A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: olytrains

Down the River


Friday, August 5th

We had a long drive ahead of us today, so we got an early start. We actually managed to get the car packed before breakfast. We managed to get on the road by 8:15. Wow, that’s good for us.

As I said, it was a long drive. The traffic on Highway 1 was quite light, so the driving was easy going. The scenery was amazing too, so the miles just seemed to melt away. Once we were in the Thompson River Canyon the scenery turned from beautiful to dramatic. It was a perfect day for a drive too. The temp outside the car was a cool 64 degrees.

Thompson River Canyon.

Thompson River Canyon.

I was hoping to photograph some trains along the way, but one of the two railroads that run through the canyon was shut down for maintenance. Most of the time the trains we saw were way over across the river. Oh well, there were a lot of trains running over there though.

Eventually we crossed into the Frazier River Canyon. This happens where the Thompson and Frazier Rivers meet at the town of Lytton. Here the scenery becomes even more dramatic. The scars of last years big fire were still quite evident though. The town itself was heavily damaged and there is still burned forest all around the area.


There is a spot in the Frazier River Canyon I really wanted to photograph. It’s called Cisco Bridges. This is a spot where the two railroads swap sides of the river. There are two very cool bridges that seem to cross one over the other. They don’t really, but from a distance the perspective creates this illusion. I’ve been there once before, but couldn’t remember the exact spot where my friends and I stopped.

So, there is this road that supposedly leads down to a good viewing location. Well maybe under the right circumstances. As we turned onto the road we were met by the railroad police. The officer asked what we were doing there. So, of course I was up-front with my plans and he seemed fine with me taking photos. However, he said it’s a criminal offense to trespass on railroad property. Well, unless you trespass it’s not possible to even see the bridges. And since I didn’t want to go to jail we just bagged the whole thing. I didn’t want to bore Karen by driving around until I found a good spot, so we just continued on.


We had planned to do a walk in the small town of Yale. Yes, yet another walk. The walk took us by the Yale Museum and historic site. Yale was a gold mining boom town back in the mid 1800s. It was also a camp town for the railroad workers who built the railroad through the canyon. It was fun to browse around the museum and learn something about the history of this part of BC. We also had a bit of excitement as we were walking along the river. We watched as a fisherman landed a giant Sturgeon onto his boat.

Tent city exhibit at the Yale Museum.

Tent city exhibit at the Yale Museum.

BFCA91E6-80BC-437F-BADB-5BA0CFA30917.jpegAlong the trail in Yale.

Along the trail in Yale.

Catching a large Sturgeon on the Frazier River.

Catching a large Sturgeon on the Frazier River.

Once we finished our our walk we headed back down the Highway to Harrison Hot Springs. We are spending the night at the Spring Villa Hotel. Yes I know, the name sounds kinda cheesey, but it’s really quite nice. We have a nice room on the second floor with a balcony overlooking the lake and the mountains. No, it’s not as plush as the Hot Springs Resort, but it’s clean and the room is nice. Oh, and it has a killer view.


Although we are both looking forward to getting home so we can rest, I hate to see our vacation come to an end. I’ve always liked southern British Columbia and it was nice to be able to explore places we’ve never been. So far my favorite spot was Revelstoke. Mainly because it’s just a pretty, down to earth little town. Friendly people, awesome scenery, and a relaxing atmosphere. There wasn’t anywhere I didn’t like, although it took a couple days to warm up to Penticton and Kamloops. It was the total chaos that greeted us in Penticton that really had me wondering.

Harrison Hot Springs is certainly a pretty place to spend our last evening. We had an amazing dinner at a German restaurant just down the street. Now we’re enjoying the sunset from our balcony. It’s a fitting end to a fun vacation. We’ll be home tomorrow evening and our trip will be over. Thanks for following along, it’s been fun sharing our adventures.

Jim and Karen

Posted by olytrains 04:20 Comments (0)

Trains At Last

Downtown Kamloops

Downtown Kamloops

Thursday, August 4th

You all are probably getting bored with the same old “we got up early and did a walk” thing. Hey, you’re not the one getting sore feet. Truth is though, there isn’t much of anything else to do early in the morning, except maybe sleep in. We were able to eat an actual sit down breakfast this morning. That was a nice change of pace.

The first thing on the adgenda this morning was visiting the Kamloops Heritage Railway. Oh, and how did you get there you’re probably wondering. We walked of course. As I think I mentioned yesterday, they can’t run there train anymore, but the exhibits were nice to see. They still have their 110 year old locomotive and it’s in pristine condition. We had a tour of the engine shed and got to climb up into the cab. They also have several cars open for the tour, both passenger and freight. It was certainly worth the admission.


