The day broke with clear skies as we checked out of the Fairmont Banff Springs and boarded a bus to the rail station for our return trip aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. The first leg would take us from Banff to Kamloops, where we would make an overnight stay. The second and final leg would terminate in Vancouver.
The Banff to Kamloops route took us along the Columbia River, which is North America’s fourth largest river at 1,243 miles long. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, and flows northwest and then south into Washington in the United States. It then turns west to form the border between Washington and Oregon before emptying north of Astoria, Oregon, into the Pacific Ocean.
Along the course, the river has been dammed fourteen times—for reservoirs and hydroelectric projects, reminding me in some ways of the fate of the Rio Grande River in the Southwest US. (link to my blog post). But fortunately the Columbia River Treaty negotiations between the Canadians and the Americans offer hope for the river and the Native peoples who depend upon it. Read more here:
It was a warm, sunny day and I spent most of the train ride on the open-air viewing platform at the end of our car, on the lookout for wildlife and snapping photos as the landscape slowly slipped away behind us.
The train chugged into Kamloops around 6:00 p.m., and we had plans to dine out, but once we settled into our room at the DoubleTree Hilton, we decided to stay put and ordered room service—an assortment of light appetizers. We retired for the day, as we would be up early to board the train for Vancouver.
Thank you, Clarke Isackson and Fiona Raven for identifying my photo of the Three Valley Lake Chateau in BC.
July 5, 2018—Canada 2015: Kamloops to Vancouver, BC.