Saturday, August 13, 2011

riding through the Gaspesie

It's not a fast moving train. But it's fast enough. It leaves Charny (east of the Saint Lawrence) at 10 pm and it makes its way across the peninsula so that we approach the tip of Gaspe from the south, along the Chaleur Bay. Sorry, you gotta know your geography to put an image to what I just wrote. Just know that Gaspesie (the Gaspe peninsula) is the southern land mass that juts out into the enormous Gulf of the St Lawrence. We're north alright. At the 49 parallel. And east, far east, even as we're only one time zone away from home. But New Brunswick, just to the south of us, is in the Maritime zone. Odd how that works.

The seats on th train are ample, with plenty of room to recline. In the middle of the night the train splits in two, with one half (not us) going to Halifax and the rest, the smaller handful of passengers, continuing on to Gaspe.

I don't think anyone slept soundly. The kid -- there's always that kid who can't make it through the night and we have her in our midst. If you slept through that, you may have been roused by the sneezing lady or the mumbling duo. Still, there is something immensely soothing about the gentle sway of the car. If planes (and for me, cars) cause you to twitch, trains are like a massage. They take out the knots you typically travel with.

We meet a pair of train buffs from Ontario. He happens to also be a model train collector. No one collects these things anymore, He says with a sigh. Guess kids are into computers and games instead. A shame. Another train buff nods in agreement. This one's from Australia. He's ridden his share, too. Through Wisconsin once. He asks now if he would have passed Madison. No, not our town. We're not on any rail line.

We're in the observation car in the morning hours and that's just lovely! Views in all directions. Peeks at the bay, meadows with yellow and purple flows, forests, streams. An osprey nest perched on an electric pole. A mostly sunny day in the Gaspesie. As for photos? Oh, they'll be more fun to take once we leave the train. For now, I leave you with Ed, eating our deliciously fresh and honest take-out pizza at the station last night.


Oh fine. One more for the memory bank. A look inland, to the left.