August bid me farewell at the flag stop.

“Don’t blink when you pass through the Canyon, Yeff,” he cautioned. “You might end up in Hearst!”

Old Gus took the mail pouch from the baggage handler and I offered a brief salutation from the tip of my brow. By this time I was used to his remonstrations, as they usually found their mark.

The Algoma Central passenger train began firing up towards its true purpose, another northern tour, this time along a track resplendent with the improbable colours of early October. My own true purpose was necessarily more vague. In my hand was the sketch of early ACR topographer, S.B. Johnson. His delicate pencil drawing, “Entrance to the Agawa River Canyon, Feb’y. 27, 1901” will mark my point of departure from today’s train. The fortuitous path of his survey crew selected out a portal between the steep canyon walls. Today I intend to scramble over those same ledges, find my own footing or become hopelessly lost.

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