Dewi's Trains,
Trams & Trolleys

Across Canada - by train
Victoria to Jasper

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On the ferry back to Vancouver, "the boss" in the restaurant offered Peter a job when he grew up, and gave an ice-cream each to Peter and Siān.  Transfer from bus to train was by Yellow Taxi. We boarded the train and immediately went to sleep, though Eufron slept poorly.

In the morning, we had the late breakfast on the train. We couldn't get a booking for the early lunch sitting in the dining car, and we were due in Jasper before the last sitting ended, so we had something in the cafeteria. That morning it was very good mountain-watching weather.  We used "finger-talk" (two-handed sign language) to chat with a couple from Timmins. Peter and Siān had made friends with their daughters the previous night in Vancouver Station.

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Fraser Canyon, looking at Hell's Gate from the "other" side.
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Our arrival at Jasper Park Lodge was most inauspicious. We were assigned no. 381, but found the door to 379 was open. The bell-boy merely said "You have 381 - it's a suite". However, there was one child's cot only: we needed two. At 4pm I called and asked for a second one. By 5:20pm our suitcases still had not been transferred to our room, so I called about that. Two of them arrived at 5:40.
At 8pm, after a good dinner in the dining room, we were still missing one case, one cot, and had no extra room.
Called the front desk. The final suitcase comes. The bed comes. But there's no place to put it.
Called the front desk. Told to use sitting room. Now we have bed, but no sheets.
Called the front desk. At 9:30pm, a maid comes with the sheets.

Awoke at 9:15 and rushed so that we could breakfast before the breakfast room closed at 9:30. For the rest of the morning we swam in the heated swimming pool.

After lunch we had the tour of Mount Edith Cavell and the Angel Glacier. It was a long walk and we saw many tame chipmunks who wanted handouts. The children were disappointed in that they couldn't make snowballs.  On our return, we looked at the shopping area within Jasper Park Lodge. Eufron tried on a fur coat. "Ah, my dear," said an older woman. "When I was your age, I wanted things like this and could not afford them. Now I can afford them, but I don't want them." At the time, we could not understand this. Now we do.

Tuesday July 21: Early breakfast and then leave for the Columbia Icefield drive. We took the old highway for the first 18 miles to the Athabaska Falls. The river formed by melting glacier ice drops 65 feet. Stopped at Sunawapta falls for coffee and then to the Athabaska Glacier where we boarded a snowmobile - one with a sheet metal cabin. This took us onto the ice where the driver showed us a crevasse (30 to 50ft deep) and a "mill-hole" (a 200-foot pot-hole). In fact he stopped the vehicle straddling a small crevasse. Then he took us up the glacier as far as possible before returning to the Icefield Chalet for lunch. On the way he pointed out the moraine left by the retreating glacier: the ticket office was on morain.The set lunch was ham with so-called pineapple sauce, following which we headed back to Jasper Park Lodge.

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Sunawapta Pass viewpoint, Peter & Sian, on way to Columbia Icefield.
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Athabaska Glacier. The two small dots are snowmobiles.
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Bombardier Snowmobile parked over a crevasse in Athabaska Glacier.
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Sink-hole in Athabaska Glacier
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Eufron, Dewi, Peter, Sian on Athabaska Glacier, beside snowmobile.
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Interior of snowmobile, with Eufron, Peter & Sian.
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On our return we hired bicycles, plus a tricycle for Siān, and cycled along the footpaths around the lake. Siān came a cropper while Peter was very worried that she would ride into the lake.
We were ready for supper and bed.

Wednesday July 22: First, Dewi & Siān went to breakfast. Then Eufron & Peter. Then we took out a row-boat on the lake. However, there was a strong wind, and that made heavy going, so we went for a swim instead. The air was very cold but the water was warmer. By now we were ready for lunch, and we followed that by a shopping trip into Jasper town. 

Thursday July 23: After breakfast, we went out in a paddle-boat, with Eufron and Dewi pedalling. Then we had the return journey, against the wind. The pool was closed by the time we returned. Eufron went to the cabin to pack while the rest of us went for a walk. We climbed the bank and went along a deer trail. There we met a pair of deer. Peter & Siān held out their hands and the deer came to them, no doubt accustomed to being fed. Siān was rather scared - they were much bigger than she was. We had to vacate the cabin by 1p.m., so we checked out and had lunch.

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CNR locomotive 6060 on display at Jasper station. A few years later, this locomotive was refurbished and used to haul excursion trains out of Toronto. It is now back in Alberta.
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Dome car being shunted at Jasper station: dome cars were only used on the Jasper-Vancouver section
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Jasper Park Lodge: Peter with deer
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This page last updated on 24/04/2006 21:06:34.