Coast Starlight Trip

So we just got back from our train trip from Seattle to Los Angeles.  This was on my bucket list, and it was our 14th wedding anniversary.  This is King Street Station in Seattle.  I did not realize it, but my uncle was trying to meet us for an old-fashioned send off but we had already boarded.image

We have taken the train many times down to Portland but never further south.  So the first portion of the trip was familiar to use.  I love to knit on a train.

Here is the Tacoma Narrows bridges.

This is Tacoma.Tacoma

Here is the Columbia River.Columbia River

And this is the Portland station.  We spent 3.5 hours there while the locomotive was repaired.  The cattle guard was low and at risk of hitting the tracks.  We figured that the real issue is that if it hit the tracks, it could spark and cause a fire.  They had welders out trying to fix it.  But it took a long while.Portland station view for 3.5 hours

Here we are finally moving again.  It is a portion of Portland overlooking the Willamette River.Portland

Here is another portion of the Willamette further south.Willamette

Unfortunately because we were so late it was dark when we went through southern Oregon and the Northern California, areas I really wanted to see.  I woke up south of Redding.  Here are some Egrets.egrets

Here is one of many homeless camps on the route, this one underneath a bridge.  We met people from North Africa, New Zealand and Indonesia on the train.  I am wondering about what they thought about all the homeless we saw on the trip.homeless camp under bridge

Here is the Sacramento River,Sacramento River

an almond factory,almond plant

and the Sacramento train station.Sacramento station

This is a nice field of sunflowers.sunflowers

The Martinez Bridge.Martinez bridge

An old locomotive past Martinez.old locomotive

The view looking back toward Martinez.Martinez

This is a C&H plant with older and newer buildings.C&H plant

Here is a bridge approaching Emeryville.bridge near Emeryville

Here is a cool tugboat.tugboat

This is the view of San Francisco in the distance overlooking the Port of Oakland.San Francisco behind Oakland Port

Another view of the Port of Oakland.Port of Oakland

Here is the Oakland coliseum.Oakland Coliseum

This was an unusual property in Oakland.  The two trees are growing from on top of the roof.  odd Oakland property

This is a huge old warehouse south of Oakland.old warehouse

This is Levi Stadium.  The 49ers were actually practicing while we went by.Levi Stadium

This is a valley that had a lot of plastic covering raspberry plants.  Here we do not need plastic to grow raspberries.Lots of plastic over raspberries

Here is one of many scenes we saw of agricultural workers picking.  In this case they were picking strawberries which is back breaking work.agricultural workers

Here is an old railroad car we saw.old train car

One of several oil fields.oil field

This is a prison we saw heading toward the coast.prison

We had high hopes of seeing the sunset over the Pacific.  But because we were running so late Amtrak decided to do a 1 hour locomotive inspection in San Luis Obispo instead of in Los Angeles.  So we had to wait.delayed 1 hour in San Luis Obispo

Here is a shot of a portion of our train.

Our train

This is an old railroad car at the station next to the railroad museum which was closed.old railroad car

Here is a statue in tribute to the Chinese who helped build our railroad lines.statue of Chinese railroad workers

And here is a selfie we took during our time at San Luis Obispo.image

It was completely dark when we made it to the coast, another view I really had wanted to see.  We got into LA at 1:00 AM instead of 9:00 PM.  It took us over an hour to get to our hotel.  The original plan was to take the train back in order to see sights that we missed going down.  But that would have meant < 4 hours hours of sleep and driving back to the train station.  So we cancelled our return tickets.  My anniversary present to Tom was renting a cottage at Chateau Marmont.  Here is the living room.

Chateau Marmont living room

The patio in front.Chateau Marmont patio

The writing desk.Chateau Marmont desk

A fountain.Chateau Marmont fountain

With our plan B we had a chance to get room service breakfast and take a dip in the pool. We then decided to take a walk down Sunset Boulevard to see the sights.  Here is a billboard for Glow.  Marc Maron talked in his podcast about seeing a billboard for him for the first time.  This is probably his second billboard.

