Some things just aren’t possible to photograph, and in many ways that’s nice, there will be no similar versions of this moment all over the world, there is just your version, unique to you. Your memories and your words used to recall the images and the feelings and emotions that this experience stirred within you.
Our train ride from Vancouver to Portland was a truly unphotographable experience, partly because of course we were on a train looking out of a window and the camera shake coupled with dirty window would have scuppered any chance of capturing just a fraction of the beauty that we were witness to.
Our train left Vancouver before the sun had even begun to think about raising it’s head which meant that as we hit the coast we were treated to some of the best of what the Pacific North West has to offer. Mountains, Islands, trees, the sea and endless sky.
As we travelled out of the darkness we began to be able to make out the silhouettes of trees stripped bare by winter against huge swathes of sky streaked with pink and cream clouds.
The train travels along the coast through areas of sparsely inhabited wilderness following the coastline of northern Washington state. The water is perfectly still and across it’s glassy surface we gradually make out first the silhouette and then the tree covered mounds of the San Juan Islands which look like mossy mounds on a piece of steel. It’s just us and the birds, Canadian geese swimming in formation, small gulls ducking and diving just above the surface of the water and a lone eagle soaring above.
As the sun arrives and it’s rays hit the landscape the world is bathed in a warm yellow glow of the kind only produced by a winter sun. With the sun comes the chance to see the shoreline, the mounds of driftwood and the small washed-up motor boat, a shadow of its former self.
I have in my life spent an awful lot of time on trains, almost invariably with my nose in a book, this time though, every time I tried to get involved in my book my eyes were drawn to the window to watch the scenery go by.