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Train, Jasper and Banff

We bundled ourselves into a sleeping car on the Canadian train from Toronto to Jasper.

I won't say much about those three days on the train. You probably already know how I feel about it.

It's like watching TV

Okay, so some of the views were great.

The cabins are a little different than the Amtrak cabin, but about the same size. Meals in the fancy dining car came with the room. Oh, my, those folks know how to cook a meal! I probably gained five pounds, which made it even harder to fit into the tiny room!

We arrived in Jasper about four hours late, in the dark, in the rain. The local station folks helped us get a cab (ten dollars no matter the length of the drive in Jasper).

I slept poorly in a hotel bed that didn't rock and sway. HA! Not really. I slept like a rock.

Darling developed bronchitis while on the train, and we couldn't go to the Jasper clinic because we arrived on Labor Day, a holiday in Canada as well as the USA.

The hospital next to the clinic was open, though, so we made an emergency room visit and cancelled our Jasper National Park Tour. The folks at Brewster Transportation and Tours were wonderful and understanding. However, we never received a refund from Amtrak Vacations or TripMate.

'Nuff said about all that. Let's take a look at Jasper and Banff!

If I wanted to live in a town where the mountains glow on every horizon, where cool breezes sweep over you and where you can see all kinds of amazing animals, then, yeah, this is the place.

Darling wanted to see a real, live bear. She did not. I'm as close as she got to that. Since I wasn't shaving for this trip, I became more bearlike as the days progressed. Other people saw bears. 

"Oh, we stepped out from our hotel room and there was a bear walking across the lawn."

"We were just walking and this herd of elk came bounding across the road."

We did see lots of birds, though. What struck me the most was - wait for it - the RAVEN. I'm not kidding. We ate dinner and looked out the window and this MONSTER bird stared back at us.

I always wondered why Native American totems have ravens. I understand the bear, the wolf, the cougar - but the raven?

Quoth the raven "Now you know!"

This begins the picture part of our tour, so next week expect lots of photos.


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