Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Train to Vancouver! ( The Rocky Mountains). 9

‘Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
And robes the mountain in its azure hue.   
                        Thomas Campbell

All the children that had boarded the train in Edmonton were now in the dome car. There was laughing, giggling and huge smiles. The children were having fun too.  Everyone was so excited we all knew the mountains were not very far from here. The happy boys above were on their very first train ride. I told them to sit facing the front of the dome car so they could see what the engineer was seeing. Later in the day the same little boys would come back with conductors’ hats on and hand out pieces of paper, they called them tickets. Some people did not get one but I did so I knew I was safe, it pays to be friendly and get to know your conductor. The boys were riding to Jasper and I remember thinking I wished I could have done this with my kids when they were little. Oh well better late than never, thanks again M. Next time is for you K.

I could not wait to see the mountains my heart was racing with excitement as I read in the book we would start to see them to the west (front of train) near Edson Alberta we were getting closer. In the mean time I had very nice conversations with the new travellers. The one little girl that came and sat beside me was a horse lover and she was not to be disappointed, there sure are plenty of horse farms in Alberta. She giggled with joy whenever she saw them. While searching for horses I seen a bear at the side of the tracks, I called everyone to see but the train had frightened it and off it ran into the bush, I was the only one that was lucky enough to see it.

While patiently waiting, and watching I suddenly find myself staring out the front window of the dome car and there they were, the mountains I had travelled so far to see. Everyone was silent, as if its presence had been so anticipated by everyone that it was now being honoured. I was truly blown away by the sheer beauty; I was rendered speechless, at least for the moment.

It was so incredibly beautiful I cannot with mere words describe them. The tree lined banks of the river, and the snow covered peaks, this is why they are painted, and photographed by artists around the globe. I have seen many photos and paintings and let me tell you it could never truly capture the true beauty of them as actually sitting and staring at them from so close. The dome car is going crazy with excitement. “Look at that.”  “Look over there.” The oohh’s and the aahh’s are coming from the mouths of everyone sitting in the now full car all together enjoying the view. The people I have ridden with from Toronto were as blown away as I was. I think we never really thought it would be this spectacular in our imaginations. It was really worth those sleepless nights. I was truly elated. My dream in all its glory is finally towering in front of me.

The lady in the seat beside me is sharing the story about how she thinks the river is so low because the oil field production is depleting the water supply. I am sad and listen intently. She is heading to Jasper to visit her son and his dog and I enjoyed her conversations immensely, I am afraid I have forgotten her name; I was pretty tired by this part of the journey. She took the time to tell me the names of the mountains and each special place we passed as we made our way to Jasper. She makes this trip once a month. I am thinking she is a very lucky lady and thinking maybe M or K could get a job there so I would have to visit.

We go through a tunnel blasted through the mountain long ago, the train whistle echoes through it and it is truly pitch black inside, finally we see “The light at the end of the tunnel” it was incredible. At this time they announce that we will only have twenty minutes in Jasper because we are running so late. My heart sinks; I was looking forward to exploring the cute little town surrounded by snowy mountains and I had heard nice little shops. As we pull in I wonder how nice it must be to live and work in a little town that is so quaint and surrounded by so much incredible beauty.

Not wanting to waste any time I jump off the train and ran to a little sandwich shop I could see from my seat, I had only eaten a couple of peanut butter sandwiches that we had made on the train since Winnipeg and must say I was getting very hungry. Twenty minutes is not very long. I glance around the shop while waiting for it to be made then straight away I run back to the gate to board. I am standing here shivering as I had not brought my wind breaker so I stepped into the train station for a minute to warm up. It was packed with people waiting to board this train and I wanted to stay longer and explore this quaint little spot but did not want to lose my seat in the dome car. I step outside and wait in the line that was forming. The lady whose son lives in Jasper came up to me and introduced me to her son and his dog. I told him what a great Mother he had and how proud she was of him. We shook hands I hugged the woman, patted the dog and we said goodbye.

I watched as a crew washed all the windows, I was getting very excited as it was only noon and we had so many more mountains to see, I wanted to see Jasper but now shivering I just wanted to get back on the warm train into the dome car and prepare for the exquisite Rocky Mountain views to begin. We stood there another thirty minutes so we could have explored a little, I am sorry I believed the twenty minute announcement.

After boarding the train and while sitting in the dome car enjoying, I must say the best sandwich I have ever had, I look at M and smile. This is truly the best thing we have ever done together. The train pulls slowly out of the station I watch the Elk grazing near the side of the tracks. I stare at the beautiful scenery and smile. One more night till Vancouver, we are to arrive there early in the morning. Until then I am going to take in every ounce of this beauty that surrounds me before the day turns into night. If I am lucky I will see the bright moon shining down on the mountains and will not want to leave the dome car, and my dream will be complete. It is just after 1pm Friday.

We cross into British Columbia. I am so happy.



  1. I can't even begin to tell you how much I am enjoying your trip. You are so good at bringing it all back to life!

  2. Those mountains are so stunning! How cool to see the snow on the peaks, even in May!

  3. I love the excitement I hear as I read what you've written. I have seen the Rockies several times but I have never seen them from a train. It all sounds so wonderful to me.

  4. The Rocky Mountains are spectacular. I have seen them, many times, and I live close by, so sometimes they are too familiar and I miss the wonder. Thank you for sharing your excitement.

  5. I saw the Rocky mountains in Colorado when I was in 5th grade...too long ago for me to remember their majesty. And a few times from the air...but! Thanks for taking us along!

  6. Oh the joy just floods from your post and I feel like I am right there with you! Thanks for sharing your journey with us:)

  7. the mountains are beautiful, but your descriptions and joy over seeing them rival that. :)

  8. too bad you didn't have more time in Jasper, I have a picture of S & J when they were much younger with the Jasper Bear.
    am loving reliving this trip as it brings back fond memories when I was able to share almost the same trip with my dear Mom, only we travelled by car

    Love BA

  9. Even after living in or near the Rockies all my life I found the big blue mountains in Alberta and British Colombia even more spectacular. It looks like you had a front row seat of the best of the beauty.

    Glad you finally got a minute to grab a sandwich. Too bad the exploring time was cut short.

  10. What an amazing trip (so far.) I have never seen the Rockies, but the hubs promises he will take me some day. :)

  11. I too love the mountains. Thanks for the beautiful pics and descriptions of your journey, B.

  12. Wow, what stunning views. How wonderful that you got to see it. I will have to mark that down as somewhere I want to visit (but probably won't). Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  13. Those mountains are AMAZING!!! What a joy to see them "in person".

  14. How exciting. I wish we had something like that here. You do such a great job of describing everything. Thank you for taking me along.

  15. What an adventure. You are so right when you say pictures really cannot show the true beauty of the mountains and the scenery. I especially like the first picture of the children peering out the window at the passing scenery.

  16. How incredible! Your photos are beautiful. Such a dramatic feeling to look out the window and see those mountains.


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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