spectacular introduction into VIA Rail travel - Jasper, Prince George to Prince Rupert
07.09.2008 - 08.09.2008
View Canadian Odyssey 2008 on tessab's travel map.
One of the guys on the Moose 'Athabasca' trip was looking to do a similar route to me (Jasper to Vancouver Island, basically) so he decided to join me on the train to Prince Rupert, followed by the Inside Passage ferry to Vancouver Island. It was good to have company on the train ride, I especially enjoyed having someone to share my enthusiasm at the beauty of it all with!
Day one was amazing. We were 'warned' by the chatty train / ticket guy in Jasper that the route from Jasper to Prince George was amazing, but that Prince George to Prince Rupert was "spectacular"! This was entirely true, although Andrew and I had a hard time believing it on the first day, as the backdrop of snow-capped Rockies (especially Mount Robson - the highest peak in the Rockies) against the cascading tree-covered mountainsides and sweeping rivers (the Fraser) was quite tremendous.
We spent the overnight stop in Prince George at a fabulous little B'nB just outside the town. There is no 'budget' accommodation in Prince George, apart from the ever present motels that don't actually offer anything of value for a solo independent traveler. I had booked in to the bed and breakfast (Arbor B 'n B), prepared to pay the extra for a room to myself, shuttle to and from the station, breakfast and a generally nice environment. It worked out really well that I could share the cost with Andrew, and it was possibly the best night of sleep I've had since I arrived in Canada! I really enjoy hostel travel, but having some personal space does make a great difference.
The second half of the last leg of the trip did live up to the train station guys warning, and more... The Skeena Valley runs east to west towards the Pacific Ocean, with the highway and train-line hanging on to the edge of the near-vertical mountain side.
BC (and Canada at large) was conquered by the railway...