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The End is Near
After a day and a half of travel, it is the last night.  The sun will go down, while the train is passing through Montana, and will not rise again until we are well within Washington state. We will pass through a little sliver of Idaho, unseen in the dark, around one in the morning.  Sleep is the order of the day, or rather, of the night. After a day on the train, there is a certain anticipation of the journey's end, and an odd sort of fatigue. There is also a desire to be well rested for the first day in Seattle. In the meantime, there are my books, music, and a good meal in the dining car, as well as a nice breakfast to start what will be the first day in Seattle.

The platform side of the classic old station at Whitefish Montana. Whoever designed this station was a genius. It looks like what an alpine trains station should look like.

Other than the suspended ceiling, the station interior appears to be original.
An old time scales sits next to a new fangled public Internet station.
The night has brought us through the mountains and into Washington State.
Mountains are everywhere out here, as is water. The updrafts of the mountains make for plentiful rain. The same fault that causes the famous earthquakes of California pushes these huge mountains up everywhere. Washington, and the shoreline up to Alaska are also earthquake zones.
Washington state has a fair amount of agriculture. Further east, in the interior of the state, there is quite a bit of ranching.
Lots of ship building and ship handling goes on here too. Seattle is a major port, and the closest shipping port to Japan. he combined total fo Seattle, and adjacent Tacoma are about equal to that of Los Angeles.
A look out across the sound towards the ocean. This was my first really good view of it from the train.
The sound is a boater's paradise. It is enclosed from the ocean, yet the ocean is accessible It is also filled with coves, islands, inlets, and lots of other interesting places.
I wish I knew what this was. I would guess it is an old Liberty ship that was just not needed after WWII ended.
I thought it would be easy to find out; but it turns out the Seattle area is a huge ship graveyard. There are over 200 abandoned ships in the area.
An oil refinery, probably for some of the Alaskan oil.

The Sea, the land, and the mountains.
One of many marinas. This is a year round boating area, as the sound does not freeze over.
The whole area north of Seattle has a bunch of picturesque towns that look like little resort towns.
Everett Washington. The last stop before Seattle.
The venerable station at Seattle. This is one of the classic old train stations - a palace to travel. The station was in the midst of a restoration. A magnificent ceiling, long covered by ceiling tiles for a more "modern" look, is seeing the light fo day for the first time in decades.
Marble and beautiful plaster work revealed and restored. To many of these amazing old stations have been torn down, mutilated, or refaced. it is great to see one being brought back to life.
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