Kent and Carol - Mobile travel blog

Suspension Bridge

View from Suspension Bridge

Tree-Top Adventure

Cliff Walk

Cliff Walk

Grouse Mountain

Vancourver Harbor and Lions Gate Bridge in center.

Lumber Jack Show

Howe Sound

Waterfall

Train and Canyon

Whistler below - thru Gondola window.

Skiers

A snowboarder hop on our gondola and played the accordian for tips.

Olympic Circles at Award Park- Whistler Village

Our Hotel at Whistler Village


Friday May 24, we left Ferndale, WA and drove 11 miles to the Canadian Border. The border checkpoint took about 15 minutes and then the drive into the Vancouver RV Park took about an hour and a half, mainly because of some roadwork along Trans Canada 1 Highway. The Capilano River RV Park was at the North end of the Lions Gate Bridge. That bridge crosses the mouth of the ship harbor and we cruised under that bridge several years ago when we left Vancouver on our Alaska cruise. We got settled in at the RV Park and then I took the Jeep and did some exploring to check out where we had to meet our tour bus the next morning and also checked out where we were going to meet the train on Sunday. Part of the package deal of the Rocky Mountaineer Train was the Saturday bus tour to three locations. So the next morning we met the tour bus at a nearby Motel and our first stop was a Salmon fish hatchery. Our second stop was the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. The park contains a swinging bridge that is a 450 ft. long footbridge across a very pretty river canyon. Carol made it about half way and had to turn back, I went across and then walked the ‘Tree Top Adventure’. This was a series of wooden footbridges between high tree top platforms. I then walked back across the suspension bridge and then walked the ‘Cliffwalk’, which is a series of metal platforms attached to the wall of the canyon. One section hangs out several feet from the canyon wall and has a glass floor. Our tour bus then took us to Grouse Mountain for a gondola ride to the top of the mountain, which still had snow that was at least 4-foot deep along the walking paths. Our tour guide said the city of Vancouver gets very little snow in the winter but the top of Grouse Mt gets plenty of snow. We watched a Lumber Jack show and took in the scenery and took the gondola back down.

Sunday we left the RV and Jeep and took a taxi about a mile to the North Vancouver Train station to catch the Rocky Mountaineer Train. The first segment of our train ride was a three and a half-hour trip to Whistler, the location of many events of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The train route starts out along the ocean and the Howe Sound with beautiful scenes of the ocean backed by snow topped mountains. The route then turns inland with mountain streams, canyons, waterfalls and more snow capped mountains. On each train car was a hostess that fed us breakfast, snacks, took very good care of us and told us about each of the sites we were seeing. This train also had an open viewing car, which I used quite often. I took lots of pictures but they just do not capture the true beauty of the area. Some photos are not as clear as they should have been because they were taken through the train windows because the hostess and her drink cart blocked the pathway and I couldn’t get back to the open car to take photos. Train travel is so relaxing and easy. You can move about the train anytime you want and the seats and aisles are wider and roomier than airlines. It is a great way to travel and to see the scenery.

Arriving in Whistle, a bus took us to our hotel, which was on the edge of the tourist/shopping area that is called Whistler Village. It was built in 1978 as a pedestrian-only area that is at the base of two mountains with over 200 ski runs. After getting settled in the hotel, I walked to the other end of the Village and took a gondola ride to the top of one of the mountains. It took a long 20 minutes to ride to the top and then I caught another gondola called the Peak-to Peak to the other peak. Both mountaintops were snow covered but at the second mountaintop was where most of the skiing and snow boarding was still going on. I then reversed my trips back down to the Village and back to the hotel. Whistler Village was bustling with skiers and mountain bikers who were using the lower (sans snow) portions of the mountain for biking.

Monday morning the bus took us back to the train depot to catch a different Rocky Mountaineer train. The Whistler train returns the same day to Vancouver. Our new Rocky Mountaineer Train now has two dome cars but that is for the Gold Leaf passengers. Carol and I are Red Leaf passengers, which is about $2000 dollars cheaper, then Gold Leaf passengers. Gold Leaf passengers get to sit in the dome cars and have gourmet breakfast and lunch in the dinning room below the dome cars and their hotels are upscale hotels. Us Red Leaf passengers get to have breakfast and lunch at our seats using the tray tables that fold down from the seat in front of you. For the price Carol and I are sticking with the Red Leaf service. You know I am cheap. Our trip today(May 28)is to Quesnel with an overnight there and the next day, a trip to Jasper.

More in part two.



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