True Stogies

Isaiah, The Ancient Stone Carver

As my wife and I were on walkabout shortly after the annual pet parade through the Ellicottville, NY Music festival, a very interesting sight caught my eye. All the way at the end of the street by himself stood Isaiah. As you can see by the photos and video, Isaiah himself is enough to draw attention.

Isaiah, The Ancient Stone Carver

But what really caught my attention was that he was chiseling away at a stone slab, slowly fining and revealing his vision for what this stone would become. The word “currahee” written in pencil down a sketch outline of a knife blade. Currahee is said to be the scream of an eagle, it is the motto of the US Army 101st Airborne division Screaming Eagles, of which my father is a retired Lt. Col. It’s true meaning is a Cherokee word that means “stand alone” this is also where the US Army Slogan “Army of One” is derived. This originated from the WWII 506th Paratrooper Infantry division that trained on Currahee Mountain in Georgia.

Isaiah, The Ancient Stone Carver
Isaiah, The Ancient Stone Carver

When we approached him I never expected what would happen next. We were, of course, enjoying a couple of fine cigars, when in the midst of chiseling he turned and said “ I thought I smelled cigars, those smell so good” And I’m sure we all know what happened next as I pulled out the travel humidor and offered him his choice. My wife and I walked around the festival a bit and circled back around to Isaiah who was now happily chiseling and puffing away.

Isaiah, The Ancient Stone Carver
Isaiah, The Ancient Stone Carver

We started to chat again and what he was telling me was incredible. I stopped him, and asked him to start over. This time I was going to record it. It needed to be.

So who is Isaiah?

Isaiah is a writer. Sure he writes books, For over 20 years, Isaiah has specialized in writing resume’s, proposals & speeches, but wait there’s more! He does something drastically different with his writing in a more prolific and permanent way. He carves it in stone. Not just in English, he also writes in Wesgrekian and/or Greek and we’ve all heard the expression “etched in stone” expressing permanence. Anyone familiar with the Ten Commandments, or the code of Hammurabi?

Isaiah is considered an “Ancient Stone Carver” in that he only uses hammer’s and chisels for most of his stone artistry. His method is derived from Egyptian stone carving-dating back nearly 5000 years and is the oldest handmade spiritual craft known to mankind.

Each stone art piece he creates is with specific purpose and meaning in the attempt to teach the observer for creating a better quality of life. Isaiah fully recognizes and attributes his ability to carve as being a given gift from God and therefore feels it must be done in God’s honor and appreciation for such an earthly craft.

Using only an old-fashion hammer, chisel and other small carving tools, Isaiah carves some of the most beautiful stones for dedication, memorials and just about anything else you can think of.

So why Stone carving?

Several years ago Isiah’s grandmother passed away and it pained him that he was unable to afford to purchase a gravestone in her honor. After many prayers to earn the money to afford a gravestone, Isaiah instead was inspired and unbeknownst to him, blessed with the ability to make the stone himself. So, in early 2015 Isaiah carved his first stone (his grandmothers) which was made from a Pennsylvania Fire Flagstone. With this new blessing came something else.  Isaiah created the Wesgrekian Code and is carved into most of his stones. The Wesgrekian Code writing has an alphabet and code that allows the reader to say much with very little writing. Every stone carved with the Wesgrekian Code is unique and each peace is supplied with the meaning of the code itself.

Isaiah, The Ancient Stone Carver
Isaiah, The Ancient Stone Carver

Isaiah is an independent Stone Carver & Artist who does custom commissioned work and Christian carvings for all to enjoy the messages carved have meaning and passion.
Deriving his technique and modeling his progress and style on the greatest and most famous stone carvers Michelangelo.

Isaiah, The Ancient Stone Carver
Isaiah, The Ancient Stone Carver

It was a pleasure meeting and getting to know a bit about Isaiah and I look forward to having one of his beautiful and unique masterpieces. If you want something no one else has or need a gift for that person that has everything you need a piece of Isaiah’s art.

http://isaiahsgallery.blogspot.com/

A Cigar Festival Experience. My First Time.

