On our recent train trip from Portland, OR to Vancouver, BC for spring break, my wife and I talked, read books, worked online (thanks to Amtrak’s free wifi aboard their Cascades line), and, of course, enjoyed the passing scenery. At the time, I remarked, here on the blog and on Facebook and Twitter, on the different quality of scenery you get from a train window. It’s similar in some ways to the views you might get from a car, but the windows are bigger, affording a wider view, and, more importantly, the train tracks take you places you don’t usually see by car, including into heavily industrial areas and along the coast so close to the water you can peer down the windowpane and see the rivers and inlet lapping practically over the tracks themselves.
As I watched the countryside rolling by, I starting imagining the scenery as part of a photo series. So I started taking pictures.
What follows are a few series of photos taken by cell phone, some my own and some my wife’s (marked JSB for Jennifer Snoek-Brown). The quality isn’t great and the images might only be interesting to us, but I thought these were a fairly cool way to tell a story about train travel, so here they are.
I write fiction and teach college writing and literature. I'm the author of the story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, the novel Hagridden, and the flash fiction chapbooks Box Cutters and Where There Is Ruin.
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