Mo & Terry Smedley


A Unique North Country Rail Tour
Port Angeles to Prince Rupert

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We left Port Angeles late Thursday afternoon on the Coho ferry.  We had clear skies for our arrival into Victoria's Inner Harbour. After spending the night at the Carlton Plaza, we walked to Victoria's VIA station, just a few blocks away. VIA's Malahat Dayliner makes a "coffee stop" at Nanaimo. Mo and me at Nanaimo, with Budd RDC 6135.
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There was quite a crowd when we arrived at the  Courtenay station.  The Malahat Dayliner continues to soldier on even after numerous cancellation threats. Our charter coach to Port Hardy met us at Courtenay.  We stopped for a snack break at the Cable House near Sayward.  The building is really built from wire rope.  See more pictures here. A quick stop at CanFor's camp at Woss allowed us to explore the still-operating logging railroad facilities there.  The camp looks much like Rayonier's Crane Creek camp before the railroad was torn out. Mom and Mo at Woss camp.
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The logging railroad runs from Woss camp to Beaver Cove.  Here is a loader all set to dump a load of logs to make up a boom. Splash!  The load tumbles down the chute into Beaver Cove. At Port Hardy, we found Mo's restaurant (although we didn't eat there). BC Ferries operates daylight Inside Passage service from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert using the "Queen of the North" - which feels much more like a cruise ship than a ferry.
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This is taken just outside of our stateroom.  The trip is all daylight, so you don't really need a stateroom, but I wanted a place to be horizontal for at least a few minutes during the 14 hour cruise! As we start our journey up the Inside Passage, we were greeted by gray skies and rain. As the day progressed, the cloud cover weakened and was eventually replaced with sunny, blue skies. How does this picture compare with one we took on an Alaska cruise with Mom & Dad in 1984?  Click here to find out.
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Click here for another comparison with 1984.   Mo found a quiet, warm place to read her book. The "Queen of the North" sails right along at about 20 knots.
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We paused for about ten minutes to allow this cruise ship (Holland America's  Statendam) to exit a narrow passage before we entered. Meal service on the ferry was great - three buffet meals, with a pretty nice selection of desserts (as Mo shows off).   This lighthouse is the subject of a Robert Bateman painting.  Looks lovely on a day like today - I bet there are plenty of days where this isn't a very pleasant place to be!
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  Some horizontal time in the stateroom after dinner. An "almost full" moon over the wake. After dinner, listening to a guitarist playing in the lounge.
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The moon rises over Prince Rupert as we arrive about 10 PM. This was taken from our Prince Rupert hotel room, about 6 AM on Sunday morning. With a little light now available, I showed Mo where I had spent a couple of trips to Prince Rupert when Rayonier had an office here.  You can see pictures of a trip that Dad and I made to Prince Rupert in 2002 here. VIA's regularly scheduled Skeena train no longer departs from this, the original Prince Rupert station.  We got "full mileage" out of our charter, and were able to depart from the old downtown station.

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