Cigar Festival: CATSfest. San Antonio TX. May 2016 as told by T Foxxx, and transcribed by Truestogies.

I am an entertainer, a musician, many people refer to what I do as an artist, a producer and some simply as a DJ. I don’t use a ghost producer I create my own music. With that being said, I am not a writer, but fortunately my husband is.

Cigar Festival CATS FEST

The following account is a “cleanup” of my thoughts memories, and emotions through the hands and artistry of a ghost writer. This is a first for me, but I thought about the importance of my experience and what it would mean to people. Those of you who have never been to a Cigar fest, thinking about going, or changed their mind and decided not to go.

I wanted to make sure that what I tell you is told in a way that evokes the same emotions, and conveys the experiences that I had so you feel just what it’s like, and understand what this can do for you and what it did for me.

Day 1. The Start

Cigar Festival CATS FEST

The event officially did not start until Friday, but the “unofficial activities and spontaneous pre-pre-parties had already started. On Thursday night there was a small get together at Redlands Cigar Company. I went there with my friend Jason and walked in around 6:30 we walked through the store in front to the lounge in back where the Herf had started. I looked around for a familiar face. I spotted Chris Preetorius who I had been conversing with over several months in preparation for performing at the event. I immediately felt like I was with friends and family, after a few minutes I knew I was. I went on to meet his wife Kerri who is heavily involved in CATS, the organization of CATS fest, and Operation Cigars for warriors. I looked around and spotted more people like Robin T Rushalo, Storm Boen, Shorty, and many others. I got excited every time I saw another person I recognized like I was seeing family. You know that cousin from Iowa that moved away when you were 2 you’ve been hearing about your entire life and finally got to meet after 25 years, yeah that was the feeling. I truly felt welcome and part of the gang. Since it was a last minute decision to go to this mini-herf pre-pre-party, I had already made plans and very unfortunately had to cut my stay short.

Day 2. Providing Music at the registration; Parking lot of The La Quinta Inn San Antonio.

Cigar Festival CATS FEST

The next morning around 10am I arrived at The La Quinta Inn. Gear in hand, proudly wearing my “Property of iROBUSTO” shirt I started setting up under the tent. I taped my iROBUSTO sign up on the front of the table in view of everyone entering, and plugged in, did a quick sound check and started rockin! I’ve never felt more relaxed playing a set. This was a far cry from 5000db of electronic music pumping into a crowd of thousands of crazed ravers dancing endlessly in a sea of darkness interrupted only by flashing lights and lasers or their own glowing paraphernalia. I felt more like a designer, carefully laying out sounds and familiar riffs that made the attendants feel comfortable smile, evoke good memories and generally feel good hearing some classics, mixed with some cigar themed songs, and a good selection of Texas born artists. Coincidentally Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Texas Flood” was very appropriate. I knew I had nailed it when I saw people look over and smile, give a thumbs up, start singing, or just simply nodding their head to the beat. While playing I lit up an Asylum Schizo and sat for a minute (This doesn’t happen at a nightclub!).

There was instant camaraderie, I spoke with many people, about myself, them, music, iROBUSTO, and the amazing SmokeSetter which I so cleverly used in plain view and then happily demonstrated its versatility, which of course I then directed them to the iROBUSTO website in order to purchase. A few people sat with me, Posed for pics, some even got autographs. A few hours into it I lit up a 5 Vegas A, this brought me to the End of my set over 5 hours later. The place was nearly empty as most people had already either headed to the VIP dinner, or out and about San Antonio.

Day 3. CIGAR ROUNDUP, at the Tejas Rodeo Company.

Cigar Festival CATS FEST

Yes this was a genuine authentic western rodeo company. We have them in NY and this was just like it, except this was Texas so it was big, no, HUGE! I immediately started to look for the organizers to present the very generous donations from iROBUSTO, Buffalo Cigars, and Tinder Box Buffalo. The donations from Tinder Box were cigars, cutters and matches, these went directly to the Operations Cigars for Warriors to be sent to our deployed troops. The donations from IROBUSTO which was a good selection of premium cigars went to the auction block. The donation from Buffalo Cigars consisted of a glass top humidor with “Buffalo Cigars” etched in the top and autographed by Football Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas. Inside was a Buffalo Cigars golf towel, a cigar travel case, matches ,a hygrometer and a 5 pack of limited edition Thurman Thomas cigars with an autographed picture. This was put into a raffle which drew quite a bit of attention.

