Portland, Oregon - October 2016

For several years Joanne has wanted to take a train trip somewhere, especially an overnight trip. And, I have wanted to visit the Columbia River Gorge in the autumn to capture the waterfalls and the autumn color. Going to Portland by train seemed to be a way to experience both as part of same trip. We ordered tickets on the Amtrak website and made hotel and auto reservations. Since we were staying only in Portland and wanted to explore the city, we only rented a car for the better part of a week to visit the Columbia Gorge and take some day trips. Public transportation in Portland was very easy and convenient with the TriMet light rail system, the street car system, and the bus. We purchased week-long senior citizen passes that allowed travel on all three systems. The three systems enabled us to get to everything in town we wanted to see with not much more than a 15-minute wait at any one time.
We departed Fresno on CalTrain to Martinez, CA, to catch the Coast Starlight to Portland. We obtained sleeper tickets rather than coach so that we could get some sleep on the overnight trip. Going sleeper was not that much more expensive than coach and the sleeper included a seating compartment that converts to upper and lower berths and all meals were encluded. We used the sleeper accommodations both ways.
One of the reasons to visit Portland in the autumn is to visit the Japanese Gardens, one of the best outside Japan. In fact, when the former Japanese Ambassador to the United States visited the Portland Japanese Garden, he proclaimed it to be “... the most beautiful Japanese garden outside of Japan.” For a photographer this garden is truly eye candy in the autumn, you just cannot stop pressing the shutter. I can imagine the spring to be just as beautiful when the trees are blooming.

We hope you enjoy these autumn images from the Columbia River region.