This post about our train trip from Edmonton to Prince Rupert was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content…but the writing and photos are still terrible. What can I say? It was a long time ago.
In years to come, I would end up taking many more trains across many more countries. Train travel enthusiasts will want to check out:
Tales of Trains: Where the Journey is the Destination
Touring the Deccan Odyssey: The World’s Most Luxurious Train
Kelly & I feel that the mountains call our names out. We are mountain people. There is something about being cradled by range after range of these majestic pieces of ancient history that ignites a feeling a true happiness in us, reminding us of how small we are in the general scheme of things and yet showing us that anything is possible as we clamber throughout them and to the tops to see vistas that many never experience other than in pictures.
People say that you’re either a “mountain person” or a “water person”. A water person not only craves the vast expanses of open water and feels calm when near it, but when they’re in the mountains they can feel crowded and panicky. By contrast, a mountain person feels cradled and protected in the mountains, and over-exposed on or near the water.
Having grown up with wrinkled fingers from all the swimming pools I practically lived in, I would have coined myself as a water person. But I also have known (ever since a trip to the Rocky mountains when I was 20) that the mountains hold a special place in my heart, and there is an awesome spiritual contentment I have gotten every time I am surrounded by these luscious giants.
So, after a week’s rest in Edmonton, we were ready to hop on the train again and answer the call of The Mountain.
The train first took us to Jasper, an old haunt of Kelly’s and a quickly endearing place in my heart. One night spent halfway up a mountain at a hostel fed us enough negative ions to make us feel truly at home and happy. Needless to say we will return to Jasper many times this summer.
The next day we hiked the 7kms down to the train station with our heavy packs, in an effort to get some exercise before the 8 hour train ride to Prince George. The scenery was unbelievable, with mountains on either side of us for hours. The landscape eventually flattened out as we came to a higher altitude plain, and arrived in Prince George.
Kelly had never been to a Bed & Breakfast before, which was our choice for accommodation this night. And I think he’s now a B&B convert – after Sharon at Blue Moon B&B took such amazing care of us.
Some of the scenery from the train to Prince George
The stay was short lived though, as less than 13 hours later we had to re-embark for another 12 hour ride. Now we’ve been on the train a lot in the last week or so….and as much as we like it, it’s getting a touch tedious. By the end of the 12 hours, we were suffering from some good healthy cabin-fever.
What kept us from completely crawling up the walls was the amazing scenery, especially as we neared Prince Rupert. The landscape and mountains became more dramatic with each turn. Every time we thought we had seen the most breathtaking combination of mountain, river, and trees, we would round the corner and see something even better.
We saw things from the train that people just don’t see. For example, people pay good money to go on tours to see bald eagles, where they may be lucky enough to view a few from a distance. We had the luxury of seeing bald eagles, swans, and even the rare golden eagle pacing our train alongside us, as if to say “Welcome to our beautiful corner of the world”.
We have decided to settle in Prince Rupert for a few days instead of immediately hopping on the ferry to Vancouver Island. We are even toying with the idea of the short (6 hour) ferry to Ketchikan Alaska, just to say we did it.
Such is the fun of not planning a trip to within an inch of its life…..it takes on a life of its own.