Cascading Into Canada


I haven’t been to Canada since I was a wee lad, so when travel plans up to Vancouver, BC with Amtrak were given the green light, I was geeked to say the least. Amtrak had taken me to my first stops in the Pacific Northwest (Portland then Seattle) and now I would be going to Vancouver for the first time ever on the Amtrak Cascades from Seattle.

The Cascades start in Eugene, OR and go into Canada with plenty of time spent cruising along the coastline… so if you’re sitting on the west side of the train, you’re in luck. Hopefully you brought a camera or some binoculars, because the Cascades is the perfect trip to do some sightseeing/bird watching. On my trip up, dozens of eagles were visible along some parts of the rail, flying around and generally hanging out like eagles will do, all majestic and whatnot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an eagle before, so another first from Amtrak!

Of all the Amtrak trains I’ve been on, the interior of the Cascades has been the best and maybe the most recently renovated. Things feel modern with sleek sliding doors between cars and a nifty geographical map of the region on the ceiling of the dining car, where I ended up chilling for the whole trip. Compared to their other trains, the Amtrak Cascades feels like a spaceship!

Then you get off and have to go through customs, though getting into Canada was easy. It was getting out that was the problem: after a night of editing video (and watching the new Arrested Development), I overslept and missed my train back to the states and spent the day waiting and shuffling around travel plans like a true putz. Hard to be mad about extra time in Vancouver, though!

Fact: Vancouver was my favorite stop on my west coast trip with Amtrak.

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Author: Eric White

Eric graduated Ohio University in 2012 with a degree in Advertising and immediately went out to San Diego, California to start not using his degree. At the start of 2013, Eric quit his job, let his lease run out and started backpacking North America. Eric has worked with Amtrak, Crowdtap, HootSuite and others, and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA... when not on the road.

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