I was called up to draw the winning ticket, I drew it, Shorty announced the winner then I was handed the microphone. I proudly and enthusiastically addressed the crowd telling them all about Buffalo Cigars, Thurman Thomas and the Buffalo Bills, the cigar blend and the contents of the humidor before handing the prize over to the winner who was obviously elated and in an almost state of shock.

The roundup consisted of a large tent, several other smaller tents and outbuildings each housing a brand or brands, accessories and their representatives along with other vendors selling various items of possible interest to the cigar enthusiast lifestyle, whatever that is? As we all know cigar smokers are a diverse people. The grounds were covered with people from all walks of life. The days of stereotypical thought assuming the only people that smoke cigars are fat old rich men, are long, way long gone. Everyone was enjoying a Cigar chatting smiling in a Cigar lovers nirvana.

As I walked around I found myself easily chatting to the representatives, owners and leaders in the industry. Something I never expected to do so matter of factly, but they were just hanging out relaxing and enjoying it like the rest of us.

Unfortunately I had my camera stolen, not at the event, and I lost almost all of the photos.

What are shown with this article are all I have left.

Last but not least… The Haul.

Cigar Festival CATS FEST

I didn’t have a VIP pass, this was for charity, and there was quite a few companies without reps there, yet the generous haul of fine cigars and bits of swag were still plentiful. There’s a few that aren’t in this pic that were sent to three people to see if they could “Meet in the Middle” on them *wink! So watch for those in the near future.

If you ever get a chance, No, I’ll rephrase that. If you love cigars, you need to get yourself to a cigar festival. Get the VIP pass it will be well worth it. I am definitely looking forward to my next festival. Hmmm, Barn Burner, THE BIG SMOKE!? All of the above.

Product Review | The Smoke Setter

When I first heard about the Smoke Setter, my thought was “great another stupid thing to hang off my golf bag…”

I pictured infomercials depicting ridiculousness that never occurs in real life touting the attributes of this new miracle deus ex machina that will forever change society.

When I got it my thought hadn’t changed all that much…UNTIL!

Smoke Setter

I was on a trip to my father’s house. My father lives in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. His porch is an open wrap around with several tables and of course Adirondack chairs. My wife and I brought a selection of fine cigars to accentuate our mountain experience and couldn’t wait to smoke them out on his porch in the evening, as we sat down we realized, there was no ash tray, no place to set the cigars down without risk of burning down his porch, house, town, or the entire Adirondack park. Then it occurred to me. THE SMOKE SETTER!! Of course that would be perfect, but did I bring it? No, why would I have done that it’s for cigars while golfing right? Absolutely not! The Smoke Setter is for any time.

Smoke Setter

The Smoke Setter is exactly what I originally was making fun of it for most likely not being, A machine from the gods, an unexpected power saving a seemingly hopeless situation. I then realized it’s potential not only can it act as a holder and ash tray, but a holder and protector of my brown cylindrical treasures.

When I finally got the chance to use it was everything I hoped it would be. I sat down at the table with my wife put the Smoke Setter down and opened it up revealing the delicious gem it held inside so nicely situated and protected. I placed it on the table then realized that it looked like it would fit perfectly in the hole for the umbrella, and it did! SUCCESS!

Smoke Setter

I was already in love with the Smoke Setter and I haven’t even been golfing yet. But how would it perform with 2 cigars, different weight, and one a box press? The answer…FLAWLESSLY!

Smoke Setter

This isn’t indestructible, it’s not “super” durable, but it’s quality, functional, useful, and besides cigars can be delicate you’re not going to be throwing this thing around anyway. I know the center of the Smoke Setter can be used as an ash tray, but it didn’t seem intuitive to me to do so as I didn’t want to dirty the inside. I’m used to my cigar carrying case being clear of ash, but I’ll give it a try next time.

