Notes from an upper bunk while rocketing towards Winnipeg


At Hornepayne, while the train took
on fresh water, we got out, strolled around, took photos of ourselves with The
Canadian (21 cars) and also of the old brick train station, its boarded windows decorated
with art. At Longlac, a site well-known to fur-trade voyageurs of the 18th
and 19th centuries, we rocketed beneath an overpass. Apparently the road overhead, Highway 17, constitutes an extension of Toronto’s Yonge
Street, the street formerly known as the longest in the world.

Night has fallen and I write from my upper bunk. Tomorrow
morning, we arrive in Winnipeg, our first destination. Surely this is the best
way to cross the country, no security checks, no heavy-lidded driving, just rocking
and rolling, well fed and watered, along the route that Sandford Fleming
surveyed and championed some fifteen decades ago.

We are in a “Cabin F” and about that I will offer some unsolicited
advice. If you get to choose from among cabins A to F, choose Cabin F: it is
slightly larger than the others, and has a neighbor on one side only.

What, you want more? If you seek extra space, or are
uncertain about bunk beds, you can select either a cabin for three or else two
adjoining cabins. Some of these sleepers, notably the Fs, can open up and
double your space.

More tips, you want? Check out the “Park Car” as soon as
possible. It is located at the rear of the train, and is the deluxe version of
four or five dome cars. You already know about dome cars: nothing beats looking
out as the scenery rolls past: the autumn leaves a blaze of color and the sun
going down beyond the far side of a vast lonely lake.

[Oct. 15, CTV Morning Live, 8:15 am; Oct. 16, McNally Robinson, 7 pm]

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