VIA, the Canadian equivalent of AMTRAK, is committed to maintaining transcontinental passenger service, one of the uniting mechanisms for this huge country. They will even pick up a passenger at an unscheduled depot stop "if visible to the crew." And twice during our trip, the train stopped at a mile marker in the middle of nowhere to let a passenger off! We watched as these guys nonchalantly headed down a dirt road toward . . . well, who knows? Then everyone watched as we ascended toward the Canadian Rockies--and suddenly, around a curve, there they were. Wonderful scenery, a short stop in Jasper, then over the divide and down toward the Pacific. The Frazier River was very full and quite indimidating in its speed and wildness. Yes, we did see bears and elk.
Then we got to Vancouver and had a couple of days with brother David Shapiro and his wife Catherine and daughter Deana. We went to the surrealism exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery, where I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the surrealists. Ate great food, reminisced a lot. It was the week of the Stanley Cup finals, so we sympathized with Vancouver when the Canucks lost in Boston on Monday night, and shared their anticipation on Wednesday when the final game was scheduled. We were on the plane home when Boston took the Cup, so didn't witness the unfortunate rioting following the loss.
It's very good to be home, and the cat is more than glad to have her accustomed laps available.