This morning I set out on the Rocky Mountaineer train with a group of media traveling to Echo Valley Ranch. While the train was simply our selected mode of transport up the Fraser Canyon into the Chilcotin Cariboo region of BC, it was well-worth photographing and documenting the experience.
Departing from the Rocky Mountaineer station off Terminal Avenue in East Vancouver, the route took us over CN and CP rail lines through New Westminster, Surrey, Harrison, Agassiz, Hope, and up the Fraser Canyon.
In the dining car, we met a man traveling from Cyprus who enjoys passing through BC every now and then on his way to Hong Kong. I think in this regard, train travel is far more social than air travel. You can sit and face your companions while enjoying your meal and interact with the staff who share historic tidbits, anecdotes, and make sure to clink glasses with every single passenger as the train departs from the station.
Truth be told, train travel takes much longer than the highways or even air, but it’s something worth experiencing. The comforting sway of the carriages, the waves from strangers watching as the train breezes through towns, and the unique scenery not visible from well-traveled roads makes for a relaxing and insightful ride.
While Ashcroft isn’t an official stop (passengers heading to Jasper or Calgary were spending the night in Kamloops) the train slowed to a halt to let us off so that we could hitch a ride to our destination. Echo Valley is located North West of Clinton, then about 35 kilometers up a gravel road along the backside of Marble Range Provincial Park.
I’ll be at Echo Valley for the next few days with limited access. Tomorrow we wake up and head to the Thai spa for yoga, which will be followed by a family-style breakfast in the lodge’s great room, then a horseback trail ride through Gold Rush country.