Rocky Mountaineer Train Part 2

Crossing the Canadian Rockies in Style!

Trip Report:  20070805

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The Trip

This is the afternoon photos set from our first day on the Rocky Mountaineer. The morning provided great vistas and awesome views and the afternoon was just as spectacular.

The photos below are what we saw.

Mountains are the result of geologic uplifting and the ranges in this area are mostly limestone which is quite hard. Here you can see how the beds have been uplifted at an angle resulting in the vertical banding in the rock.

More ice fields in on the distant ridges.

Some of the ice fields were big, and they are likely classified as glaciers.

I believe this is Mt. Thomson, named after one of the railroad engineers. Note that the bedding is inclined.

More ice fields and barren areas that are above the timberline.

Mount Hector, also named after a railroad employee, in this case the lead geologist.

We passed through many tunnels, including 2 spiral tunnels. This tunnel was constructed, or refurbished, in 1908.

On the down-slope side, we passed through this wide valley. Note the tailings at the foot of the cliff from a set of mines. The logistics of getting men and material to the tunnel entrances must have been daunting. Several other portals are visible in the left top area of the photo.

An old railroad station on the down slope side.

The valley opened up into a wide expanse with the bottom land exclusively taken by the river. I have to assume that the spring runoff fills the entire channel.

No, this is not a white balance problem. The river is milky white with dissolved minerals and salts from the glaciers up stream. The milkiness continues all the way to Vancouver.

A ski area. Note the runs (which are the light green areas) and the access roads cut into the mountain face.

A very nice waterfall right next to the track flows through a deep canyon.

This photo does not do justice to the size and depth of the canyon with the waterfall. It was deep -- very deep.

A nice view of some of the peaks now that the sun is behind me.

We passed many oncoming freighters. At some points, we had to hold pending their passage in others, they held for us. This is a case of the latter.

While this photo is a bit out of focus, you have to cut me some slack. The train was going about 50 mph as I was taking this and the auto focus on the lens was able to do a more-than-respectable job of operating under those conditions. Here is an osprey nesting on a platform that is a pallet placed on a phone pole. I assume that the pole belongs to the railroad. We passed many osprey and the area along Shuswap lake is called "osprey alley" and is lined with pole-pallet combinations, most with nests.

As the train passed the boaters on the massive Shuswap lake, most of the folks waved. Here, we get a warm BC welcome wave from one of the boaters.

Shuswap lake is large and "H" shaped. It has over 600 miles of coast line. Since we were traveling on a Canadian holiday (by chance) there were tons of boaters on the lake.

Another osprey nest in a sawmill close to Kamloops.

Our welcoming committee at Kamloops station. These are the members of the local mounted patrol. Kamloops is not much of a tourist town, but the Rocky Mountaineer train brings many thousands of visitors to Kamloops each month, so they are popular with the local businessmen.

This was an awesome first day. The food was great, plenty of wine and the scenery was excellent.

Rocky Mountaineer part 3

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