Smithers to Prince Rupert by Train

We were lucky enough to spend a few days touring a very beautiful part of Northern BC. Our plan was to fly into Smithers, spend a few days catching up with some of Susie’s family; her awesome sister Liz and her husband Bill, then take a train to Prince Rupert, enjoy some activities there and fly back to Vancouver.  In this post I’ll talk about the middle part of our trip –  from Smithers to Prince Rupert on the ‘Skeena’ train.

Skeena Train

The train runs from Jasper to Prince Rupert and back 3 times a week, stopping overnight in Prince George. From Smithers, it’s a scenic 6-hour ride to Prince Rupert. The route runs alongside the Skeena river through glacier-capped Coast Mountains and it is very picturesque. We opted for a “touring class” tickets which enabled us to sit in the Panorama car where we had sweeping views on both sides. We could also sit in the Park Car which is raised up higher and has a glass-domed roof for even more expansive views.

A complimentary meal is included in the touring class fare.  We chose the salmon and the halibut. The salmon was a bit dry so the halibut was the winner with the tomato sauce to keep it moist. Neither meal would be considered high-end but compared to most airplane meals I’ve had they were ok.

Dinner also came with a glass of wine which made everything ok 😉 Cheers.

Our two very funny and knowledgeable guides/servers kept most of the passengers well-informed and entertained. They showed us points of local interest which we may otherwise have missed like this miniature town at the side of the tracks.

And this petroglyph on the cliff face.

We sat on the left side of the train to get access to the riverside views but the train was not very full so we were easily able to move around and check out both sides. There are windows between the cars that can be opened right up. We leaned out for a few unique shots but I’d recommend being very careful doing it. It got pretty windy as well.

There were some long tunnels along the way.

Trains are fun and a bit of a different perspective than you’ll get from a car. You can see from the next photo how much higher up than the road we were. This was great for taking photos along the way to capture some of the views.

Here’s the view from the back of the train.

As we were moving through the Coastal Mountains towards the Ocean the weather was quite changeable, making the skies and light quite varied and interesting.

As we finally drew into Prince Rupert we were welcomed by an amazing sunset to end our long day of travel. So pretty!

Overall I’d say the price of the touring class ticket could be a bit steep for many people, but if you were only going to do the trip once, it’s a very comfortable way to travel and the bonus is most definitely the panoramic windows and the spectacular BC scenery which is not to be missed.

We really enjoyed the experience and would love to do the full journey from Jasper to Prince Rupert with Via Rail to see the Rockies as well.

The Story of Old Bags, New Tricks!

Old Bags, New Tricks…

What kind of name for a blog is that, I hear you ask? Well, here’s my story.

I left my home country, New Zealand, 20 years ago. My plan, like so many Kiwis, was to work abroad for 1-2 years, then travel for awhile before making my way home.

Life had other plans for me. I began my journey in Kyoto, Japan, and loved the lifestyle, the culture and the food (oishii!). One year turned quickly into 6 and I’m sure people wondered if I would settle there.  Then I met Susannah (Canadian, eh!) and my plans changed again.  I was smitten and of course thought nothing of moving across the world to Canada with her. Hey, I was still young!

14 years later, here we are, living and working as photographers and videographers in beautiful Vancouver BC.

I am now well into my 40s and Susannah is a few years older. Neither of us has followed a “normal” or “traditional” path in life. We have been self-employed for most of our time here. We don’t own a home and we don’t have kids. We live very much in the now.

Over the last few years, I think we have both felt the effects of society’s ageist attitude towards what life “should” be like for people of our age. I have also struggled with some recurring physical problems which have impacted our life (more about that later).

I have learned many things and I have much more to learn. But what constantly holds true for me is the saying “you are only as old as you feel”. My version of it is “you are only as old as you think!” The mind has great power.  For me that means it is never too late to challenge myself, to try new things and open my mind to new possibilities and experiences.

Old Bags, New Tricks is about rejecting negative attitudes towards aging. Susannah and I love life’s adventures and we try to find a positive in each experience. We’ll be sharing some of our lifestyle and the new and exciting experiences we have in this blog. We hope you will enjoy them with us.