The train to Portland and back
Hidden in recent stimulus bills were $$$ not only for the California bullet train but also funding for the Coast Starlight, Amtrak’s long-distance passenger train between Seattle and Los Angeles. The Coast Starlight passes through the Bay Area via Sacramento, Davis, Martinez, Emeryville, Oakland, San Jose, and thereby southward. (map)
I just returned from a weekend jaunt to Portland and back on the Coast Starlight, and it was a smooth, convenient ride coming and going. The highlight had to be the snowy portion over the Cascades in Oregon yesterday between Eugene and Klamath Falls, with endless vistas of Ponderosa Pine trees covered with thick gobs of snow that had fallen that morning. (Just like in this picture.) Neither the loudmouthed cowboys in the dome car nor a weird family of 20 with matching customized aqua-blue t-shirts were able to spoil the ride.