Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Day 5 - Exploring Kamloops

Today was a day for exploring Kamloops, a city of about 86000 people, 50 percent of whom are female who insist on wearing tiny shorts to reveal pearly white legs. In fact that goes for all we've seen of Canada so far... It is warm - it got to around 24 degrees today.

No touristy stuff today, it was all about the trains (that is why we're here...)
Kamloops is split by the Thompson river, and so are the the two major railroads - CN being on the north side and CP on the south. There aren't that many bridges linking the two halves and the city is very spread out, so it takes a while to get from one spot to another.

Today we mainly focused on the Canadian National - with varying degrees of luck. What made things annoying is that while you are sitting at one place waiting for a train to go through, you can see the other line across the lake as well as any trains on it. There's no way you can shoot across to photograph it, so you just have to grin and bare it. This afternoon, for the three trains we saw on the CN, we could see 5 over on the CP. Once again, we saw the Rocky Mountaineer - fluke.

Sods law says that if you sit at one place for over an hour and nothing happens, as soon as you leave, something will turn up. Sod was working overtime today, although on most occasions we could do a quick u-turn and catch the approaching train.

CN grain train through Tranquille. As can be seen, Kamloops is severely lacking in trees - it looks more like the Mojave desert. There's plenty of grass and the place is starting to green up a bit. The large black signs are illuminated arrows - so you don't go careening off the road into railfans.

I opted for getting good video shots today instead of trying to get both video and stills as the scenery was pretty cool - as per below:

Kissec - west of Kamloops on the northern side. CN tracks - one passes through a cut, the other a tunnel. Around the corner they meet into a single track. The guys took a walk along a 'public' dirt road to get to the tunnel, climbed the hill and took in the view. Lake Kamloops, which is fed by the Thompson River. I found this location one day before leaving Auckland. The yellow plants are Canola, however in the paddock i was in, I was surrounded by sage brush, tussock and cactus, of all things. I couldn't sit down anywhere.

So all that really happened was drive to a location, wait for a train or two, then go to another location etc. It sounds simple, but the heat and the boredom of not seeing anything for over 2 hours can be frustrating.

Our last spot was on the CP west of the city where a Sulphur train had been parked up and shut down. There was no-one around, so why not? This helps to get a scale of things:

The three stooges pose with CP 9641, an AC44CW. It was totally shut down and there was nothing or no-one to be seen for miles.

Not a bad day with 9 trains filmed all up.

A&W for lunch, Mongolian for dinner again. The hotel manager is an ex-Aussie of Indian decent. When he asked where were our wives, the general reply was "we left them at home". He thought that was awesome.

Tomorrow we drive to Revelstoke.

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