 Once we were seated and the train was underway it was a very soothing chance to sit back and enjoy the scenery as it goes by. The trip is about 8.5 hours all in, but since you can get up for coffee and to stretch your legs anytime (except briefly at the border) you never end up cramped or uncomfortable. We had heard that the best view is from the right side (going south) and would certainly agree that its worth trying to get a seat on the seaward side for the journey.
 The train station in Portland is right downtown and we were easily able to start exploring the city as soon as we got off. In comparison, the airport is further out to the east and would have required a little more time tinkering with transit and collecting baggage before starting the adventure. All in all this is a very enjoyable and highly recommended means of getting from BC to Oregon.

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