Thank you to Bob Garde at Whim Ventures for sending this fantastic product my way to try and review. This is a great and incredibly useful addition for every cigar smoker. I can’t wait to use it on the course. The Smoke setter will be coming with me just about everywhere, why not a protector, case, holder, ashtray that fits in a cup holder or umbrella hole, and yeah it fits in the cup holder of a folding chair too!

Get one, you’ll love it.

Cigars and Golf; Stogies and Bogies. Why?

Those were my exact words when the call went out for a golf content writer, this extended to “please god, let there be another golfer!”, but alas there was none. And I answered the call of duty.

Now don’t get me wrong I love golf, I wish I had better clubs, new shoes, more time and money to play.

I also wish that I could find an affordable golf launch monitor that can help me get a better idea of where I’m at with my swinging motion. At least that way, I know what I need to do to help me improve my game for when I do play.

I don’t like reading about golf, nor do I like watching it on TV. To me it’s boring.

I like to play.

So who better for someone to write about golf than someone who can’t stand writing about golf!
With these thoughts in mind it caused me to contemplate that if I don’t like to read about it or watch it why do I like to play it?

For me it was evolutionary. When I was younger it was something else for me to do in the summer. I was and continue to be….”energetic” This and Kung Fu, was a subtle attempt by my parents to help me focus, calm me down and make me less competitive with others and instead challenge myself. Surprisingly to me at the time they complimented each other in a way you would never think.

Cigars Golf Deer

They both require practice discipline and concentration, precise movements and judgement of distance, and both require an extreme amount of power and energy control.

And it worked.

I was an SCCA, WCR, Rallye Race Driver/navigator, I extreme freestyle skier/snowboard. I play Rugby, I played Lacrosse, I hike, mountain climb, and I am a hardcore raver! Basically an adrenaline junkie.

Golfing helps give me that balance so desperately needed.

I was very fortunate to be able to learn under 2 very well-known masters.

I took 1 year of Golf lessons from Frank (Fuzzy) Zoeller. If I had not had consummate professional instructing me I very well may have gotten frustrated and never realized what Golf would do for me.

Golf is one of the few things I do that is relaxing, so it was only natural that golfing would eventually get combined, and complemented by a cigar or two.

As I got older I learned to appreciate the aspects of golf even more, The fact it could be played alone in a self-challenge, controlling the power and realizing it is more technique than strength, and that harder, faster, stronger, does not make you a better golfer, nor does it make you a good one. Slow steady and focused.

I then discovered the social aspect of it. A forced but relaxed and open 3-4 hours spent with other people, not in silence but in conversation.

So, there you have it! My Stogies & Bogies column awaiting your feedback and ideas on how to make it fun for me to write about golf and cigars. See ya soon!


Smoke Setter Golf and Cigars


The Myths & Facts of – Buy American, Buy Local!

Buy American, What does it really mean?

USA

We all hear the slogan and push to buy American and Buy Local, but why, and what is its meaning?

In this article I outline the myths and facts of the movement to buy local and buy American.

To begin with the concept is absurd. We are basically being told that buying anything while traveling out of our locality or country is bad, obviously that’s not true and contradict the concept of macroeconomics.

Part 1: What is “American”?

The most common answer is products made in America, by an American company. This sounds right, but it is very vague.

The “legal” classification of Made in the USA Has to do with percentages of content and manufacture and it doesn’t need to be 100%. The fact is it’s any product made by a privately owned US company in the United States using Legal US labour, and US products/resources. In these modern times that is nearly impossible and limiting in terms of product availability. In any major industry there needs to be some component used somewhere that is not from the US, so we settle for as much as reasonably possible with the understanding that you can only do so much. Which leaves a Private US company located in the US, using US labour.

Now for the Myths

Vehicles!

This seems to be the biggest area of misconception and the perfect example to use. When it comes to “American Made” or an “American Company”. Toyota is Japanese, Ford is American, Right?

