A TRIP ON "THE TRUE NORTH"
Li Daiyu and her cousin Liu Qian were on a trip to Canada to visit their cousins in Montreal on the Atlantic coast. Rather than take the aeroplane all the way, they decided to fly to Vancouver and then take the train west to east across Canada. The thought that they could cross the whole continent was exciting.
Their friend, Danny Lin, was waiting at the airport. He was going to take them and their baggage to catch "The True North", the cross-Canada train. On the way to the station, he chatted about their trip. "You're going to see some great scenery. Going eastward, you'll pass mountains and thousands of lakes and forests, as well as wide rivers and large cities. Some people have the idea that you can cross Canada in less than five days, but they forget the fact that Canada is 5,500 kilometres from coast to coast. Here in Vancouver, you're in Canada's warmest part. People say it is Canada's most beautiful city, surrounded by mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Skiing in the Rocky Mountains and sailing in the harbour make Vancouver one of Canada's most popular cities to live in. Its population is increasing rapidly. The coast north of Vancouver has some of the oldest and most beautiful forests in the world. It is so wet there that the trees are extremely tall, some measuring over 90 metres."
That afternoon aboard the train, the cousins settled down in their seats. Earlier that day, when they crossed the Rocky Mountains, they managed to catch sight of some mountain goats and even a grizzly bear and an eagle. Their next stop was Calgary, which is famous for the Calgary Stampede. Cowboys from all over the world come to compete in the Stampede. Many of them have a gift for riding wild horses and can win thousands of dollars in prizes.
After two days' travel, the girls began to realize that Canada is quite empty. At school, they had learned that most Canadians live within a few hundred kilometres of the USA border, and Canada's population is only slightly over thirty million, but now they were amazed to see such an empty country. They went through a wheat-growing province and saw farms that covered thousands of acres. After dinner, they were back in an urban area, the busy port city of Thunder Bay at the top of the Great Lakes. The girls were surprised at the fact that ocean ships can sail up the Great Lakes. Because of the Great Lakes, they learned, Canada has more fresh water than any other country in the world. In fact, it has one-third of the world's total fresh water, and much of it is in the Great Lakes.
That night as they slept, the train rushed across the top of Lake Superior, through the great forests and southward towards Toronto.