RAIL-RIDING THRU CANADA’S ROCKIES

Tuesday & Wednesday September 16 & 17  

Oh boy! We’ve just had the two most fantastic days imaginable! We’ve been riding the luxury Rocky Mountaineer scenic train, enjoying a stunning rail adventure that’s taken us all the way from Vancouver on the west coast up-up-up into the spectacular Canadian Rockies. 

We’ve seen lush green forests … and winding river canyons … and desert-like highlands … and mirror-like lakes … and gushing, frothy rapids … and high mountain passes … and hold-your-breath tunnels … and teetering snow-capped peaks. We’ve rock’n’rolled through places with names like the Cascade Mountains, Hell’s Gate, the Spiral Tunnels, and Kicking Horse Canyon. 

We’ve had a feast – no, a total OVERLOAD – of gorgeous, natural, world-class views. We’ve even spotted some of the local wildlife – elk, deer, coyotes, bald eagles, and a couple of big black bears (one of which was on the train tracks and very nearly got run over). And I’ve gotta tell you: it’s been a better-than-expected, impossible-to-fully-describe, BLAST! 

We’ve been fed and watered and waited on hand-&-foot, and have had more fun than we’re legally entitled to. We stopped last night in the town of Kamloops (in the heart of British Columbia) where we were treated to a lively Two River Junction Dinner & Show before heading to our hotel beds. And tonight we’re in the resort town of Banff (Alberta) – where we’ve just enjoyed a beef-steak dinner at The Keg. 

It’s now midnight, and we’re pooped. (How come being pampered on a luxury train and pointing our cameras out the window is so tiring?) Although we’re no longer on the train, we’re still rocking’n’rolling (the weirdest feeling). Our mad midlifers have all hit the sack – and, if you don’t mind, I’m gonna do the same. 

Goodnight everybody … 

TOMORROW: We’ll travel by coach to the cowboy-town of Calgary for our longish flight across Canada to Montreal – where our second cruise (on the lovely Maasdam) awaits us. Yeehaa! 

Yours bloggedly – JOHN 

P.S. If you want to leave a message for someone in our group, just click on ‘COMMENTS’ (or ‘NO COMMENTS’) under the title for the day’s blog, and type away! Make sure you say who it’s for and who it’s from – and don’t worry: we’ll make sure they get these messages. Also, if you want a better look at our route map and some of the photos here, just click on them and they’ll enlarge – magic!

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About John Cooney

John Cooney and his wife Robyn have enjoyed more than their fair share of travel. They hesitate to call themselves ‘experts’ – but they’ve grabbed every chance that’s come their way to explore new countries, cultures and customs. They’ve had the privilege (both on their own and as the leaders of numerous successful group-tours) to sample many stunning destinations: Europe, the UK, Singapore, Vanuatu, the USA, Israel, Egypt, Africa, Dubai, China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. And their recent (and most pleasant) memories are of the places ancient-and-modern that border the Mediterranean. John and Robyn are at-home in airports, hotels, cruise ships, and the like … and they know how to make the most of a unique travel opportunity. Travel, they reckon, is an all-five-senses experience – a chance to see, feel, smell, hear and taste the world. And they’ve done it often enough to know for sure: sightseeing with a group of laid-back Kiwis is DOUBLE the fun – lots of laughs, great company, and memories that last forever!

24 thoughts on “RAIL-RIDING THRU CANADA’S ROCKIES

  1. Message for Grannie Annie (aka Anne Shore)
    Wow the trip so far looks like a blast, I can get with the 5.00am starts only ‘cos that’s the way the kids have been these last few days.
    Matthew came 4th in his school x-country run so was pretty stoked – and Caitlin is grotty with some sort of virus.
    I’ll bugger off to Budapest on Saturday and leave Maria to cope.
    Keep on having fun…!
    In case you haven’t heard from fellow travellers the first netball test went Aust 53 – NZ 51. So Ruth Aitken has been copping it today for needless experimenting without letting the team settle…
    Love from all of us here.

