The Rail To Agawa
Agawa Canyon, Ontario
What was once an old steam train in 1899 and later became dieselized in 1952 became our passenger carrier for the four of us along with tourists from America, Europe, and the Orient. I take it that most of these folks lead fairly comfortable lives because once we took to the water (as in swimming) in the Agawa river our fellow travellers became astounded. Cameras clicked.
They did once again when we sipped water from the streams fed by waterfalls. We didn't think twice about the sip or the dip. This was my lifestyle for years on the road as a brahmacari (junior monk), being rigid yet wild and free at the same time.
The canyon cannot be reached by road, only by rail so we were indeed out "in the sticks". One couple came to me while on the eight hour train ride to ask if I was a Hare Krishna.
"Yes, I am".
"Well, Yah know we used to live in West Virginia at the Hare Krishna village and looked after Malini, the elephant."
Speaking of animals, one member of the train staff told me that one bull moose stood stubbornly on the tracks even thought the train was approaching. The train stopped and then slowly edged forward nudging the beautiful beast onward until he moved off. Sadly on another occasion a moose leapt in front of the train which knifed him in half, one part of the body to the left and one to the right.
Fascinating to hear was how one 10 mile stretch a very difficult terrain, took 2000 men to construct the line with obstacles of rock, bush fires, blackflies and booze all in one summer. The determination at work is always inspiring to me.
The train adventure through utter wilderness was not just a birthday gift to myself but an opportunity to hear and meet some real good people while on the journey.