Saturday 3 September 2022 – Timing had not permitted us a chance to experience the delights of Kamloops in person, so here is a photo of it that I found on the wall of our hotel bedroom.
Through sheer effort of will, combined with a certain amount of sleepwalking, we achieved the 0610 rendezvous with the coach that would take us back out to the industrial wasteland where we could board the Rocky Mountaineer for the second part of our journey that would end in Banff.
As the journey started, the scenery was very different from the previous day’s – much more greenery to be seen.
(more Hoodoos to be seen in the above)
and also, since the sparrows were still farting in the gathering dawn outside the coach, we got some nice sun rising photos
as well as some lovely reflections in the waters beside the railway.
The scenery then reverted to being broadly similar to what we’d seen the previous day,
i.e. subject to the same challenges of grabbing a shot between the trees lining the railway track.
We took a latish breakfast, since we were Second Sitting today, and passed a nice hour or so chatting to Judy and Tom, who are from Maui, Hawaii, which sounds a lovely place to live.
There were some moments of variety. Jane spotted these snow sheds protecting the railway on the far side of the valley from winter avalanches
and I got a shot of some on our side.
And then it was time for lunch. We passed lunch having a pleasant chat to an Australian couple, Nikki and Mark, from Fingal Bay, some 200km up the coast from Sydney. At the same time, we were passing some spectacular scenery with some gorgeous colours, so part of the lunch consisted of a game where Mark would spot approaching gaps in the trees and Jane (sitting opposite) would miss them in trying to capture a photo through the window.
After a while, I simply couldn’t resist the lure of getting to the (rather less hot and smelly) open platform to try to capture some of this scenery, but I was a bit too late. It didn’t, overall, matter, though – see later. I did get some decent photos as we went along, in many cases being still unable to resist the bendy train cliché.
We even saw some evidence of snow, or more likely glaciers, in the distant mountains, although the view was typical Walker “would have been better if it were clearer”.
There were some other nice scenes to capture as we went along, though nothing as arresting as what had rushed by us at lunch time.
Just as I was ruing my failure to take up on the photo opportunities on offer during lunch, as we were nearing Lake Louise and Banff, things really looked up.
The following 30 minutes provided an elegant demonstration of the reasons I no longer do any film photography. The scenery was really spectacular with photo opportunities rushing past in rapid succession at 60mph. Had I been using film, I would have missed almost all of them and/or got unsatisfactory images through not being able to quickly review as I went and having to change film rolls every 36 shots. As it was, I took over 200 pictures in that half an hour. Most of them were flawed in some way, but some were utterly lovely. Well, I think so. Here they are, taken from either side of the train on that final rush into Banff.
These were worth letting my gin and tonic go warm for, I can tell you.
Then before we knew it, there we were in Banff and it was time to say goodbye to friends we’d made during the journey – Judy and Tom and Nikki and Mark – and Bonnie (and George) from Toronto, who Jane had had a long chat with whilst I was in photographic ecstasies on the carriage photo platform. It was also time to say goodbye to the four young folk who had worked so hard to keep us fed, watered and organised for the last two days
Stephanie, David, Vivek and Sian.
The transfer from train to hotel was as well-organised as all the other logistical elements of the trip and very soon we were checked in to the Fox Suites in Banff. We have a couple of days here, with much potential for enjoying ourselves and getting some good photos. One can’t ask for much more than that, except perhaps to wish that you will come back and take a look at how things unfolded.