On boarding the Great Northern railroad again and heading west out of Spokane, they were unaware of the significance of the
region would travel through. The CHANNEL SCABLANDS.
The land was re-arranged from the results of the massive and repeated floods from Lake Missoula.
The morning of the 9th found them in Leavenworth, Washington. Their train, with an additional engine,
drove up through Tumwater Canyon to a point where the eastern portal of the first Cascade tunnel would be located.
An additional engine was added to the rear of the train and
TWAIN WAS ALLOWED to ride with the engineer along the switch backs over Stevens Pass and down to the site of Wellington.
Wellington was the western portal of the original Cascade tunnel and the site
of one of the most disastrous avalanches in railroad history.
The train continued down the slope to Martin Creek and through the horseshoe tunnel.
then down along the Tye Creek, through Skykomish and on to Seattlr, Washington.
In looking for good information on the switchbacks, I noticed the word "IRON GOAT TRAIL" on the Goggle Earth map.
The map below, that I copied from their web site, is linked to their wonderful information on these switchbacks.
I COLORIZED THE MAP :)
There were three different attempts to establish an acceptable route over the Cascades.
The first route, the path Mark Twain and company traveled in 1895, required eight switchbacks,
sharp curves, steep grades up to four percent, and a crew of 3,000 men working 12 hours a day for two years to complete.
The final spike was driven on January 6, 1893. Mark Twain traveled this route August 9, 1895,
riding the Great Northern Railway from Spokane to Seattle.
He rode through the switchbacks on Engine 517 with the engineer, who was delighted. TWAIN'S GEOGRAPHY
Clemens aboard the The Great Northern Engine 517. August 9, 1986
Major Pond aboard the The Great Northern Engine 517.
The "IRON GOAT TRAIL GUIDE" includes this schedule.
It displays a time of 4 hours between Leavenworth and Skykomish.
Switchback No. 8 is just to the left of this map, being the "IRON GOAT TRAIL" site.
Looking at the large drive wheel under 517's cab, I like to think TWAIN'S train was
pulled by a 2-6-0 type steam engine like that displayed below.
A typical passenger train
being switched on Stevens Pass.
Notice the switch man
on the front of the engine.
We have traveled over Stevens Pass many times.
One time we did stop in Skykomish to visit the repair shops.
It can not be know what time Sam Clemens and his friends actually got to Seattle.
The schedule above suggests they went through Everett. See my Snohomish history page.