Glow billboard

Here is a Game Of Thrones billboard.GOT billboard

This is the Sunset Tower Hotel.  Per “In the 1930s, almost every Hollywood star stayed here at some time, including John Wayne, who is rumored to have kept a cow on his balcony for fresh milk.”Sunset Tower Hotel

Here is the Comedy Store where many a comedian started.  Marc Maron tells many a story of this place in his podcast.  Per “In the 1940s, several popular West Hollywood venues opened. Billy Wilkerson of the Hollywood Reporter opened Ciros—a red-hot club frequented by Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, Jack Benny and Ava Gardner. In 1972, Mitzi Shore founded The Comedy Store on the same grounds. Comedians like Jim Carrey, Howie Mandel, Michael Keaton, Ed Begley Jr. and David Letterman got their start at Amateur Night here. Letterman served as the club’s emcee for 3 years, and Richard Pryor chose The Comedy Store to make his 1972 comeback.”  The next night David Spade was featured and Marc was going on over the weekend.

The Comedy Store

This is the Mondrian.  “In 1984, this apartment complex was converted into an avant-garde hotel, full of chrome, glass and black lacquer, modeled after Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. Elvis Costello and Keith Richards frequent the hotel bar. In 1995, Ian Schrager of Studio 54 fame purchased the hotel and keeps it true to its rock n’ roll roots. The hotel’s poolside Skybar—owned by Randy Gerber (Mr. Cindy Crawford)—attracts guests like Courtney Love, Public Enemy, Guns N Roses, The Who, Smashing Pumpkins, Poison and more.”mondrian.jpg

This is a plaque for 77 Sunset Strip.  77 Sunset Strip plaque

This is Mel’s Drive In where the T-bird scene of American Graffiti was filmed.Mel's Drive In

Here is a cool old Dodge truck in the parking lot.old dodge truck

Here is a defunct Tower Records.Tower records

This is the Viper Room.  “In the 1940s The Melody Room opened as an intimate jazz club. Mobsters Sigel and Cohen used it as a gambling den. In 1993 Johnny Depp purchased the venue and renamed it Viper Room, after a group of musicians known for smoking weed. The Viper Room was the site of River Phoenix’s tragic Halloween overdose in the same year.”The Viper Room

This is Whisky a Go Go.  “Former Chicago policeman Elmer Valentine opened Whisky A Go Go in 1964. A visionary, Valentine suspended the first female DJ above the dance floor in a glass cage. He created go-go girls, dressing employees in miniskirts and short white boots to dance in cages throughout the venue. The Doors got their start here, and in 1966 became the house band. Rock legends and rising stars play here—including Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Kinks, The Who and The Byrds.”  I know of this place because of the band X.Whisky a Go Go

The Roxy Theatre  “In 1973, The Roxy joined The Strip and hosted top rock artists like Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Neil Young and David Bowie. In 1974, the venue hosted to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The astounding crowd gave owner Lou Adler the idea to turn the play into the movie we know and love today.”Roxy Theater

Rainbow Bar & Grill  “Originally known as Villa Nova, this Italian eatery served as the stars’ choice for romantic dates. In 1945 Vincente Minelli (Liza Minelli’s father) proposed to Judy Garland. Marilyn Monroe and baseball great Joe DiMaggio enjoyed a first blind date in 1953.  Bob Gibson transformed the site into Rainbow Bar & Grill—the hot spot for rock and roll royalty through the 1970s and 1980s. Everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Guns n Roses to Alice Cooper, John Lennon, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Roman Polanski partied here. John Belushi at his last meal (of lentil soup) here just before overdosing at his Chateau Marmot bungalow.”Rainbow Bar &amp; Grill

This is Tom poising with a Gibson guitar statue named Donovan.Tom with Donovan guitar

Here we are returning to Chateau Marmont.Chateau Marmont

Then we had Chateau Bellinis in the restaurant to cool off after the walk.


After showers, we took an expensive and long taxi ride to LAX.image

The plane ride home was 2.5 hours (as compared to ~2 days on the train).  Here is the sunset over Smith Tower and the rest of downtown Seattle.image

We needed to find a quick dinner.  So my great idea was to stop at Dick’s.  This was also on my bucket list.  And it was very good and crowded on a Friday night.image

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2 Responses to Coast Starlight Trip

  1. Denise says:

    looks like a great trip! I’ve always wanted to do the coast starlight route.

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