Monday

[travel] Kamloops to Banff

Well, last week a cold that had been going around caught up to me and I spent two days in bed. I am very thankful to have not gotten sick during the Canada trip.

Our 2nd day on the train was also the last day. You may think 2 days on a train isn't that long but they were looooong days. The train car was roomy, you could get up whenever you wanted and go out to the viewing platform but still. It was a long day when we rolled into Banff.

From Kamloops, we left the dry hills and finally reached the Rockies in the late afternoon.

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It was dark by the time we rolled into the Banff station, after a stop at Lake Louise to unload several passengers. We all fell into bed exhausted.

Tuesday

[travel] Vancouver to Kamloops

On Tuesday we boarded the Rocky Mountaineer for the first day of travel. It was an extra-special journey called the Train of Heroes with a special welcome ceremony for organ donors and recipients. The train was longer than normal- two engines and more than 20 cars. The train was going to split into two shorter lengths at Kamloops overnight, with half the group going up to Jasper and the other half (our half) going on to Banff the next day.

Our car was awesome- so spacious and since the car wasn't full, my mom, sister and I were able to have a whole row each. We had three hosts in our car that kept us fed, watered and informed on each area we went through.

Leaving Vancouver, the Frasier Valley was very fertile and great for agriculture:

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So, all those white UFOs in some of my pictures are a reflection of the overhead lights inside the train car. There was no way to really avoid them when taking pictures inside the car. There was an opening between the cars when you could go for better pictures.

Heading east-north-east through the Cascade Range:

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A view of the inside of our car:

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As we approached Kamloops, the terrain started to get a bit drier. We would often see other freight trains on the other side of rivers or we'd have to pull over and wait for other trains that used the same tracks as us to pass by. It's kind of scary to think of two trains on the same track, heading straight for one another (especially if you're riding inside one of those trains) but scheduling/timing seemed to work out well. I think the longest we had to wait, completely stopped, was 30 - 40 minutes.

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Looking back on our looooooong train:

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We arrived at Kamloops Lake as the sun was starting to set:

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It was a long day on the train but enjoyable and the time passed quickly. 

Monday

[travel] Vancouver

Last week I went on vacation with my mom and sister to western Canada. The trip started in Vancouver and we took a train eastward to Banff. From there, we had a few excursions via coach and finally ended in Calgary.

The first full day in Vancouver, we went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge:

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I have to say, I was pretty relieved when I saw how nice and wide and sturdy the bridge was. It was still wiggly, for sure, but I was expecting something like this or even this

The only downside was that it was pretty busy. You had to march across the bridge and not stop for fear of holding the line up.

There was a lot to explore in the park other than just the bridge. 

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There were lots of bridges and paths up in the trees:

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Overall, this place looked a lot like Endor:

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It was just missing Ewoks.

More pictures to come the rest of the week.

Tuesday

[misc] Rocky Rabbit

We have a new house guest, Rocky:

House guest for a little while. The cats haven't been introduced yet.

Not sure how long he's going to be staying with us. He came from a multi-cat house, so while he's used to being with cats our cats are not thrilled. Santana doesn't really want to be in the same room with him. Murderface watches from a distance, scowling and hissing. Penny is curious:

Penny meets Rocky

He doesn't like the wood floors because it's slippery. I got a few rugs to put down, so he could roam a bit more:

Rocky

He's cool. Maybe a little standoffish but he's still getting used to the place. He started exploring the living room more last night, so I think I might have to start rabbit-proofing things like baskets and wires.

Wednesday

[knitting] Aphasia

Finished a green beaded shawl:

Aphasia


Pattern: Aphasia (rav link)

Yarn: Bristol Yarn Gallery Buckingham, 4 skeins

Needles: US 4

Extra: beads

Aphasia

I made the shawl size. I think I would have preferred this to be slightly narrower and longer. Rather than initially working the set-up chart 8 times before the beaded section, cast on only enough stitched to work the set-up chart 6 times. 

The beads were easy to add with a tiny-headed crochet hook. And it kept this project from being boring.

Aphasia

Working on finishing up a couple hats now. Trying to stockpile new accessories to wear this winter.

Tuesday

[vermont] Rock of Ages

Saturday we made a day trip to visit the Rock of Ages quarry in Barre, VT.

Rock of Ages

We timed it well so that we arrived at the visitor center 5 minutes before the tour was leaving. We got onto a school bus with about a dozen other people. We took a bumpy ride up to  one of the quarries and a viewing ledge.

The tour guide was really informative and it was really interesting seeing how the granite is mined from the quarry. 

Rock of Ages

Since we were there during the weekend, no one was working but all the tools and machines were pointed out and their functions described. It might seem like a boring thing to go see but it was really cool. Highly recommend if you're in the area. 

After to tour, we went down into Barre for lunch at the Cornerstone Pub and Kitchen. This place has a great beer selection, including Header Topper in cans.