  2. Hi J & R … Thanks for the txt last night Robbly .. good to hear from you. Sorry about J’s leg 😦 … to put your mind at ease .. mine is (if J’s was a 9/10 in seriousness) 3/10 .. but have torn the calf muscle apparently. Am waiting for swelling to subside and then off for a bit of Physio I guess. Tell J I can now commiserate with feeling (ha ha .. not that I was totally unfeeling before) Life is sweet here … Warriors play again tonight after winning an unprecedented semis game against the Storm last week. Warriors being the bottom of the table and Storms being the top. Never happened before that the bottom team beat the top in the semi’s. That was an away game too .. tonight is here in Auck. Apparently the tickets sold out in literally minutes. Off to Whanga tonight .. am a speaker at a Womens conference tomorrow .. should be fun. Hey love to Sha & June & Ivan and you two of course. Until next episode .. Massive hugz from me xx

  3. Hi Karen and Rodger, your trip seems to get better al the time, bet you loved the Butchart Gardens and Victoria and aren`t the Rockies awesome?
    Thank you for your Postcard which arrived today
    I watered your pots and it rained yesterday so the rest of the garden is ok. Love Pat and John xxoo

  4. Hi Jon and Bron,
    Great to be able to keep track of what you guys are up to. I keep a watch out for one of you to win one of the ‘awards’. Sounds like you are seeing some amazing stuff. I can only imagine the ooh’s and aah’s going on. Can’t wait to hear all your stories.
    We are all well – bubs is starting to kick lots which is fun. I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Lots of love Sarah & Luke +1

  5. Hej Mum, ( Anne Shore )
    I see that you have recieved a couple of greetings from your international family. We see that you are all having a wail of a time, like we knew you would. The netballers may have lost , but we won the Stockholm 10`s (for the third year running ) and the Copenhagen 7`s.
    This weekend we open another sales office for Iveco in Jönköping, so will be working sat. and sun. We´re in the last hectic weeks of racing and as usual they can´t keep them on the track, I´ve got three Porsches in need of major repairs,. Saw Alan´s note; on his way to budapest; we won´t be seeing him this time round. Apparently he´ll be up this way again early Dec. and Lisa will come across from England. Take plenty of pics. and remember , you can´t fly on one wing . love from us in Sweden.

  6. Rebecc & Meliss – glad Mum & Dad got to Venice. Pity about weather. Vancouver weather glorious Hope to see bears from train sometime today. Keep the emails coming. Auntie Pam

  7. To Pam Strong family. Wow this gets better and better. Spectacular scenery on Rocky Mountaineer train. Saw bear, deer and elk. Surprise bonus went to Lake Louise – awesome!!! Flew ins smaqll plane to Montreal – huge city – going on city tour now. Sounds like Barb & Pete are seeing the sights – hope all is well. How is grandma? Love Pam

  8. Hello Jeanette – letter received – many thanks. Email correct but thinggs erratic at this end somehow. Short messages acceptable on blog address and will be handed on. All’s well having a great time. Mum

  9. Hi everyone. We loved our time in Vancouver – our two days in the Rockies were awesome – so picturesque. Saw bear,deer and elk – had to be real fast with clicking the camera. Hugs to everyone – Maureen & Kevin

  10. Hi Grandma(Monica Lunny)
    Hope you are having a nice time away. I love the picture of the humpback whale tail. I am going to take it to school. We read about you winning the money at the pokies. Did you really get buried in coins?!?

    See you soon,

    Oliver and Callum Michie

  11. Hey Nana Margaret (Margaret Birtles). How are you doing. We are doing great. katie is missing you. Hope you are enjoying you holiday a lot. We went to the snow with Annalise, Kristina, Connor, Shannon and Dannielle and had lots of fun. We had a snowball fight and one snowball went down dads pants!! Josh is looking forward to his birthday and having a go at karting. Loved all the photos. See you soon!

  12. To Floyd Family:
    Thanks Sal for your latest message. Great flight from Calgary yesterday, and beautiful day in Montreal today. All is well. Nan & Poppa (Pam & Colin Belcher)

  13. To Jim and Glenise Burge
    Oh , now this looks like my kind of holiday. As you know I love trains:-)

    We have all had colds:-/ But almost recovered now. Gran is well. We went to see Nana yesterday when I was sure that we were not going to give everyone in the resthome a horrible bug. They have moved her to the hospital wing. She is very unsteady walking. She hugged Tim and cooed at Ruth. We had to extract Tim from her when it was time to leave, but Tim took it all in his stride!
    Love Burge clan

  14. To Murray & Joy Jenkins
    It looks like you two are having a wonderful time. All good here. The builders have made a start and have cut-away all three foundations.
    Have been taking photos so will have something to show you when you get back. Was that Dad who got the award “coming or going”?
    Enjoy the second phase of the trip.
    Love Lindsay & Louise