Interceptor Toyota

Wrong!

While technically Ford Was founded in and is headquartered in the US and Toyota was founded in and is headquartered in Japan where the profit goes and where the labour force is employed is a different story.

Excerpt from Ford Motor Company 2015 10k Annual financial report:

“based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 199,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide”

In a separate table it outlines employment as 96,000 Employed in US. The other 103, 000 employed throughout the world, so where does the majority of profit go when you buy an “American” Ford?
In my previous article “The US problems are your fault”, I describe a publicly traded company like Ford. Stock is traded on 6 different world exchanges which means that ownership profits go to hundreds of different countries and that it is a globally owned company not owned solely or even majority owned in the US. That’s doesn’t include regional divisions of Ford. The Above car on the Left is the Iconic Mad Max Ford Falcon XB Manufactured and sold exclusively in Australia.

The same holds true for Toyota. The Camry (Above right)and Sienna are both produced in the US, with US labor and the largest amount of US parts of any other vehicles produced in the US.
State Street Corporation (2nd oldest US bank) is a major stockholder/owner/controlling party of both Ford and Toyota, but own less than 5% of each. Look at the flow chart below. This isn’t simple it’s a bit convoluted and confusing isn’t it?

Circulation Graph

Part 2: Buying Local

This term is very misleading and undefined. Local to where? Your street, neighborhood, village, town, district, borough, city, region, county, state, country?
The myth is that buying local helps build your local economy.

The fact is that if everyone bought local no one would ever make any money and it would turn into barter, or only or a few people would eventually have all of the money in each “locality”.
Money needs flow in and out. Buying local only recirculates existing money. Local business needs non-local consumers. If I buy seeds from you, grow lettuce and you buy the lettuce, we’ve basically just bartered.

Economics and specifically Macroeconomics are based on 2 key principals and rules.

  1. Supply and demand
  2. Trade

While it is always good to support local and home country business, what we want in the US are people/countries outside of the US to demand more US produced products and outside money spent here by visitors. The US is our locality we need to demand trade agreements that require business privilege fees and foreign companies to either establish facilities here and/or apply US standards to the imports.

However, as a counter argument many of these foreign company owners frequently dump 100’s of millions of dollars into US casinos and buy US cars as status symbols.

The final question to both parts is where the revenue goes. Dividends, charity, political, stock sale, wages, and/or taxes and where/ who they benefit in the end.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment and repost this article and Get the discussion started!

TrueStogies

iROBUSTO DO U?

This Country is Your Fault!

Everything that is wrong with this country is your fault!

(At least according to some of our politicians.)

“Wall Street is made up companies whose ownership is traded publicly, which translates to you, the general public, owns and controls the largest companies in the world.”

We are constantly reminded that the High taxes, unemployment rates, low wages, economic crisis, trade deficit, the US falling behind in advances can all be blamed on the evil WALL STREET!

…but what or who is Wall Street?

The impression conveyed is that Wall Street is this giant menacing beast of greed and low morals, out to rape the everyman of every penny they can until the broke is cowering in servitude before the mega rich but that’s not quite the case. While the greed portion may be true, for lack of a better term, “Greed is good”. It promotes growth, ambition, and fosters success in business. In politics it’s dangerous.

Let me start by saying; this is a vicious circle and catch 22, but it works if played right.

In reality, Wall Street is made up of companies whose ownership is traded publicly, which translates to you the general public owns and controls the largest companies in the world.

If you have a 401k, IRA, mutual fund, invest in stocks, work for a company whose ownership shares are publicly traded, or rely on any government subsidies, then you are Wall Street. Every one of these financial vehicles relies on the success of wall St.

Wall Street

Wall Street or any city in the world where the public market trading of ownership takes place is a financial district. There is a market or markets, surrounded by banks and investment companies, with your money, lawyers, and investment bankers. These are the people that keep business in business and make them grow. Their job is basic, take your money and make more for all parties. The more you make, the more they make, the more corporations make, and vice versa.

