WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.
So many ski trips begin early in the morning. Forcing yourself to get up, load up, and head out can be tough. Normally – at least for myself – I’m either stuck in a car smelling like double-doubles and McGriddles, or a bus packed with uninterested strangers.
But today is Alberta Day, and today things were different. SnowSeekers had the pleasure of riding the Alberta Train from North Van to Creekside, Whistler in style.
Boarding the train in the morning dark meant the rainbow-coloured cars were only hinted at. This reminded me of the Alberta people themselves. Their brilliance can always be noticed, but you need to introduce yourself for their true colors to illuminate.
A few stars clung to the early sky and could still be seen through the bright lights of Vancouver. We boarded the train and headed up the spiral stair to our seats. As I walked down the aisle in search of an empty chair, I was greeted with inviting looks the whole way, as if to say, “Have seat, I’d be glad to meet’cha.”
After deciding to sit with the Calgary Stampede princesses, the train lurched down the tracks. As I met my new seatmates, Vancouver’s night skyline came into view. The open space in-between the dining car and the lounge car was refreshing. The wind swirled around and the clicking tracks kept time.
Further out of town, the sun snuck over the peaks, and I met some new folks.
“How’s the train ride?” asked Sandy Best – public relations for Lake Louise.
Everyone seemed to agree, the train is the way to travel, especially for Albertans. Everyone relaxingly skipped from seat to seat, meeting and greeting as they went, just like home.
With such an eclectic crowd and elegant setting, it felt like a Wess Anderson film, or a Jack Karowack novel. The destination truly was in the journey.
Once everyone had their coffees, Bruce Okabe, chief executive officer of Travel Alberta, personally thanked everyone for coming by handing out iPods. We then all headed down to the lounge car and enjoyed country music star, Aaron Lines strumming away to the growing morning glow.
The soft blue light slowly changed to a dense gold as our mobile home-away-from-home plodded along. When we arrived into Creekside, strangers had become friends, and everyone was a little reluctant to leave.
Stay tuned to www.snowseekers.ca/olympicnews for daily blogs, videos and more throughout the Olympics.
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