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Monday, June 18, 2007

Halfway Home

Sorry for the string of videos lately -- I try to mix things up here on the blog, but it's been a busy weekend.

I'm sitting in the Edmonton airport waiting out a three-hour layover. I originally thought I had a seven-hour layover, and was looking forward to renting a car and driving out to see the capitalist for a few hours before heading home again. But it turns out that seven hours is the total travel time, not the layover, and three hours is not enough time to go anywhere. So here I am in the airport watching the planes go by.

I've now been to every Canadian province and territory except Nunavut. I've dipped my hand in the Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Canada is huge. Even this trip from Victoria back home is going to take the entire day.

I flew over the Rockies, and it was quite a sight. I'd love to be really blase about it -- oh yeah, the Rockies, we have them too, pass the salt -- but it was the first time I'd ever seen them in person. The western mountain range continues into the NWT and goes up near Inuvik, but the Mackenzie Mountains are not the same. The Rockies start abruptly. One minute, you're looking at prairie. The next minute, you're looking at giant mountains covered with snow. I couldn't help myself: I stared and stared. Every once in a while, we'd fly over a winding mountain road or a small group of buildings.

The Rockies have sharp, pointed peaks with green valleys between them. How the heck did they build the railroad through those mountains? Did I miss that part of my Canadian history classes, or do they just not teach it anymore?


Ben Holsapple said...

I'm guessing lots and lots of dynamite.

Cin said...

And Chinese-Canadian immigrants.

Seriously Frivolous said...

I will never forget the Canadian history vignettes years ago when they did the history of the railroad in the Rockies. The foremen asked the gaggle of Chinese if there was anyone who would place the explosive in the cave, and if they did, they'd bring their family over. Some poor Chinese guy came forward and volunteered. As he laid the explosive in the cave, the cave blew up and the foremen shrugged. Then the little Chinese guy came staggering out of the cave, clothes shred and filthy, grinning saying "you bring my family over".

It was my favourite commercial of 1992.