Last night we checked the weather forecast as usual. The prediction was for thunder showers. When we left the hotel there was no sign that it might rain, but we packed our rain gear just in case. As we were waiting for the heritage railway to open the weather made a sudden change. The sky darkened, the wind picked up, and it began to sprinkle a little. As the wind grew stronger and the sky darker it was apparent that the forecast was correct. Just as we were heading into the exhibits the sky opened up and the thunder roared.


Maybe you’ve gathered by now that we’re the sort of travelers who like to leave the car parked and explore on foot when we can. Today we took a walking tour of downtown Kamloops, including some of the neighborhoods. We picked up a historic walking tour brochure at the museum and proceeded to walk our feet off. It was lots of fun though and we met several nice people along the way.

34C805ED-72AE-402C-9009-C9682DEBA469.jpegThe Plaza Hotel

The Plaza Hotel


After a quick nap in the afternoon we went in search of trains. There is a real cool foot bridge that crosses over the tracks from downtown over to Riverfront Park. It turned out to be an awesome train watching spot. Karen got tired of waiting for a train, so she went back to the hotel. I have enough experience train watching to know it’s a lot like fishing. Wait, wait, wait and eventually you’ll get some action. After maybe half an hour I was rewarded with three trains. Two of them the longest trains I’ve ever seen, passing right under my feet. Pretty cool.

Passing Train

Passing Train


So Kamloops is a fairly nice little city. It suffers from many of the same ills we see at home, but I guess it’s just the times we live in. There seem to be a lot of homeless living on the streets and I wonder how they survive the winters here. Maybe it’s safer than trying to survive in cities like Vancouver?

We’ll,that’s about it for today. It was a good day and we talked to some really interesting people along the way. Tomorrow we’re traveling down the Frazier River Canyon. We’ll be staying in Harrison Hot Springs for our last night in Canada.


Posted by olytrains 04:10 Comments (0)

Heading West


Wednesday, August 3rd

It was sad to be leaving Revelstoke this morning. I really like almost everything about this nice little town. I’m thinking the winters must be pretty cold and white there though.

We backtracked down Canada 1 and just kept going. We made a stop at Salmon Arm to do another walk and have lunch. Wow, has this little town changed since I was here last. There is a whole new downtown area on the lake side of highway 1. It’s mostly shiny new and vibrant. Cool shops and great eateries.

Our walk started at the Salmon Arm Marine Park and took us through the Nature Bay Wildlife Refuge. Even under overcast skies the views were amazing. Oh, and the trail is parallel and only a few feet from the Canadian Pacific main tracks. How awful! There were no less than five trains rumbling by while we were on the trail.

48856F62-0509-45B0-843D-6E599944A20C.jpegSalmon Arm Waterfront Park.

Salmon Arm Waterfront Park.


After our brisk 5 km walk we were both hungry for lunch. We found a nice little place called the Shuswap Pie Company. This same location was just weeds and gravel last time I was there. The food was yummy and eating out on the deck was nice. The temp was quite warm and it was sprinkling lightly. It felt sooooo good.


Back on the road again we made good time to Kamloops. We were able to pretty much just drive straight to our hotel. The Plaza Hotel is an old hotel in the middle of Kamloops. I chose it because it’s close to everything. Everything meaning the walk starting point and the Kamloops Heritage steam train.

Alas, I found out after we began our trip that the train no longer runs. Instead we’ll take a guided tour of the museum and shops. It’s a real let down, but that’s the way things go sometimes. We did our walk this evening, but we’ll do it again in the morning. The weather forecast for tomorrow is cool with thunder showers, so we’ll see about walking in the morning.


Unfortunately I booked two nights here. I’m really not sure what we’ll do tomorrow afternoon. There doesn’t seem to be much here. We’ll have to figure something out.

Stay tuned to see what tomorrow brings,


Posted by olytrains 03:22 Comments (0)

To The Mountains


View along the KVR

View along the KVR

Tuesday, August 2nd

Today we traveled north to Revelstoke. At 1,500’ it’s not that far above sea level, but it’s surrounded by majestic, snow covered peaks. It’s absolutely beautiful here. The town itself is a throwback to the 1920s. The downtown has changed very little from the bygone era. Revelstoke is also a railroad town. The Canadian Pacific has what they call a Division Point here. It boils down to lots of train action. There is also a very nice railroad museum here as well.


