Northwest Is Best: Seattle And Back By Train

I have a huge crush on this route. In the fourteen months I did Railpass, I took this train nine times. It's two days by train from Chicago to Seattle- one half through the flat midwest, the other starting in the Rockies and ending in the Cascades.

The flat sections often they get a bad rap for being boring, but I find beauty in the minimalist landscapes. The variations in grasslands, the rolling hills, and even those occasional and exciting gouges in the land caused by rivers- you develop an intimate connection with the prairie. Having gone both east and west on this train several times, let me tell you both ways leave you with this feeling that America offers no experience better and more pure than to sit on a train and watch it’s majestic scenery roll on by as the mountains draw near or, depending on your direction, fade away.

The flats had this minimal, serene beauty to them, you know? But the mountain ranges- they’re big. They’re dramatic. They demand your attention. Passing through Olympic and Glacier National Parks left everyone on the train smashing their faces against the windows, and me burning through film and memory cards.

There’s not really a lot to wax on about here, these views speak for themselves. Enjoy.