Day 2 of our epic journey across the Canadian plains to get to the Rocky Mountains proved to be a much more scenic and memorable one, and one which was also a lot more comfortable as we left the desert-like conditions of Day 1 behind.
For one thing, getting back on board the Rocky Mountaineer was still a seamless affair as the shuttle bus picked us all up at the Thompson Hotel and sent us up on board the train punctually.
The Epic Journey Resumes…
And once we boarded the train, we found that our on-board shopping that we had placed orders for the previous day had already arrived at our seats!
That’s the plush toy I bought to commemorate this train journey, and I’ve named him ‘Fraser’, after the Fraser River that I’ve seen so much of the previous day. Fraser is sitting on my lap today watching me type out this post.
The Second Part of the Journey Through the Clouds
With 50% of the journey completed in Day 1, we find ourselves inching closer to the Canadian Rockies today. And that was a good thing, because the scenery outside those to-die-for panoramic windows has now changed from the brown drabness of Day 1 to one with snow-capped mountains and evergreen trees, much like a prelude to the scenery that we will get to see at the Rocky Mountains.
It was another day of fantastic meal service. How much more contented can we be, when meals on-board can be so good.
The menu was thankfully different from yesterday’s (I wouldn’t want to be eating the same thing as yesterday no matter how good it was).
Our welcome drinks which looked a lot like wine but which was really just apple juice.
For those who like their wines, a selection of red and white wines are also available complimentary on board.
Fruits and croissants before breakfast served with coffee and tea.
Farmhouse Breakfast comprising of eggs and Canadian Cheddar scrambled and served with smoked bacon, breakfast hash and roasted mushrooms. It was a very good breakfast. Did I forget to mention that all our meals are freshly cooked on board by our on-board chef?
A selection of snacks and drinks/wines throughout the day.
Lunch comprises of spinach and apple salad, accompanied with a choice of mains of either Roasted Pork or Grilled Chicken.
Roasted Alberta Pork Loin, sliced and served in a creamy Dijon mustard sauce.
Tender Chicken breast grilled and served in a rich field mushroom sauce.
Chef’s dessert creation of the day.
What’s there to see on the second day of the Journey Through the Clouds?
The answer is, there’s plenty to see. In general, the scenery outside those panoramic windows just got better and better by the minute as we approached the Rocky Mountains.
As the train rolled on, we were treated to some educational titbits by our hosts, who were not just busy serving our meals, but also taking time to explain the scenery that rolled by our windows.
Apparently, forest fires were one of the main culprits in destroying the large acres of trees in the Canadian Rockies (a few days after this journey, another forest fire broke out in the vicinity). These were the end result of the forest fires.
To add to the woes of the trees, the forestry in the Canadian Rockies are infested with the Mountain Pine Beetle which lays its eggs under the bark of the tree and introduces a fungus which blocks the transport of water and nutrients in the tree, eventually killing off the host tree.
Large acres of forestry in the Canadian Rockies are said to be lost to the Mountain Pine Beetle. In this picture, and many other greenery that we passed by, the trees which have turned a copper red are infected with the beetle.
Our hosts also introduced us to the different kinds of salmons to be found in the region, although we were no stranger to this due to our Alaska trip some years back.
We were ever thankful for these panoramic windows which allowed us to capture the full captivating beauty of the road to the Canadian Rockies.
What’s the most beautiful thing on this second day of the Journey Through the Clouds? It has got to be these – Pyramid Falls, Mount Robson and Moose Lake.
Pyramid Falls on the right hand side of the train (travelling from Vancouver to Jasper). The falls were so near, the windows were so clear, it felt as if we could step out of the train to stand at the bottom of the falls! In fact, I wished the train would stop for us to alight for a while here.
While the train did slow down for us to take some pictures but that was about it!
As the train rolled on, Mount Robson made a peak through the clouds – I guess that was the reason why this route was called Journey Through the Clouds.
According to our hosts, the peak of Mount Robson is only visible for 12 days out of an entire year, due to the weather conditions surrounding it. And guess what? We were lucky enough to be in one of those 12 days where the peak of Mount Robson was clearly visible!
Moose lake, again on the right hand side of the carriage (travelling from Vancouver to Jasper).
The lake was so huge that it took about 10-15 mins of train travel to pass it completely. I am not complaining about this, because this lake is incredibly beautiful!
Moose lake was so named because of the presence of a huge population of moose living by the lake, but as time goes by, the population must have dwindled. We didn’t see any moose at all as we whizzed by, but then again, we were pretty early into the season.
Moose Lake signified near the end of our journey on the Rocky Mountaineer. Our hosts bidding adieu to us and giving us a debrief of what to expect when we reached Jasper. Thank you, Rocky Mountaineer, for the wonderful journey!
First sight of Jasper.
The Rocky Mountaineer pulling into Jasper. The shuttle buses which would bring us to our hotels were already waiting for us at the train station.
Join us next as we explore our lodgings in Jasper.