Backing up a bit, this morning before we left Penticton we did one more 5 km walk on the KVR trail. Basically the second half of the 10 km walk. We walked out the trail 2.5 km and back. The skies had cleared, the sun was shining brightly, and it was still relatively cool. A fitting farewell to good old Penticton. I’m afraid my first assessment was rather harsh. Once the rowdy Holliday crowds had left the whole town seemed to get back to its normal self. So, on second thought, I think I like Penticton after all.


Anyway, we got back on the road around 11:00. We fueled up before leaving and paid an eye popping $2.12 per liter for premium. A liter is slightly over a quart (1.05 quart a). The Mini took about 33 liters, so Ouch!

It was a beautiful drive, even though it took about 45 minutes to get through Kelowna (wow there was lots of traffic). Anyway, we weren’t in a hurry so it was all good. Once through Kelowna we sailed right along. The closer to the mountains we got the cooler it got, go figure.

Our first stop was the Revelstoke Railway Museum. It’s not a huge museum, but very well done. Indoors they have a passenger car and a steam locomotive on display. I might add, it’s a very big steam locomotive, much bigger than the one that pulled the Kettle Valley train. Then we checked into,our motel. What a treat, it’s very clean and had everything you’d want.


After a rest, we headed out for the 5 km walk around Revelstoke. The temperature was just a bit warm, but nothing like we had been walking in. As we got down by the Columbia River we were swarmed by mosquitos. Luckily I had packed some repellent In my back pack, so we didn’t get eaten alive. It’s pretty cool that the Columbia is still a big river this far north. It has a much different character though, running through this incredibly mountainous country.


We finished our walk downtown in the early evening. We stopped at a little shop and got ice cream and then went down to the center of town for a live concert. It’s kinda like our concert in the park, except it’s every night during the summer. They block off Main Street ( actually McKenzie Street), set up chairs, and there is food served everywhere. It’s a huge block party. What fun!


Now we’re back at the motel for the night to rest up from all the excitement. So, I’m going to try to up-load some pictures and we’ll just have to see what happens. There may be pictures, there may not be pictures.

Tomorrow we’ll be in Kamloops. Sounds like a breakfast cereal doesn’t it? I’ll let you know what we find there.


Posted by olytrains 05:24 Comments (0)

Happy British Columbia Day!

Rotary Marshes Conservation Area.

Rotary Marshes Conservation Area.

Monday, August 1st

I’ll start todays post with some sad news. Travelers Point is becoming so difficult to work with that I can no longer up-load my photos to the site. Well, not the photos I wanted anyway. Todays selection of photos are the ones they’d let me up-load, not the ones I would have preferred. Each night it has taken nearly an hour to get the photos into my blog post. I’ll just have to cut back on what I can post I guess. OK, end of rant,

This morning started off with a nice Americano from the little food trailer over by the steamship. Sorry, no picture. While we waited for my coffee I strolled around the other marine exhibits and enjoyed the cool morning air.

After a Cinnamon roll and cup of coffee we drove up to Summerland, the home of the Kettle Valley Steam Railway. Fortunately we had booked tickets the night before as the train was fully booked when we arrived. This is when we discovered why everything has been so crowded all weekend. Today (August 1st is BC Day). It’s a Provincial Holliday. In fact a four day weekend for most people in BC. Somehow we keep running into these sorts of holidays and events almost everywhere we go.


Anyway, the train ride was great and very relaxing. We sat across from a young man from Edmonton, the people across from us were from Quebec, and there were another family from Calgary. Great fun!

After our train ride we drove to Kelowna to do a walk. Today it has cooled down quite a bit and is partly cloudy. A beautiful day for a walk. The walk started at a Kelowna City Park on Okanagan Lake. It’s a very large park with swimming beaches and a promenade that passes many hotels and the yacht club. Very clean and modern with lots of amenities.


We really enjoyed our walk along yet another part of the lake. For lunch/dinner we stopped along the walk at Carlos O’Bryan’s Irish Pub. It was so much fun and our waiter was actually from Donegal and talked with a thick Irish accent. I had the best pint of Guinness that I’ve had since being in Ireland. Oh, the food was good too.

After we ate it was just a short walk to the finish and our Mini. It was just a 45 minute drive back to Penticton. As we got closer to Penticton we could see the smoke spread out across the sky above town. There is the faint smell of the wildfire burning just across the mountains in the next valley.

Tomorrow we move on to Revelstoke. It’ll be quite a change from the heat of the Okanagan Valley. I’m looking forward to the forest, mountains, and the Columbia River.

Until then,


Posted by olytrains 04:49 Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 9) Page [1] 2 »