Most importantly Wall Street is also comprised of companies that are the epitome of the American dream. Small businesses that have grown and want to keep growing by listing their shares on the penny or Over The Counter (OTC) exchange. This exchange is for everyone who incorporates a business as an Inc. or Corp. Shares can be $0.01 each. A certain percentage are given first to founders, then officers, then the bankers who helped them list, and sometimes vendor/suppliers or customers. The remainder is listed on the exchange for anyone to purchase.

Wall Street

When Wall Street is referenced, many times what is meant are the banks. I work for banks and there is a lot of ignorance as to how things really work it is no wonder there have been and continue to be issues of Money laundering, fraud etc. Banks notoriously do not pay well. But without banks, there is no progress. You may be thinking “I could do without a bank” and that may be true, but businesses can’t. The biggest banks in the world rely on corporate financing to survive. Retail or personal banking is not lucrative on a large scale.

A common myth is that banks have an advantage by holding your money, that’s not true, it actually costs banks a lot of money and most banks offer accounts as a convenience and incentive for you to do more business with them, like credit cards and mortgages, otherwise, they only make money on ATM, Overdraft, and other various service fees, basically betting that account holders will make enough mistakes to cover expenses.

The root cause of these problems comes down to horrible trade agreements, Ignorance, narrow-minded business practices, incompetence, and arrogance. The Automotive industry collapse and bailout had very little to do with greed and more to do with being out of touch.

Check out my next article The Truths and Myths of “Buying American, and “American Made”

Please ask questions and/or comment I welcome discussion on this especially with an awareness of political rhetoric at an all-time high.

Written for iROBUSTO by TrueStogies

See North America by Rail

North America by rail and experience a world of travel.

Rails

Unfortunately the days of these steam powered works of art are long past. The streamliners have since been replaced with diesel electric boxes and if you’re lucky they may be slightly aerodynamic. The new locomotives are however, much more powerful, fast, fuel efficient and most importantly safer than their predecessors.

What is also unfortunate is that you are no longer able to enjoy a cigar anywhere on a “public” train in North America and now even most places in Europe…

However, I know a little trick that was very common many years ago and that is the private rail car experience.

If you can get 15-20 people together a private car can be even more affordable than a standard coach ticket. Most rentals start at $2,500.00/day. With most tickets for full day trips costing around 250.00, after 10 people it’s paying for itself. Happen to have your own car? Amtrak also offers a hookup to any passenger train at the cost of 15 tickets. Rolling Cigar club anyone? A Stripper pole perhaps?

Rails to Rail

The fantastic part is that all of the places these trains traveled to and through are for the most part, still there. The routes still travel the same tracks and have the same names. The 20th century limited runs several times a day as does the California Zephyr, Milwaukee Road Hiawatha and the Southwestern Chief. Some untouched and some barely explored vast tracts of land and beauty traveling through these lands will provide you very similar experiences to what you would have gotten in the 1920’s and 30’s.

Watching the scenery go by, wildlife, weather changes, the transitioning from day to night and back, and depending on the time of year and location you are traveling even the changing of seasons. What is typically left out of the brochures and videos touting the geography of the travel and unique experience of viewing it from a train are the experiences you have on the train.
You are on a rolling hotel, people getting on and off from all over the world and all walks of life. All long distance trains are equipped with several bars, observation cars, dining cars, deli cars, and some even have club cars. They show movies, music and I have been on trains with live music and DJs. These trips range in length from 24hrs to 72 hours, several offer the opportunity to go out and explore for a bit. A land cruise ship.

So I have put together what I think are the best train trips you can take not only based on destinations or traveled geographies, but the overall experiences.

The first trip is the Amtrak Southwestern chief.

Rail Trains

The Amtrak Southwest Chief is a 40 hour each way, eight state daily run from Chicago to Los Angeles, which takes you on a virtual trip through time through the vast expanse of the United States West. You don’t have to take it all the way to LA, but I would recommend it. However if you chose you can stop at any of the cities along the way.

