#10 Paddling Pic: Riding the Rails


#10 Allenwater Bridge, Wabakimi P.P., Ontario. 2005

Trains, trains,trains! Riding the rails is such a retro, romantic and downright cool way to go canoeing. There are the classic train rides to start or end your trip like the Missinaibi or the Spanish, but also many others where you can hitch your canoe to the "iron horse" for a shuttle. But as rail service shrinks in Canada we are losing these opportunities. Our first rails-to-river trip was via the Algoma Central Railway to the Sand River, which sadly is no longer possible. Today's pic, from a trip in Wabakimi, was our first train "pick-up". We expected a long wait and piled our gear at the side of the tracks and made ourselves comfy amongst the packs. Imagine our surprise when right on time the light of a train appeared rounding the corner and the horn sounded. Our excitement turned to fear as the east-bound freight train blasted by us at 100kph with air horn blaring. We dove for cover as our 80lb canoe turned into a giant red tumbleweed and our gear went flying! We were fine, and when our heart-rates returned to normal we dragged our canoe and packs back up the embankment and sheepishly piled it all far from the tracks. We waited another 5 hours til the passenger train slowly chugged into view and stopped for us to take us safely home. Phew! So, where have you gone by train with your canoe?


About Today's Paddling Pic:

These last few days and weeks I've found myself looking back on some wonderful memories and images of where canoeing has taken me, and it's made me smile. I feel so fortunate and grateful for these places, people and experiences, and it's kind of nice to reminisce. And in doing so I can't help but to also look forward to a time when we can all paddle safely again! So for the next while Reid and I are posting a picture a day (with a story) that will brighten our day and hopefully yours too. I invite you to share your stories in the comment section.

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