Riding the Rails

June 4, 2022

Class of RHS'69 loves to travel. They'll go just about anywhere, just to go.

Usually it's by plane or boat.

Sometimes it's anything else handy.

Art and Josie Akana just

came back from riding

the rails.

Trains have really changed over the years. Back in the early days, they'd just jam the cars for those long, slow trips to wherever. Have a seat - if you can find one.

Things got a lot better in the 50's if you liked gloomy, doomy boredom. That's probably when onboard bars got popular.

Happening crowd, huh?

These days it's a whole lot better. Brighter, and more comfortable. Especially if you have a private cabin...

...or not.

So many people come to Hawaii from Canada, But not too many the other way. Let's fix that.

Canada is gorgeous and there's no better way to see it than from eye-level on a train.

It was an epic journey across five provinces where the scenery is incredible with the sparkling lakes of Ontario, the golden prairies of Manitoba, the winding rivers of Saskatchewan, and the sun-dappled forests of Alberta.

We start on the East Coast at Niagara Falls. East to West. We move that direction because it's towards Hawaii, the center of the universe. And yes, in Canada it's "centre" of the universe.

Anyway, off we go - our carriage awaits.

First stop...10 minutes at the Capreol railway station. This is a small town in Ontario.

Built in 1915 it's old.

We went over some scary things....

With the theme of Titanic playing, all is calm...for the moment.

This is the CN Tower in Toronto. It's 1,815 feet high. It held the record for the world's tallest free-standing structure for 32 years, from 1975 until 2007.

It's 147 stories tall...

Off to Toronto where we catch our cross-country train the next morning. It has a lot of flowers and a real tall building.

Speaking of which, here we are on the 147th floor. Please note the prudent distance from the window.

For those real brave, there's the Edge Walk - 116 stories up - and out.

Not for the faint of heart, $254 will test your fear of heights. No, we didn't try it.

That's us!

Have a seat as we tell the story of our adventure.

One should know a ferroequinologist is a person interested in railroads. Like you have your cruisers who love getting on a ship, the rail buff's like to ride the rails.

In fact real die-hard train lovers are known as "foamers". It began as an insult used to describe people who get so excited at the sight of a train that they foam at the mouth. Today it's okay to say that. In fact that's what they call themselves.

Pit stop...

There is an old Hawaii custom, "Shaka da water". Island folk gravitate to the ocean - it's in our DNA.

Sadly there's not much ocean for Canada once you get inland so you have to make do with a lake.

A small break, shaka da lake, and we're off.

Orca and whale watching!

Tearing off to go find some whales...

Everything eventually has to end. Our end is just down the road. Yeah, we're on a bus.

The picture with everything.

This is Sulphur Mountain. We're at 7,000 feet overlooking Banff National Park. In the few hours we were there it went from rain to snow to nice and sunny. We stayed inside with hot chocolate.

You have to start somewhere, so why not here.

In Jasper there's a section of the Athabasca River known as the Mile 5. It's the perfect introduction to the sport of white water rafting. With a mix of calm Class I water, and beginner Class II rapids, it's suitable for everyone. And yes, we got wet.

On the way to Jasper National Park, We stopped by the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbus Ice-field.

This is a specialized ice explorer, an enormous, rugged vehicle built to handle the glacial terrain. We traveled through the largest ice-field in the Canadian Rockies, with a stop at the Athabasca Glacier.

Nice day - 30 degrees below zero.

No matter how great any trip is, one of the best parts is coming home.

Canada is beautiful and so are it's people. We'll be back.

When crews shut down the falls in 1969, they found  millions of coins, most of which were removed. We bet it went to the government. In the last 50 years, tourism at Niagara has grown wildly so it may be time to look for more money.

We came through Niagara Falls into Canada. No reason - just worked out that way.

What a great chance to see one of the world's greatest waterfalls.

Over 700,000 gallons of water flows over Niagara Falls every second.

Just looking at this is enough to get the heebie-jeebies.