A Train Trip Across Canada

Getting excited about my upcoming train trip from Toronto to Quebec City. I even went out and bought a laptop so I can blog and tweet and Facebook to beat the band. Webmaster Joseph Obeng has helped me get  it set up, and I’m practicing on it so I won’t get on the train and be unable to figure out something.

I even have Skype, so in theory I can talk to people and even have my face on the screen, but I can’t see how that’s going to enhance a conversation. I tested it, and I look like the disembodied face on The Wizard of Oz.

I have to practice keeping it charged and accessing wireless networks and all that stuff. This is all old hat to longtime laptop and iPhone people, but I’ve been something of a Luddite about new technology. I just got a cell phone this year, and I still don’t really know how to use it, but it has saved me considerable shoe leather when my scooter broke down.

I’m amazed that A) I had it with me and B) that it was charged up and C) that it was paid up.

Usually I’m the guy who passes up trips to Paris and Madrid and opts for a bed & breakfast in Maine. I’m just a hobbit, that’s all. And in the time it takes me to go on a trip and write about it, I could put up dozens — nay, scores of great stories from around the world.

Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr

But it makes sense to travel once in a while to get some firsthand experience and to remind myself of how hard it is to write. Writing is hard compared to editing. You really have to put yourself out there.

And this journey will be a pilgrimage of sorts. Back when I was in college I wrote a long paper about Aaron Burr, who went to Quebec in 1775 with Benedict Arnold on an expedition described by Kenneth Roberts in his book Arundel.

Unlike Burr and Arnold, my intentions are entirely peaceable, but I would like to see the famous Plains of Abraham. I  expect my trip will be a good deal easier, too, as I will be traveling by train instead of by bateau.