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June 2013

Written By: Gary on June 30, 2013 2 Comments

We had a four hour break from the train in Winnipeg (the capitol of Manitobe) and listed as “where the prairies begin” (that’s from my trip notes). I wrote:

We stopped in Winnipeg (still taking train). A big city, but not much interesting and we took a tour by bus.

I know I talked a lot as a kid, but I guess I didn’t write a lot!

VIA Train passenger
This was one of the people on our trip, I remember them but don’t ask me their name.

Speaking of the people on the trip: There were ten boys about my age and if I recall correctly most seemed to be spoiled kids where were probably sent away to get rid of them for the summer. There were about 40 adults and I think they were mostly (but not all) retirees. The adults seemed kind of well traveled about two-thirds were married and traveling together. I didn’t realize this at the time but all of the adults traveling alone were women, some were marked “Ms.” and some “Mrs.”, not sure if the latter were windowed or they left the men at home.

Bear sub statue
I’m sure I thought this statue was cute then, since I still do now!

The sculpture of the cubs looks to be something of Leo Mol and may now be located in the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden which opened after I took this photo. It looks a lot like Bear Cubs (1976) or Playful Cubs (1975); those two are so similar it may be one of them or another similar one (thanks to Nancy for pointing this out in the comments).

church winnipeg
Saint Boniface Cathedral is a link to Wikipedia, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Thanks to Nancy for identification of this too and a link to Wikipedia.

I guess my high point of the day was when I was playing Bingo and “won a VIA key chain bottle opener”. I do remember winning something playing Bingo, but I don’t remember the keychain at all and it’s not in my box of souvenirs.

If anyone can identify the items in these photos better, please do! Especially if you know I’ve got them labeled in the wrong city!

If you’re reading this post out of context, this is me re-journaling a trip to Alaska from when I was a kid. You might want to click the “trip to Alaska” link and go to the bottom and read them in order. I’m posting each entry on the same day that it happened years ago.

Written By: Gary on June 29, 2013 No Comment

So yesterday we boarded “Canada National’s Finest Train” The Super Continental. While the route goes across most of Canada, we will get off at Edmonton.

The Super Continental
Map courtesy of Wikipedia.

We’re on the train for a few days and we sleep on it, on the 29th I said that the “breakfast food was OK”. I cannot believe I don’t have a picture of one of the sleeper units. It was the old fashioned kind of sleeper where you pulled the curtain closed. They were stacked two high. We were on a few different trains, maybe I have a photo from later on (I can’t even find a good representation on-line).

VIA Train Bench
Why would I even take a picture of one of these couches on the train and not the sleepers?

The trains were Canadian National (you’ve seen the CN logo on trains, right?) but trains were labeled “VIA” that was the passenger trains distinction (I think that was still relatively new at the time).

View from the dome car in the train.
View from the dome car in the train.

We basically spent all of June 29th paying games and talking about plans for the trip to the Canadian Rockies (and Alaska). On our off time, we probably ran around the train checking everything out from end to end.

We did make a quick 20-minute stop in the town of Hornepayne, Ontario which I wrote was a “pretty small dull town”. It probably had a population of under 2,000 at the time and as of 2011 has a population of 1050, so maybe my evaluation wasn’t too far off!

(See, I told you the first few days were going to be a little boring).

If you’re reading this post out of context, this is me re-journaling a trip to Alaska from when I was a kid. You might want to click the “trip to Alaska” link and go to the bottom and read them in order. I’m posting each entry on the same day that it happened years ago.

Written By: Gary on June 28, 2013 No Comment

So when I was a kid, I had the opportunity to go on a trip through Canada and on to Alaska and (sort of) back through the US. This was a big deal in my house, I didn’t get sent away to camp for the summer (maybe a week with scouts) or even on my own for any trips, this was huge for me. My Mom knew I was interested in Alaska from books (all I can think of off hand is The Hardy Boys – The Mystery at Devil’s Paw), television and school, she saw a newspaper article about this local teacher who did a tour every summer with seniors and teenage boys. I grew up with my single Mom who worked her butt off at a local grocery store and while this trip was a decent price, I still understood it was a lot of money; plus, I had to earn and pay for a third of it (or a quarter?). But the trip looked amazing, it was clearly one of those once in a lifetime opportunities and was probably supposed to build character helping the seniors with their luggage and other things.

This is that story of that trip. I’ve got photos (actually, mostly slides that were recently scanned) some (sometimes poorly written) journal entries by a 15-year old me and some other odds and ends that I’ll include. I might make a mistake or two with photos in the wrong order and me having to make some of my best guesses (but I’m pretty sure I’d kept the photos in order). Keep in mind that I don’t have as many photos as the cRaZy number that I would take these days since they wren’t digital back then.

The trip started on June 28 at empty parking lot in Pleasant Ridge where we all met and got on the bus to Windsor, Canada where we would catch the train to Toronto, Canada. My experience on busses were probably limited to school trips (maybe something with the boy scouts?) and I probably hadn’t ever been on a train at this point in my life.

Alaska-1to5-81452705-SLD-001-0001.jpg

A picture out of the window of the train.
(I’m guessing that’s Toronto in the distance?)

Alaska-1to5-81452705-SLD-001-0002.jpg
Some tall building I must have thought was cool since I took several pictures (none were very good).

We had a few hours to kill in Toronto while waiting for the train. So we wandered around and saw a few things and spent some time at an amusement park called Canada Place, the weird thing is that I don’t really remember Canada Place from any of my trips to Toronto the following few years and it looks like it’s still around.

CN Tower
Toronto’s CN tower which I really thought we went up in it, but since I don’t have any pictures, maybe we didn’t.

Alaska-1to5-81452705-SLD-001-0004.jpg
This ship was docked nearby (at the carnival?)

I promise the adventures get more exciting after the first few days since they are mostly transportation to get to other places and I didn’t do much with my journal the first 5 days…

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