Amtrak's southbound Coast Starlight descends more than 1,000 feet and winds through
a sweeping horseshoe curve minutes before arriving in San Luis Obispo, California. Photo
courtesy of the author
will have a bus waiting to take you there when the train pulls in
at the Emeryville station.
Get to bed early tonight, because you'll want to wake up early
in the morning for a stunning view of Mount Shasta from the left
side of the train soon after you leave Dunsmuir, California. In my
opinion, of all the spectacular scenery to be viewed from Amtrak
trains around the country, this is number one. As a matter of fact,
the second day aboard the northbound Coast Starlight is really
just one wonderful panorama after another.
North of Klamath Falls is a big logging area, and you'll travel
though forests of Douglas fir. After the stop at Chemult, be on
the right side of the Starlight as it climbs to the Cascade Summit.
You'll see Odell Lake down there and Maiden Peak beyond. On
a single track, the train runs along the western side of Willamette
Pass and Salt Creek Canyon, giving you a constantly changing
vista for many miles. Building this railroad was quite a project—
you'll pass through 22 tunnels between here and Eugene. After a
stop in Salem, Oregon's capital, the train heads through the Wil-
lamette Valley toward Portland.