Monday, May 7, 2012

Train to Vancouver! (Edmonton?) 8

The midnight train is slow and old,
But of it let this thing be told,
To its high honor be it said,
It carries people home to bed.
My cottage lamp shines white and clear.
God bless the train that brought me here.
          Joyce Kilmer

 It appears I had fallen asleep until we jerked to a stop at the Saskatoon station in the middle of the night. The woman from Winnipeg walks by and I say “It was so nice to have met you, enjoy your time with your son.” She replies “Enjoy the rest of your trip, nice to meet you too.” The couple with the little red haired boy with the tiny hands and big smile step off the train, he is sleeping and bundled up warm, safe in the arms of his Father. I watch as they are hugged and greeted by waiting family. I smile and drift back to sleep with the swaying of the train.

I was later jolted awake by the sound of the train whistle, I look out the window and notice all these flashing red lights and then what appears to be a city full of lights. I assume we have arrived in Edmonton early as it was still dark out and we were not to have arrived till morning. I ask the passing train steward and he informs me we are in Wainwright Alberta, the train is running way behind as the freight train in front of us was having mechanical problems. It looks like our time in Edmonton will be greatly reduced.

I open up the book that tells me where we are and apparently there is an 884 meter steel trestle over the Battle River ahead. I will not be seeing that as it is very dark out, unfortunately there is no bright moon tonight. I am a little disappointed as I thought that would have been a great thing to see. I get out of my seat and move to the other side of the car into an empty seat closer to M and in front of Joseph. I just cannot stop trying different seats to see if any of them may be a little more comfortable. I fall back to sleep.

Now awake at 5am I decide to head to the dome car so I can see the sunrise, this has turned out to be one of my favourite things to do. I sit in the dark waiting and watching when Joseph enters the car. We start chatting about what he is going to do in Edmonton, I tease him about looking very comfortable in my old four seat bed last night and I will be going back there tonight if it stays empty. M shows up and we all talk about what we have experienced and how we are going to miss Joseph for the rest of our trip. We listen to Joseph telling us just  how excited he is about spending time with his son; I am so excited for him. The dome car is filling up with more sunrise worshippers. Joseph, M, and I are snapping photos of the landscape while waiting for this sun. Myron and many others are saying their goodbyes to Joseph and wishing him well. Everyone is exchanging email addresses, all promising to keep in touch. This is the great thing about technology.
The sun in all its glory starts to fill the sky with colour, making us all dash to the back of the car to get just the right shot. Joseph starts explaining to us about the points of interest we are seeing while getting closer to Edmonton. 

It appears the train station in Edmonton is in the industrial section of the city so there is not much to see except for warehouses and buildings. We are not staying here very long, the people waiting in the station have been waiting a long time, M and I decide we will stay on the train. This stop is a very popular one for skiers and snowboarders heading to Jasper for the weekend. Yes it is Good Friday Easter weekend, I do not want to lose my seat in the dome car as the mountains which are to be the highlight of my trip are not far now and I will have a great view. M and I say our goodbyes to Joseph, M promises to email him, this is a sad moment as we will miss his companionship and great sense of humour. I tell him I will be looking at his murals on those buildings in Toronto and hopefully we will run into each other there sometime.

I watch as the long line of people start to board the train, there are a lot of children which always makes me very happy. To watch a child enjoy the train is a magical thing. M, and I had left our bags and blankets in our original seat, and I was secretly hoping that not all the seats would be full as I had gotten used to sleeping on two or four seats. I love M but sharing two seats was not something I was looking forward to doing for our last night on this train.

I am excited about our next major stop Jasper, where we will be visiting for an hour and a half, since we are running late that may be in jeopardy. In the meantime I sit here waiting for the mountains I have being dreaming of seeing by train for most of my life to appear. I watch as the smiling faces of children come bouncing up the stairs to the dome car just as excited as I am. This is going to be fun. So Long Joseph.



  1. What an amazing trip. Thank you for sharing through your pictures and your words.

  2. You took everything in and have kept it there :) What a tale you tell!
    Jasper - wow!! I hear that is beautiful all 4 seasons.
    Your friend, M xoxox

  3. Such a fantastic trip! Look forward to more.

  4. I loved reading about this trip! Can't wait for more!

  5. this is a great 'transitional' post. saying goodbye while waiting for the next sight.

  6. I'm really enjoying reading about your trip. Have you ever thought about writing a book - you write so well.

  7. Now I'm going to wonder until tomorrow (?) if you got to keep your seats! I would have enjoyed being in that dome car I think...

  8. Hi Buttons
    It's very nice to meet you via Flowers for Leontien. I'm hoping that she is doing better and will be on the road to strength and better health very soon. I think the flowers couldn't help but lifted her up - and it's a wonderful thing you did for her. thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hello. I truly appreciate it. wishing you well on your journey. happy day to you.

  9. I'm looking forward to the next installment!

  10. Im on that train right with you as you write this and remember...your words are soothing to read, friend!

    And now I want to see Joseph's murals!!!

  11. You've met so many new friends! I bet it's fun to spend time with you. :)

  12. I felt as if I was right there with you, B. You write so well. :)

  13. Love how you 'seat-hop'... I think that's what I'd be doing too!
    Am really enjoying your train trip along with you B.


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

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