  15. G’day Dave, Clare & Bev,

    What a great start to your trip, I checked out the Hotel you stayed at in SF. It looks awesome what an interesting style of Hotel. I hope you all enjoyed it. I’ve been reading the Blog of the Tours trip through Alaska and the Rockies, it brings back memories of my trips to Canada. I’m looking forward to the progress of the next leg of your Tour. The Warriors beat the Roosters last night (19th Sept) and the Netball second game is tonight (20th Sept). If you get a moment drop a line it would be great to hear from you. Remember while on the Cruise…watch the food intake and don’t use the lift’s…walk!! That food is soooo tempting. Until next time Cheers, Marg G

  16. Pam and Colin, sounds like you are having a great time. I hope you are taking plnty of pictures. The girls are missing you and looking forward to seeing you when you return. Colin I thought it was beholding of me to inform you of the Ranfurly Shield result this evening. Wellington were playing Auckland and the score was 27-0 and as a consequence the shield is heading south. The Warriors also had a good win last night and beat the Roosters 30-13. They play Manly next week and if they win they are in the Final. Taranaki beat Otago so I have had a pretty good weekend!!.
    All the best to you both, Hugh

  17. Hey Nana (Anne Shore)
    The trip looks amazing, you must be having the time of your life!! I have another sports update for you too, the Warriors beat the Roosters 30-13, so they are in the semis and play Manly for a place in the final, what a season aye! Well its a magnificant day here in cambridge and I hdon’t have to work either which means i can enjoy the sunshine. I had my first netball game a couple of weekends ago, really enjoying being back on the court and the clubs fantastic. I’m off to Budapest on the 4th October for 5 days, then Rosie comes over from NZ for a visit.
    Happy travels,
    Lots of Love Lisa Loo

  18. Hi Karen and Rodger, just to let you know the Ferns beat Australia by 7 points and Wellington beat Auckland 27-0 for the Ranfurly shield
    Canterbury beat Bay of Plenty for the Air New Zealand cup.
    All well here, Jan and Hugh called in yesterday they were here to do their garden Lawns etc, Miss you Love Pat and John xx

  19. Hi Jean and Greg Travers, Just checked in to the BLOG again to share in some more of your adventures. It all sounds fantastic. This time I was able to do a bit of ‘been there, seen that’, which was quite satisfactory for a generally much less travelled cuzzie! Just love that part of the world.
    Keep on enjoying it all. Love, Anne

  20. Murray and Joy, Hi Mum and Dad. I’v been reading the blog everyday and your trip sounds great. We getting through the lambing, the weather hasnt been great. Blue came home on Friday, he didnt start at Timaru a fortnight ago. Rach played Otago on rugby park yeasterday and unfortunatly they lost 32 -5. Davids team played Norht Otago and Southland won 57 -7. Anyway I hope you get this message as I’v tried to sent two others but they failed to send for some reason. Have a great second half of you trip. Love The Ninds

  21. Hello J&R. Have finally checked your blog to see how your trip is going! Sounds like it’s going well except what’s this about J’s leg? Will find out from the Kerks.
    Donald broke his foot so Bertie is on his own for 6 weeks or so. Going like the clappers to keep up! Thanks for your email. I walked past your house yesterday. All looks well there.
    Lots of love from the Berts

  22. To Margaret & Eric Parr,

    Hi Mum & Dad, We love the blog, it’s so good to read about your adventures, almost feel like I’m right there. We’re all doing ok, half of us have battled (Macsen still battling) an awful headachy virus that makes one rather unwell for nearly 5 days. I’ve spent the better part of the past 2 nights up with Macsen in immense pain (not fair for a poor wee 4yr old), fingers crossed other 3 don’t get it also. Kids basketball and soccer seasons ended this week (what a relief !!). Soccer prize-giving was yesterday, both Campbell & Emma were awarded Most Improved Player within their teams, awesome achievement, esp for Emma. Last week of school term this week, planning Keegan’s birthday for next week. We trust you are both well and enjoyng the sights and company of your tours/cruises. Have received 2 postcards to date, thanks so much.

    Lots of love Rachel & family.

  23. To Anne Shore
    Hi Mum, I’ve really enjoyed following your adventures via Johns blog. He is very descriptive, and makes me want to be there too. Although could do without those early morning wake up calls!! Whats even better is reading our families emails – the internationals!!Another sport undate Silver Ferns won 2nd test 38-31, and Auckland lost shield to Wgtn we didn’t even get a score on the board. Scott doing well in his new job, Gemma in a full leg brace after dislocating her knee, Nicole did her Rangitoto hike and overnight stay at Mototapu for training for Duke of Ed and survived to tell the story. Her and Sam are definate ball kids for Fifa world cup. Laundry/bathroom nearly finished, and thats about all the news, except Dylan and Zion missed you not being at zoo for birthday. love Chris

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