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Transit Geekery

View from the flight in to Seattle (with unavoidable glare) - TOPOGRAPHY! Mt. Rainier on the right, and some of those other glorious Cascade mountains back behind it. I've missed you, my Washington mountain friends. The flatness of Texas inspires desperate, foul language. I never really feel like I know where I am when I can't orient on mountains.

Washington topography

When I arrived, I learned that the light rail was closed for the day so they could make system upgrades in preparation for opening light rail stations at the University of Washington and in Northgate. They had complementary express bus service set up as an alternative, so I was able to walk right up and catch a 97A to downtown Seattle (one of only two passengers - luxury limo!), then I bumped on home on the 43, studiously ignoring the purple-haired goth guy sitting next to me. Hello, Seattle.

Had dinner with my parents and aunt L, then got up early this morning and caught a 43 back to downtown so I could make my way over to King Street Station to catch the train to Portland. When I left the house at 6 am, we could hear the jackhammers at work on the Bridges to Nowhere in the Arboretum; the 520 bus routes aren't operating today while 520 is closed. King Street still looks like an incredibly glorious wedding cake:

King Street Station Interior

From what I've seen, many of the train stations in the midwestern US aren't nearly so nice. The Austin train station, for instance, resembles most of the Greyhound stations I've ever seen.

On the airplane trip in, I sat next to a woman who was all elbows, for the entirety of the four-hour flight.

The train is empty this morning, and there are power supplies at every seat and complementary wifi. Also, the conductors announce over the PA system that all phone calls should be kept quiet and brief, and that the cafe car is open with breakfast foods and coffee. Plus, the views! Not quite as incredible as the high-speed rail in Korea, but I'll take it.

Free wifi on Amtrak

This state has a vastly different relationship with public transit than Texas.

Comments

( 2 remarks — Remark )
evaleastaristev
Nov. 16th, 2014 11:17 pm (UTC)
Let me know if we can squeeze in a coffee date when you get back up here! I'm free Friday afternoons.
rebeccmeister
Nov. 17th, 2014 11:56 pm (UTC)
I'll have to see what I can do...scrottie's mom is joining us this Thursday through Tuesday, and I have a feeling he and I are going to want to be antisocial after that (and the crazy family extravaganza that is Thanksgiving), but it would be good to see you!
( 2 remarks — Remark )

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