Packing and dealing with train strikes

Travel gear

Only 24 hours to go. We’ve gathered everything we are bringing into an organized pile in the middle of the floor, and done a test pack with our backpacks. The result: both bags had room to spare! Final weigh-ins have Meghan’s bag at 29 lbs and mine at 44 lbs. Admittedly they are a little heavier than we hoped, but this is the sacrifice we are making to support our blogging and photographic habits. Our camera bag and laptop combine to add nearly 12 lbs to our bags. We were debating whether or not to bring our thermarests (mainly for the African trip), but decided against it. We’ll pick up some foam sleeping pads closer to October.

A more thorough description of what we’re bringing and why will follow soon on our gear page. I’m hoping to finally get a chance to do build that page on our train trip to New York.

Which brings me to the train situation. VIA rail has decided to go on strike as of noon today. We had booked a train to Montreal for tomorrow afternoon with VIA, but it looks like we’ll be taking the bus instead. That’s no big deal — buses leave for Montreal every hour from Ottawa. Our train from Montreal to New York is with Amtrak in the US, but there is some concern that Amtrak engineers will sympathize with their Canadian counterparts, and routes to Canadian cities will be cancelled. We’ve been calling Amtrak twice a day to try and get some kind of confirmation. As of right now, our train is unaffected, and should leave on schedule on Sunday. But we were told to call back Sunday morning, just in case. Ugh. I guess it’s a great test for us — I’m sure it’s not the last or worst of the travel hiccups that we will encounter.

On the bright side, our Queen Mary II voyage doesn’t depart New York until Thursday, so if we have to spend an extra day in Montreal and take a bus down instead, so be it. We’ll get there somehow…


    GOOD LUCK! I can’t wait to read all about your trip.

  1. Mother Goose

  2. M&M: You’re on the train right now – yeah! Just checked Amtrak and was told your train left Montreal this morning and that the strike may be over. I figure your train must be just about at the American border, your first country. I hope good luck continues to be with you throughout your journey. Happy Trails…. Lots of Love… Mother Goose/Gough (MG)

  3. Bruce Goose

  4. The first step is the biggest. You’re on your way and I wish you all the very best in your adventure. Stay close. We will be following your every move on your blog. See you in London real soon. Lots of Love… Bruce Goose (BG)

    Dear Meg and Mark,

    We will be following you on your trip through your website. Have a phenomenal trip and keep us posted.


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