Canada 2015: Kamloops to Vancouver, BC


The Rocky Mountaineer pulled into the Vancouver rail station, and we said a fond farewell to our guest team, who handed out bound blank travel journals for recording your rail trip, and postcards commemorating the company’s twenty-fifth anniversary. If you haven’t enjoyed the experience, you should—it’s topflight from the start to the finish. Book the GoldLeaf Service for unparalleled views of the Rocky Mountains and the surrounding countryside.

We checked into the Fairmont Pacific Rim, which is a stone’s throw from the Fairmont Waterfront, the hotel we’d stayed at two weeks earlier. I guess David really was interested in staying at as many Fairmonts as he could during our Canadian vacation.

That night, we dined at Oru in our hotel, and I would entice you to eat there as well, but I just read the restaurant has closed and a new dining establishment is under way. Regardless, we enjoyed our meal of duck and rabbit pâté, followed by our mains—mushroom, lobster, and spinach risotto, and short ribs with lobster.

Along this stretch of the rail tour, we went through Black Canyon. You can’t appreciate the immensity and stark beauty of Black Canyon unless you see aerial views. Check it out:

You might also enjoy learning more about Hell’s Gate:

July 19, 2018—Canada 2015: Vancouver, Day 2

Utah 2018: Bryce Canyon National Park—Day 2

On the website for Stone Canyon Inn is one of the area’s “best-kept secrets”—the Tropic Trail—and we planned to hike it that day. When we checked into the inn, we inquired about the “secret back entrance” to Bryce Canyon and were told the gravel road is well maintained and traversable by all vehicles. We had rented an SUV, so we weren’t worried about the road conditions unless a 4WD vehicle was required. We were also given directions and a hand-drawn map of the trail system. Continue reading

Utah 2018: Bryce Canyon National Park—Day 1

Bryce Amphitheater, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

On David’s must-see list was the Bryce Amphitheater—“a cave without a ceiling.” The description doesn’t do this magnificent sandstone arena justice. The beauty of the “cave” defies all superlatives. As one visitor succinctly put it, “Wow!” He followed up with “After a while, you simply run out of words.” Thank goodness for photos. Continue reading