There is a lot, and I mean a lot of nothing, but that is in the beginning part of the trip you’ll be getting settled in arranging yourself, exploring the train so you’re not going to miss much if anything, other than spacious skies and amber wave after endless wave of one grain or another. Past that incredible beauty of the landscape and remnants of days past will capture your attention imagination and nostalgia. The train crosses the Mississippi and travels past ranches, missions and pueblos, mountains and deserts. Carving through curving canyon passages only a few feet wider than the train itself, you’ll see spectacular landscapes and pristine vistas not visible from interstate highways.

On the inside you will encounter business people, families, foreign students on backpacking trips across the country, musicians, artists, Amish, Buddhists and Shaolin monks, retirees going on round the world trips, newlyweds, and a multitude of boy scouts traveling to Philmont scout ranch in Cimarron New Mexico.

See the Majestic Grand Canyon

This trip participates in the Trails & Rails partnership program between the National Park Service and Amtrak, which provides passengers educational opportunities for natural and cultural heritage and the long tradition of associating railroads with National Parks.

The Via-rail Trans-Canada Canadian adventure.

Rail Trains

This trip is amazing beyond amazing There are many parts of Canada where humans have not set foot there is a lot of raw unadulterated wilderness with huge modern, and progressive metropolitan cities scattered in between. The landscape of Canada is extremely unique. And the people even more so. Depending on the trip and/or package you get you will encounter similarities to that of the Southwestern Chief but with added bonuses of intuits, (Eskimo) many more Europeans, fishermen, lumberjacks, oil workers, mountaineers, modern day explorers and even prospectors.

The ultimate is $7,000/per. 16 day all-inclusive cross Canada. Starting Vancouver, Canada’s third largest city, If you’re on the West coast. East coasters start in Halifax. A two-day “Hop-on Hop-off” bus pass will allow you to explore the city at your own pace. Plus an overnight.

From Vancouver you travel to Kamloops aboard a Rocky Mountaineer train. You wind along the river to Hell’s Gate, a narrow chute of charging water only 112 feet wide. Lush green forests will dramatically change to a desert-like landscape.

You then travel to Banff, Banff is breathtaking. The Canadian Rockies. Snow-dusted peaks, cascading streams and glaciers. Glacier National Park, and the Spiral Tunnels. Engineering at its best! Overnight in Banff can’t be described in a few sentences. But a picture is worth 1000 words.

The photo on the right is an actual photograph (I thought it was a postcard) that my sister took from the edge of the tourist resort city nestled in the valley surrounded by the towering Canadian Rockies Any questions?

Rail Trains

After that the train stops in Jasper, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Montreal then Halifax with at least a day in each to explore and experience Alaska.

Rail Trains

There are a multitude of different train excursions you can take in Alaska, but my recommendation is the full experience trip. Seward to Fairbanks with overnights. If you thought the Trans Canada trip had a lot of wilderness and scenery… You ain’t seen nothing yet!

I chose this trip purely for once in a lifetime experience, untouched harsh wilderness, incredible natural beauty, old towns and ways of living meeting people who live hardcore lives every day! If anything this trip will make you appreciate everything of convenience you have. It’s great for sightseeing, hunters, fishers, skiers, adventurers, history buffs and nature lovers.

See mountains, glaciers, and the Chillicothe trail. Fish for sockeye salmon, hunt elk. Moose, and Bear Witness eagles soaring through snow brushed peaks and witness seasons changing right before your eyes.

Honorable mentions:

The 20th Century Limited NYC to Chicago- via Niagara Falls Erie Canal, 3 historic train stations, 2 major cities and the beauty of New York State Ohio and Illinois (take a fall trip)
California Zephyr – Classic California coastal route on a historic route with a railway museum

The Autotrain. Sanford Florida to Washington DC area. Put your car, boat, motorcycle, rv or whatever on it and go. (Super cheap fares)

We have a lot of train buffs on iROBUSTO, so please comment and let everyone know about your train experience, or if you recommend a trip.

Three are still tens of thousands of miles of railway in North America, maybe you know of a hidden gem.

Photos and, maps courtesy of Amtrak, Via Rail and Canadian pacific, New York State Railway Historical Society, Amanda Staszak, and Alaska Tourism