Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Train to Vancouver! (The First Night) 1.

No story is the same to us after the lapse of time
 or rather we who read it no longer
 the same interpreters.                                                                                                    
       George Elliot

And so it begins; my dream of train travel to Vancouver.

M and I sit on a bench at the Via Station in Toronto with K waiting to board this train which would be our home for four nights. We have our backpacks, our pillows and food sitting on a bench beside us. I must say I am getting a little anxious and nervous now. They announce that our 10 pm train is now boarding, we hug K goodbye and run to the train hoping to find the best seat to bed down for the long journey. Here is my story.

I awake in my luxury self-made berth of four seats in economy class. It is 12:45 on Wednesday morning. Not a long distance, I was exhausted so I guess I had fallen asleep despite the uncomfortable bed I had made up. I have stretched out in the four seats facing each other that  I have constructed into a little bed, and managed to sleep with my little camp pillow and a thin Air Transit blanket I had picked up for this trip. I was wearing the clothes I had worn for our trip to Toronto. I was as comfortable as I could get.

The train has stopped and I come to the conclusion that is what must have woken me from my dreamland. I stare out into the darkness. The ¾ moon is shining brightly. I can see the silhouettes of the trees in the distance. I look as far to the front of the train as I can see from my seat; I see groups of construction workers standing dressed in their hard hats and fluorescent vests lining the tracks. I see a huge shovel, and a truck parked under a street light. I have no idea where we are and stare out the window into the faces of these workers working in the dark, the train starts to move slowly through the construction site. I think to myself it must be very hard to work in the middle of what looks like thick bush in the dark with all this heavy machinery. 

We pass a variety of machinery moving along the tracks parallel to our track. There is lots of flashing red and white lights but surprisingly not much noise. I think to myself is anyone else awake and watching this?  I turn to look around the car and have my answer, NO I am the only one. I watch as we pass the workers and head deeper into the Northern bush, the moon is dancing off the rows and rows of pine trees, it is magnificent. I now know I will not be sleeping too much in this self-made berth. Between the beautiful scenery the light of the moon provides me and the man snoring two feet from me I may be sitting most of the night. I come to the conclusion I will sleep when I get back home in ten days. Oh it is so beautiful here. I turn to look at M sleeping curled up in a ball in the two seats she managed to find just behind me. It has been a very long day. I smile, she appears to be comfortable.

I sit with my head propped against the window, the swaying and the whistle of the train making its way through this dense bush in Northern Ontario working its magic lulling me back to sleep. I am so happy.



  1. It sounds like you are off to a wonderful, although sleepless, first night. Love the photos!

  2. Wonderful night shots. Adventures are always exhausting.

  3. I can sense the excitement and contentedness in your words, B. :)

  4. I took a train once to Chicago, from Minneapolis, an overnight run. I played cards all night with some college students I met (I was 19 at the time) and spent the last two hours of the trip kissing one of them. :-) Ahh. Now THAT was a trip.



  5. Ah, it's going to be fun to learn about your adventure!

  6. you write so well. i think i'd have trouble falling asleep among strangers on a train. :)

  7. Hey B! I have always wanted to go on a train trip, I may just have to do that very soon! Enjoy your well deserved trip!
    xo Cindy

  8. I remember how hard it was to sleep on the train...I've been the whole way across the US by train (not all in one shot, though!) and could never get comfy enough to sleep well. I'm guessing that you didn't miss much on your trip...your sense of adventure is just so strong. Can't wait to hear more!

  9. It gives me a buzz to even vicariously step on that train and travel to new places with you. I love train travel. Looking forward to more of your story.

  10. Already looking forward to more of this story. Such a nice beginning.

  11. Magic of the night! I would have done the same exact thing - cant wait to hear more!

  12. I feel your happiness. Have chill bumps on me. Loving life as it should be loved. :)

  13. My son in law works for the railway. They are in N.Ontario putting in new level crossings these days.

  14. it makes you wonder how they can see anything properly when they work in the dark with only a few lights?


  15. What a great start to your journey. The fun and adventure of it all is shining through your words.


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

Please do not copy my work. If you like it let me know I am sure we can work something out. Copyright is in place.