Winnipeg & the Train Ride Home

By the end of Friday night we were all safe in Winnipeg. We all gave a huge sigh of relief, and then many of the guys went straight to bed, exhausted from the week's events. Kris and Wiewel's families took great care of us - keeping us fed and warm, letting us catch up on our sleep, and even shuttling us around as much as they could - until the train left on Sunday night. 

Winter in Winnipeg:

On Saturday afternoon we were wandering around Winnipeg's beautiful Exchange District when we heard that our friend Louise was in town (who you may know from her work at River & Sky), touring with Bahamas across Canada as their lighting tech. She had heard about our situation, and we were surprised to receive a message saying that she had added us all to the guest list for that night's concert. 

After supper we made our way to Winnipeg's Burton Cummings theatre for the show, all very much needing that chance to relax, do something normal, and listen to some live music in that beautiful space. The theatre was gorgeous, the show was great, and we talked about putting that on our list of goals - to play that stage in the coming years. 


After the show we went to the Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club with Louise, Dawn Dubya, and some members of Bahamas. That's where Murder Murder was supposed to play the following Friday with our friend Micah Erenberg, and it was bittersweet to spend time in that iconic venue. The Times Change(d) is one of Canada's premiere roots and blues bars, and our show there was the one we were most looking forward to of our Western tour. 

The next day we had to pack. That meant looking through all of our gear, deciding what we could take, what we could leave there, and what we would need to throw out. We had a ton of gear and didn't want to go over our limit, so we picked up some plastic bins at Walmart that fit Viarail's checked baggage dimensions, and also used packing tape and garbage bags to combine some items. After a huge feast of Chinese food that Kris' parents ordered for us, we made our way to the train station in a convoy of pickup trucks and got checked in with Viarail, which was (as you might expect) a bit of an ordeal. 


Happily, we shuffled some things around and everything worked out. There were lots of hugs and then we were on our way. 


We got on the train just before 11pm. We stayed up for a bit chatting, and then we all tried to get some sleep...


Winnipeg to Sudbury by train is a 26-hour trip, and we mostly passed the time playing cards, chatting with some of the other passengers, and watching the wilderness rocket by in the bubble car. Some of us even jammed for a couple of hours with Robbie Hancock, who was there performing as part of Via's Artists on Board Program. 


The 26 hours of the train were a dream-like time warp. It both seemed like forever and a split second, and we were surprised to hear the engineer announcing that we were coming up on Capreol. A few minutes later we were home, greeted by friends and family as we exited the train in Sudbury. It was coming up on 2am, and as per our long-standing ritual for after a long stint on the road, we made it to the Townehouse for last call to celebrate that we were all back safe.



Thank you all for keeping an eye and an ear on us, having our backs, and for your support throughout this whole turn of events. The outpouring of generosity from our community has been truly humbling and with your help we are going to be able to get back on the road. Kris' finger is healing, we are looking for a new van, and we are starting to book shows. Thank you for being with us, and making everything possible. 
MM




 

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