ALASKA BLOG 03

Friday July 15, 2016

No exaggeration: the past two days were a blast! Following an early-Wednesday transfer to the Banff rail station, we settled into our near-new Silver-Leaf Service carriage aboard the luxury Rocky Mountaineer train for a scenic rail adventure that took us almost 1000kms … up-up-up into the spectacular Canadian Rockies, then all the way to the west coast of Canada and Alaska.

In between being fed, watered and waited on hand-&-foot, we kept eyes and cameras at the ready for vast award-winning views of high mountain passes, rocky lakeshores, interior ranch-lands, and hold-your-breath tunnels. The food was delicious, and the highlights were numerous: the Continental Divide, the Spiral Tunnels, the Kicking Horse Canyon, Rogers Pass and Craigellachie – where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven home.

A warm bed in a cosy hotel was awaiting us in the midway town of Kamloops. Then, next morning, our Rocky Mountaineer excursion continued its westerly direction – towards the Pacific Ocean and the coastal city of Vancouver. The views through our big picture-windows and overhead glass-domes kept changing – from the desert-like environment of the interior, through winding river canyons and pristine forests, to the coast and Cascade Mountains and the lush green fields of the Fraser River Valley.

Day #2 highlights included steep slopes and avalanche sheds along the Thompson River, the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon and, finally, Vancouver, where our great rail-romp came to an end.

The Rocky Mountaineer experience …? An enthusiastic ‘thumbs-up’ from all 33 of us!

STILL TO COME: Cosmopolitan Vancouver is one of the world’s most beautiful cities – and we’ve got 60 hours to explore its nooks and crannies. Don’t go far …

PEOPLE-NEWS: Three more hotly-sought-after duckies have found new homes …

  • Wendy received our ‘Duh No.1’ Award – for having a senior moment, and losing track of her trains. At one point she was heard to observe, “Hey, there’s a train way up ahead that’s stopped …” Then, a few seconds later, “Oh, we’ve stopped, too. I wonder why?” Someone else had to point out that the ‘train-up-ahead’ was actually the front end of our train. Duh …
  • Ross earned himself our ‘Duh No.2’ Award – for having a senior moment, and misreading the name-tag worn by our Iranian chef on the train. It gave her name, ‘Shi’rin – from Culinary’ … but Ross thought it said, ‘Shi’rin – from Calgary’, and wanted to know why she lived so far away from Vancouver. Duh …
  • Beth scored our ‘Duh No.3’ Award – for having a senior-moment and being geographically impaired. Towards the end of our second day on the rails, Beth enquired (loudly and in all seriousness), “Are we in Brisbane yet?”  Duh …

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

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