A New View of Canada Unfurls by Road and Rail Awesome Prairies, Primeval Forests - and Hordes of Insects Series: At Banff National Park, a Grazing Bighorn Sheep Let a Photographer Get within 15 Feet or So. 3-5) ALONG THE WAY: Freighters and Tankers (Top) Lie at Anchor in English Bay as Strollers Roam Stanley Park at the End of the Journey in Vancouver, British Columbia. off Highway 22X in High River, Alberta, (Left) Cowboys at the Hays Ranch Brand Calves in a Spring Ritual of Mooing, Mud, Whistling, and Smoke. Early Morning View of Vast Farmland from the Dome Car (above) on Via Rail, Canada's Government-Subsidized Passenger Service. the Train Is about 20 Miles East of Edmonton, Alberta., PHOTOS BY BILL GRANT, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. ILLUSTRATION BY STAFF

By Story Mark Clayton, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, June 15, 1994 | Go to article overview

A New View of Canada Unfurls by Road and Rail Awesome Prairies, Primeval Forests - and Hordes of Insects Series: At Banff National Park, a Grazing Bighorn Sheep Let a Photographer Get within 15 Feet or So. 3-5) ALONG THE WAY: Freighters and Tankers (Top) Lie at Anchor in English Bay as Strollers Roam Stanley Park at the End of the Journey in Vancouver, British Columbia. off Highway 22X in High River, Alberta, (Left) Cowboys at the Hays Ranch Brand Calves in a Spring Ritual of Mooing, Mud, Whistling, and Smoke. Early Morning View of Vast Farmland from the Dome Car (above) on Via Rail, Canada's Government-Subsidized Passenger Service. the Train Is about 20 Miles East of Edmonton, Alberta., PHOTOS BY BILL GRANT, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. ILLUSTRATION BY STAFF


Story Mark Clayton, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


I KNEW, intellectually, that Canada was a vast place. But it didn't really sink in until I stopped amid the wheat fields of Saskatchewan to gaze down a set of railroad tracks that seemed to bend over the horizon.

A friend had told me this prairie province is so flat that in some places you can see the curvature of the earth. And there it was: Freshly plowed black soil laid out on a Titanic scale, running over the edge of the planet.

It was only a small personal revelation, but one that made me wonder what would be next as I worked my way west from Winnipeg, Manitoba, on a three-week trip across Western Canada's four huge provinces: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. The assignment was to explore the environmental, political, and social challenges emerging in western Canada - and find out how westerners are coping with change.

I had planned to cross Canada on Via Rail, Canada's government- subsidized passenger train service. I made hotel and rental-car reservations and drew lines on a big map. All nicely laid out - in theory.

But as a Monitor photographer and I discovered, trains run late, rental-car tires go flat, detours delay, and speed traps await those who venture into western Canada. There are also a few natural hazards - such as Saskatchewan's mosquitoes and late-spring snow storms on the Trans Canada highway's 9,000-foot passes. Denizens of the late train

Our plan was to travel by train to Saskatoon and Edmonton, and then drive the rest of the way to Vancouver. We pulled out of the Winnipeg station after 9 p.m. As we rode across the prairies at night in the rain, there was nothing to see but all kinds of people to talk with. I spent the night and all morning prowling the dining and dome car, chatting with night owls.

There was Ernest (Ernie) Appler, the gregarious chief conductor whose 43 years working for the railroad began before steam locomotives had retired.

There was Elizabeth Rutchinski, a figure-skating coach from Capreol, Ontario, and Heather Cessford, a young woman from Quebec visiting friends in Houston, British Columbia.

Part fish bowl, part soap opera, part card-party, part twilight zone, the night train to Saskatoon stopped five times in the wet darkness before finally pulling into the station at 5 a.m. three hours late. But that leg of the trip is its own story, to be told later. The most dangerous beasts

South of Saskatoon, I discovered that the most dangerous indigenous beasts in Saskatchewan are the mosquitoes, which lie in wait in the grass by the roadside. Every time we stopped the rental car to take a picture, they attacked in force. Locals reassured us that 30 bites per minute is about tops. The insects kept us moving as the endless fields unwound from the Mennonite farming community of Warman, down through Regina, Truax, Avonlea, and Moose Jaw.

South of Regina, the horizon is punctuated with grain elevators every few miles, standing like cathedrals against the setting sun. The fields are tinged with a green patina of tender wheat shoots.

Eventually, we looped back to Saskatoon to catch the train.

From my coach seat, the sun rose on the gently undulating fields of Saskatchewan, slowly giving way to the elephant-skin foothill folds of Alberta's eastern slopes, where cattle ranching and oil are king.

We pulled into Edmonton at 11 a.m., dragging ourselves to a hotel. In Edmonton I spoke for several hours with people on the street about government cuts in Canada's beloved social-safety programs. Then I decided it was time to visit the world's largest mall.

At the West Edmonton Mall (yes, it is slightly bigger than the Mall of America in Minneapolis), dolphins performed, waves crashed on the "beach," and I was drawn to a store that sold nothing but refrigerator magnets. Weak from hunger and the train trip, I staggered off the indoor roller coaster. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A New View of Canada Unfurls by Road and Rail Awesome Prairies, Primeval Forests - and Hordes of Insects Series: At Banff National Park, a Grazing Bighorn Sheep Let a Photographer Get within 15 Feet or So. 3-5) ALONG THE WAY: Freighters and Tankers (Top) Lie at Anchor in English Bay as Strollers Roam Stanley Park at the End of the Journey in Vancouver, British Columbia. off Highway 22X in High River, Alberta, (Left) Cowboys at the Hays Ranch Brand Calves in a Spring Ritual of Mooing, Mud, Whistling, and Smoke. Early Morning View of Vast Farmland from the Dome Car (above) on Via Rail, Canada's Government-Subsidized Passenger Service. the Train Is about 20 Miles East of Edmonton, Alberta., PHOTOS BY BILL GRANT, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. ILLUSTRATION BY STAFF
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.