Mo & Terry Smedley


A Unique North Country Rail Tour
Whistler to Squamish and return to Port Angeles

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  We spent Wednesday night at Whistler.  Everywhere you look, you see new construction in anticipation of the 2010 Olympics hosted here. There's no longer a station at Whistler, so we pile out of the hotel vans along the gravel right-of-way. Dad meets up with conductor Roy before departing Whistler.
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Here's what's left of the Whistler station.   Click here to see what the station used to look like (in 2001). Railfans are shouting "Meeting the 4601....Meeting the 4601".  So I took a picture.  This is the specific unit after which one of the mini-rail units at Squamish is modeled. The top of Brandywine falls.  Look carefully, you can see where the top edge drops off. Click here to see how far these falls drop (216 feet).  Our tour manager was Dave Emmington, also onboard our 2001 system tour.  Dave is doing his daily souvenir ticket punch.  Standing next to Dave is Don Evans, president of the West Coast Railway Ass'n.
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Departing Whistler on Thursday morning, we pass through the Cheakamus canyon.  This area suffered numerous washouts the past winter.  There's plenty of evidence of major ballast reconstruction along the canyon. Heading down the Cheakamus Canyon. At the Cheakamus siding, the engine crew pleases everybody by putting the 4609 on the point for the ten miles or so into Squamish.  When the train pulls into Squamish to complete its journey, the 4609 looks magnificent up front.
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A First Nations group celebrates our arrival. Out at the Railway Heritage Park, one of the retired BCRail Budd cars has taken up residence where the Royal Hudson was on our last visit. Here's the mini-rail version of the 4601 at Squamish. Departing Squamish by bus, we go to the Tsawassen ferry terminal for the 90-minute run back to Victoria.
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We got to see at least two pods of Orcas (Killer Whales) on our ferry trip to Victoria.  Here you can clearly see five individuals. And what a treat - an Orca breaches just when I have the camera ready. Friday morning, bright sunshine greets us in Victoria as we walk to the Coho ferry terminal. We're back in Port Angeles now.  Everybody had a good trip.
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Nothing left to do now except drive home..... ...thank goodness Dad had jumper cables to get us started!   Here's a picture of Mo and me on that 1984 Alaska cruise.  Before I found this, I thought I was the only person who hadn't changed any in the last 20 years...

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