When given the choice between making a harrowing journey across majestic lands and being pampered with unlimited food and drink, most elderly travelers would prefer to travel well fed.
That’s the approach that seems to govern operations of the scenic Rocky Mountaineer train across Western Canada. We took the train from Vancouver to Jasper by way of Kamloops last summer. This was part of a leisurely excursion along what we call the Northwest Loop.
We flew into Portland, traveled by car to Seattle, by light rail to Vancouver, by Rocky Mountaineer train to Jasper, and by motor coach down the Ice Fields Parkway through the national parks of Western Canada to Lake Louise and Banff. We even flew by helicopter above the valley east of Banff and went on to Calgary by motor coach, drove down to Glacier National Park in Montana and back to Portland. The entire trip was 3,300 miles.
The trip makes its way through some of the most rugged terrain in North America. For the Rocky Mountaineer, the key was comfort. Our choice was called the Journey Through the Clouds.
It was a two-day journey that began in Vancouver, British Columbia. We thought that two days on the train would not be enough, but we didn’t realize how they would pamper us and how much wonderful scenery we would see.
We were on the train about eight hours each day, and the food service started with a light snack and then breakfast soon after getting underway. The wait staff opened the bar at mid-morning, followed by lunch at noon time. Cocktail hour continued well into the afternoon and food service ended with a snack at day’s end.
Between meals, we were able to get up, move around and take photos of all that beauty. The first day, we traversed the relative lowlands of British Columbia, while on the second day we journeyed “into the clouds” of Alberta.
Some of the food on the journey was chef-produced right there on the train, while other dishes were prepared in advance. All of it was quality fare delivered by experienced servers.
After two days of great food and drink, I was ready for a salad.
For more on train travel and other adventures in Canada and the Pacific Northwest, contact your travel professional or Rocky Mountaineer.