The Storm Cycles gang rips the Pacific Range in ep. 4 of “Railroaded with Amtrak”
Words provided by TJ David
Following two epic days in Stevens Pass, our team returns to the rails. Our hearts set on the beautiful magnitude of the Pacific Range at the end of the line, Vancouver, British Columbia. We’re tired, but excited for greater adventures and bigger mountains. We depart Everett, Washington and quickly settled into the next leg of our journey up the Cascade Line with a few cold beers and the relaxing rhythm of rails. As we enjoy the peace and quiet of the car, the team chats aimlessly, checks emails and exchanges footage. We’re happy to be accompanied by picturesque views of coastal bays, Olympic National Park and the surrounding greenery.
The lush scenery sets the perfect foreground for white-capped mountains. It is impossible not to notice that the region receives an abundance of rainfall throughout the year, a welcoming sign that we might find good conditions in Whistler. As the tracks curve back toward the ocean I sit, watching windsurfers play in the late afternoon sun. Sails accelerating in the steady wind then disappearing within the oceans sinking troughs only to emerge again in my peripheral, topping out on the peaks of waves with impressive velocity, dancing with the gusts of wind in the silver light between late day shadows. The vision of tranquility and the freedom the surfers represented bring a welcoming comfort and I quickly drift off to sleep.
After awakening in Vancouver, we breeze through customs. Six skiers, fresh from over a week of skiing and traveling and not even a second thought as we whisk through officials and into the main terminal. Our ease of travel is only briefly interrupted by the reminder of local officials that napping in the station was a prohibited, apparently a finable offense. Napless and blurry eyed we gather our luggage and again trading the rails for the road by boarding a bus for Whistler, the last step in a seamless travel day.
The sea to sky highway from Vancouver to Squamish and up through Whistler offers a lasting impression on travelers. The experience of awe as we gaze upon the mountains of the Pacific Range that rise from sandy shore banks into thick blankets of nimbus clouds, their rugged peaks spanning the skyline in defiance of the smooth shore lines and glassy water at their feet was incredible. It wouldn’t be long before we realize our dreams, to stand amongst those peaks as just a small part of such a remarkable place.