From the mountains 

Today is the most mountain-oriented day of the trip as we make our way across the Rockies to Edmonton. We’ve been picking our way up the Thompson River since before sunrise, and the view for most of the morning has been the river off to one side, meadows or trees to the other and mountains everywhere.

   
    
 There has been an exception, though, and a rather frequent one. Freight trains, and lots of ’em. Due to unexplained “mechanical difficulties,” we were going—quite literally—five miles per hour the first hour and a half after pulling out of the station. The slow start, combined with the fact that we are regularly being pushed onto a siding to let freight go by—usually on trains sixty, eighty or even a hundred cars long—means we are now two hours behind schedule.

I couldn’t care less. First of all, I don’t have anywhere I need to be until Friday (that’s the Blue Jays game) and I am just here to take it all in. Besides, by Amtrak standards, that counts as being on time. But I guess that’s not the norm here, folks around me who aren’t familiar with Amtrak’s standard operating procedure are grousing.

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