Day 16: Portland, Amtrak Coastal Starlight

Day 16I was sad waking up on Wednesday, knowing I’d have to leave Portland behind after such a brief visit. The city is wonderful – easy to navigate, interesting people, lots of culture, and great food! My final activity, I decided, would be to use my free pass to the OMSI science museum in Southeast Portland, so I biked down to the museum.

The museum was very interesting! I browsed through exhibits on sustainability, aging, and fossils along with a lot of school kids on field trips. The sustainability exhibit was especially impressive, as it showcased Portland’s commitments to the environment through waste reduction, sustainable transportation, and alternative energy sources. The exhibits were visual, and easy-to-understand – perfect for educating the environmental leaders of tomorrow!

After my brief visit to OMSI (I desperately wanted to stay longer!), I headed back to my hostel, grabbed my things, and biked to the train station. I then got on the Coastal Starlight train, and left on an overnight, 17-hour journey from Portland to Oakland (just outside San Francisco).

While the drive from Portland to SF is certainly not 17 hours long, I had decided that since I was in no particular hurry, I would take the “scenic route”. I was certainly glad that I did! The train chugged along as it wound through the mountains, privileging its riders with beautiful views of the valleys and lakes below. One of the cars on the train was a special viewing car with bigger windows and more relaxing chairs to take in the scenery from. I stayed in the viewing car until the sun finally set and there was no more to see outside the train.


My only bike ride for the day was to 10km round-trip to OMSI and back. It was a wonderful ride though – along the coast of the river running through Portland.

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