Stories

Stories and pictures about our travels, our photography and the outdoors.

 

Trippin' on trains

You would think on a camping trip you would get away from trains. Most National Parks in the US are not exactly on the mainline. Canada is different, and its not just hockey, weird football, and the whole French vs English thing. Some of their biggest, most beautiful national parks lie astride main east/west rail lines. We camped near Wells Gray park – heard trains. We camped near Revelstoke - heard trains. Camped at Jasper – heard trains. Camped at Kootnay - heard trains. But the ultimate experience is camping at Lake Louise. The campground is so close to the mainline Canadian Pacific track a Canadian Football quarterback could hit a locomotive with a pass from inside the campground. Our site was less than 150 metres (that’s about 164 yards for you Yankees) off the track. The first night we had 6 trains go by between dark and the time we finally collapsed into oblivion. They were so frequent and so long (average freight train over 110 cars) that I found myself becoming almost lulled by them like the ancient Greeks and the Sirens. Thrumm-Thrumm-Thrumm-Whoo-whoo-screee-thrumm-scree-thrum-thrumm-screeee-thrum-screee-whoo-woo-whoooooo-thruumm-screech-thrum-thrum. Yep. Best Canadian idea ever – put your campground full of foreign tourists right next to the loudest engineering accomplishment in the country so they can fully appreciate the accomplishment. But I have to admit (along with a whole bunch of German tourists) the 280-degree tunnels are really cool. And they aren’t next to the campground, although it would have been quieter.

 

Train crosses the Big Hill through one of two 280 degree tunnels on the Canadian Pacific railroad