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Monday, December 18, 2017

WHY TRAVEL?

Something extraordinary happened to my blog the past 24 hours.  I guess because of my Star Wars posting yesterday (you can access it by scrolling to the next article), the readership jumped to 27,577 for the day:


Those numbers to the left stand for pings/hour.  I normally average less than 500/day, although there was a flurry of activity in May of this year reporting on my global adventure,  when readership jumped to as high as 6,000/day.  In the past, people flocked to this site during times of natural or man-made disaster, as for example the Chile earthquake in 2010.  Also, this was the period when I reported for The Huffington Post, and my article of the Great Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster linked to this blog site.

My most recent trip on VIA Rail Canada from Vancouver to Toronto, ending with a magical journey back on United Air to Honolulu, is certainly a relief, when I observe today of the train derailment in Washington and troubles at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  Combined with the norovirus epidemic on the Independence of the Seas in the Caribbean, perhaps I should just stop traveling.  


But, as you can see from the above photos, my journey went well.  I should indicate, though, that train travel in Canada cannot today be recommended.  Why?
  • If you're old and have balance problems, like me (mind you I walk 18 holes on a golf course twice per week), watch out.
    • My train was a quarter mile long, and this length can be doubled in the summertime.
    • Your dining car can be five trains away.  The space between trains is open to the environment.  If it is snowing, the path is icy, and the handrail is covered with snow.  The doors are shut tight and heavy.  I don't know how I survived four days of this challenge.
    • Your bed comes down at 7PM, and one just goes to bed because there is no such thing as entertainment like on cruise ships.  You won't want to walk to another car anyway because of the above dangers.  
    • Imagine trying to sleep through an earthquake anywhere from 3 to 7 magnitude.  I've been in a 7.1 Tokyo earthquake.  When there is no earthquake, that means the train is stopped to allow freight trains to pass.
    • Just walking through the train is dangerous, as there is a lot of rocking and you bounce between walls and doors and whatever.
  • The food, though, is generally good, and you are forced to sit on tables of four, so you meet interesting people.
  • The view of snow scenes during the winter period is spectacular, especially from the dome car, which is accessible only when there aren't that many passengers.  This would be a problem in the summer.
Was my 10-day trip to Canada worthwhile?  Yes, but what of the future?

Okay, the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq all broke all time records, the DJIA up 140 to 24,792.  The business world is salivating over the tax reform package, which is expected to be signed by President Donald Trump for your Christmas present, if you're rich.

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