Ending the Epic Canadian Trip

I missed last week. I don't know why I missed Wednesday. I'll blame it on tax time, but it was probably Fallout 76...

Banff back to Jasper was simply a bus trip. Darling sat in the front row and took pictures the entire ride, talking with Mitch, the driver. Once again, kudos to Brewster Travel for excellent service.

Me? I napped, looked out the window, napped some more.
We stayed in Jasper a few more days, which were uneventful except that I had bronchitis and had to visit the clinic.

We grabbed the train at Jasper and traveled to Vancouver. This was not the Rocky Mountaineer, but the trains are similar. I'm not sure if there was a different route or not, but some of the views contained majestic overtones. Most of the scenery bored me out of what was left of my mind, but that could be because I was recovering from being ill.

I mean, yes, we were traveling through one of the greatest mountain ranges in North America, but a lot of that travel was in the dark ... at night ... you know, when you can't see anything out a train window!

Still, we arrived in Vancouver about four hours earlier than expected. I recall stopping a few times for other trains, so I'm surprised we made such excellent time.

In Canada, the passenger trains must yield to the freight trains. The logic there is that freight trains contain important and vital commercial goods that might be bored if they had to sit on the tracks and wait for another train.

Vancouver sits like a jewel on the western coast. On the day we wanted to explore the city, the rain dropped from the skies like thick fog. We couldn't seem to escape it during our day, so we went to the Aquarium, where everything was wet anyway. Even the birds were miserable.

The night became more clear and then I liked Vancouver. 

As we ate breakfast, we saw a skunk across the road. The garcon said that skunks on Vancouver streets are common, then told the following joke:

Two skunks walk into a church and walk up the center aisle. When they get to the front, they turn around and one says to the other "Let us spray."

You have to say it out loud and it probably doesn't work in other languages. 

I left him a big tip for that, though.

The train ride from Vancouver to Seattle showed us quite a lot of the western coastline. For some reason, the scenery of the ocean keeps me more entertained. I still dozed off.

Let's see. Crossed into the USA. Uneventful. We had a layover in Seattle, where Amtrak allowed us to stow our bags behind the counter for a mere $20 per bag.

A cabbie took us to his favorite spot for fish and chips in Seattle. Red Robin. Who woulda thunk it?

We spent a few hours walking around in Seattle. I had to see Pike Place Market and the famous seafood shop. One of our required business classes at my old job showed us a video of them tossing fresh-caught fish and explaining how that improved job performance.

My boss was less impressed when I suggested we toss fresh fish around the office.

Back to the train, and this time we boarded Amtrak for a three-day journey back to Chicago and our flight home.

Even Darling was sick of the train at this point.

Here's a clue. Sleeping cars didn't impress me, but if you have one, try to get one as far from the main engine as you can, because diesel fumes come into the air vents. Someone taped washcloths over the air vents in our cabin. We left them there.

Once we arrived into the outskirts of Chicago, the train stopped and started a number of times. Quite often it stopped at a passenger station, but a few times it stopped to allow other trains to use the track.

We got off the train a stop early. I figured it saved us about an hour of riding on the train and was just about the same distance to our hotel.

I loaded Uber on my phone and used it for the first time to get from the train station to the hotel.

The next day we flew home, and more than happy to do so. You know what I think of planes, so I'll leave that one alone.

Bucket list: Train Trip. Check.

Darling did manage to capture some good pictures, even from the moving train. I'll drop them on their own page if you want to look at them all.

Thanks for reading!


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