Ahead of the summer tourist crowds, our train stopped in Jasper National Park. Passengers disembarked long enough to wander around the small town whose backdrop is the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Some travelers got off to stay a few days before catching another train to continue their journey. Recreational vehicles ruled the area when I visited some years ago. This time as before, backpackers, bicycles, B&B rentals, and stores for provisioning or finding weird souvenirs contrasted with The Whistlers Inn, the long-standing accommodation and watering hole that awaits visitors.

Day 2

We reached the city of Edmonton during the night. Edmonton is the capital of Alberta. All I could see from my bunk were the colorful lights and signs of the gigantic West Edmonton shopping mall. They seemed to go on for miles. When day broke we were in the flat lands, where the native Plains tribes were. Farmland. Grain elevators. Horses. Cattle. Bison. Passed bobbing oil pump jacks in Wainwright. Crossed into the Central Time zone at the town of Biggar in Saskatchewan. All the land still flat.

Because a freight train was blocking the access to the track closest to the Saskatoon station, our train had to go ahead of it on the main track, then back up onto the desired track. It was entertaining to watch the maneuver from the caboose (the luxurious Laurentides Park Car) where the train engineer on the walkie-talkie presumably informed the front of the train when to stop. And I thought it would be an uneventful day!

 

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More photos to come of Day 2!

 

 

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