A Long Journey

Snippets 129.  On frontiersmenhistorian.wordpress.com at the moment (a blog which I manage but do not write) you will find an article about Percy Escott North, who had an adventurous life of travel and befriended Buffalo Bill Cody.   To tie in with that fascinating article, the following quote concerning Escott North is taken from the Devon and Exeter Gazette, 1st December 1927.

canadaThe lecturer [Escott North] suggested that most people did not realise what a huge territory was represented by the great Canadian West, and to show what an “awful big country” it was he told the story of an Englishman who took a business trip from Montreal clean across to Vancouver – from the Atlantic to the Pacific…

The train rolled out of the station, and for two days and two nights it rolled on its way. Then one day it rolled into Fort William, and the Englishman, looking out of the window, saw the great lake – Erie – stretching away to the horizon, nothing but water, and the big ocean-going ships on it, and he said “Goodness gracious, we must be at Vancouver…”

He started to collect his baggage and to get off, and the railroad man came along and said “Hello, English, I thought you was going to Vancouver. What you getting off here for?” Then he explained that what the Englishman saw was Lake Erie, and the boats were the grain ships taking wheat from the prairies and making their way from lake to lake until they reached the ocean. “You just settle down, English,” he said, “and I’ll tell you when we get to Vancouver.” So the Englishman settled down, and away the train went again for two days and two nights, rolling its way across the prairie land, and then it slid into Calgary. And the Englishman said to himself, “Now we must have got there,” and he started to collect his baggage again. But the railroad man explained to him that he had yet to go through the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the Selkirks, then across the great Okanagan Valley and the Cascade Range, and then drop down to Vancouver.”…

So they went on again for two days and two nights, and on the second night sure enough they slid in among the lights of Vancouver…

The train man came along, and he said, “Hello, English, this is Vancouver, and over there, that’s the Pacific Ocean… I guess you never bin out of England before.” “Well, you’re right.” said the Englishman. “Yep, I knew I was,” said the Canadian. “You can wander around here after dark without falling off and getting wet.”

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About Roger Pocock

Author of windowsintohistory.wordpress.com Co-writer on junkyardview.wordpress.com Administrator of frontiersmenhistorian.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in 20th Century, History, Humor, Humour, Inspiration, Snippets, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Long Journey

  1. Ged Maybury says:

    I always frame my sense of distance on my place of origin: the Sound Island of New Zealand. First by train as a boy (Dunedin to Chrischurch, 240 miles*) then as an adult by car, usually taking two days to drive Dunedin to Picton (~500 miles) – something that could be done in one day at a push.

    Montreal to Vancouver is 2850 miles. That’d be nine days of driving, with no breaks!
    Yup – it’s a big place!!!
    * [I think better in miles.]

    Liked by 1 person

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