JUNE 28, 2015. THIRD DAY OF JOURNEY HOME

Crew change at Melville, Saskatchewan

Crew change at Melville, Saskatchewan

In Saskatoon by mid-day, when I detrain for a 16-minute walk along the entire length of the train and back, we learn we have dropped significantly behind schedule during the night. Freight train congestion and work slowdowns mean we will be running consistently four hours late for the entire trip. And apparently the 30-plus-degree heat expands the rails, forcing the train to move more cautiously.

beehive condos on the Prairies

beehive condos on the Prairies

When they dim the carriage lights in the evening, and there is nothing but darkness outside the window, it seems like I am on a huge ship, hurtling through some deep ocean. The rumbling of wheels on rails is the humming of the ship’s engines in the bowels of the hull, pushing the boat onward. The soft swaying of the carriage and the creaking structure are the ship holding its own against the powerful force of nature, challenging each swollen wave valiantly and persistently. There is a warm sense of safety from the elements in the large vessel, mumbling us to sleep in its great belly.

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