After about an hour driving on a windy road, we finally arrived in a small town called Elbe where the Mt. Rainier Scenic Train Ride depot is located. Around the depot, you will find a historic train turned restaurant, small refreshment store, Lutheran church, souvenir stall, and roadside fruit stand selling fresh produce. A short distance Southeast of Elbe is a road leading to the famous, Mt. Rainier.
The train depot was filled with howling crowd of tourists of different ages waiting to ride on a 100-year-old steam- powered train. The excitement heightened when the iron horse arrived and produced a monstrous roar signaling people to clear off the railroad track. The crowd cheered on, children were jumping up and down, everyone was pretty excited to start their adventure on a historic train ride.
We rolled through the forest past camping sites, ranches, farms, and Nisqually River. It was a fun trip looking at the scenery that’s inaccessible unless you’re on a train. How nice it was to see views of plants and rivers, not the usual traffic and skyscrapers.
Half way through the trip laid out before us the sight of the iconic Mt. Rainier, a picturesque scene that I will remember for years. Wished they halted the train for a while so we could take a longer view of this majestic beauty.
We stopped by Mineral, Washington which houses the biggest collection of steam logging locomotives in the world. Its museum shares a rich history of steam locomotives and tells about the lifestyles and stories of loggers in the early and mid-1900’s. Visitors took pictures, read articles, and just enjoyed the natural view of the place.
After about an hour, we boarded back to the depot in Elbe. How interesting it is to ride on an early technology that used to be the workhorse for the logging industry in the 1900’s. It is surely different today. The Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad Trip does not only show us a product of human ingenuity in science and engineering, it also keeps us closer to nature in a more intimate way.