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Rail & Sea Cruise 2009 (updated: 2014-03-31)

[Rail Journey]
Rail Journey
[Ferry Journey]
Ferry Journey
[Boats on the B.C. Coast]
Boats on the B.C. Coast
[Whales on the B.C. 
Whales on the B.C. Coast
Incredible! The whole trip was stupendous! I wanted to take this trip for a few decades, and this summer, everything fell into place due to the VIA strike and subsequent 60% off sale (not to mention my busy schedule {:-). I was going to a reunion in Hinton, so I worked the trip's schedule around that.

I started from Vancouver on 2009-08-18 at 20:30, taking the VIA Canadian in coach to Hinton and arriving the next evening at 20:00. The best scenery, barring seeing Mount Robson in a deep blue sky, seemed to be the trip between Jasper and Hinton near sunset, and I was able to get some decent shots.

A week later, I took the Greyhound bus to Jasper to get on the Skeena. The first two days on the train from Jasper were exceptional. There were only 10 passengers in the two Touring Class cars, and I felt like William Van Horne sitting in the Park Car all by myself. {:-) I had a super visit with my step-father in Smithers, and their location couldn't be nicer, right on the lake. The subsequent train ride to Prince Rupert was also exceptionally scenic, and Rupert, where I spent 36 hours, wasn't too bad at all, although somewhat smaller than I had expected. I ate supper at The Crest, arguably the nicest restaurant in Canada, with spectacular scenery with superb seafood.

And then, to culminate it all, the ferry ride was incredible. The sun rose in Rupert, there were a few hours of fog, and then marvelous vistas exiting the fog banks, followed by brilliant sunshine the whole voyage's remainder. As for whales, we had to see at least 30, it almost became monotonous. {:-) My whole vacation unbelievably kept surpassing itself and getting better.

After staying overnight in Port Hardy, I took the Greyhound bus to Nanaimo, where I even dug walking along the new promenade to the ferry terminal.

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