Visit Wrap-up 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Heritage Club of Kaw Valley State Bank, Wamego, KS, sponsored a trip to the glorious Canadian Rocky Mountains, October 3-11, 2011. Max and I were involved in this adventure, enjoying the vacation and, especially, visiting Canada's Yoho National Park at the time of its 125th anniversary.
Each thumbnail is linked to a larger photo within a slide show. Enjoy the Canadian Rockies at your computer screen.
The first day of adventure was mostly travel. We drove from Topeka to Wamego, had breakfast with the travel group, then headed to K.C.I. on a tour bus.
The first vacation treat occurred when I spotted Wizard of Oz Munchkin Karl Slover in the ticket line at K.C.I. Karl often came to Kansas in October to take part in Oztoberfest, an annual event in Wamego, KS. (I met Karl once before, but dropped and broke my camera before I could photograph him.) Here was the unexpected opportunity to meet and greet one of the few surviving actors from the classic 1939 movie.
It came as a shock when I learned that Karl passed away on Nov. 15, 2011...
The airline flight travelled south, not north…to Dallas/Ft. Worth International airport.
After a three-hour layover travelers flew four more hours to Vancouver, British Columbia, arriving about 7:30 p.m. —but we gained two hours in the process of traveling westward.
We stayed overnight in Vancouver then, without seeing much of the city, were transported to a train depot early the next morning, and boarded the Rocky Mountaineer, a passenger train service offering tourists enjoyable views of the terrain along major waterways of British Columbia.
The train travelled northeast throughout the day, stopping overnight in Kamloops.
On Day One of the train trip we saw freight train yards, farming landscape, and a site of heavy rapids on the Fraser River called "Hell's Gate," where gondolas climbed the mountainside.
Occasionally the passenger train was instructed to stop to let a freight train come through on the rail line. The stops might be in urban rail yards, but often were out in the middle of the natural wonders. Passengers could enjoy close-up views of crops, berries, ferns, evergreens and aspen trees with golden leaves. I can't imagine a prettier time of year to travel by train, but the Kaw Valley tour group took the last tourist train of the season.
Few may think of of Canada as having a desert environment, but the later portion of the day's trip was through rocky, dry terrain, with desert plants. It was a beautiful area with the setting sun glistening off of the river waters and off of Kamloops Lake.
We saw osprey and bald eagle nests. Our train car was near the front of the train. The car's hostess was Pandora. She, train passengers and the train stayed overnight in Kamloops, then proceeded further to the northeast on Day Two of travel on the Rocky Mountaineer.