Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 14 (Aug 12) – Kamloops, BC

The Best Western we are staying at has breakfast, which makes that very easy.
Once we were dressed and ready our first stop of the day was to see some train history... or should I say more train history. But we weren't quite sure what would be open or what was even at the Heritage park train area. We found the place, which is a challenge in itself and as we approached I started to think all we would see was a ticket booth for a train excursion we weren't going to go on. But I was wrong.
One of the guys in the booth asked how he could help and I said we were hoping to see some trains. He said he could show us some, yeah! So after we paid a small fee for the tour (have to make it all official), we headed out with our guide (whose name I never got, sorry) across the parking lot and the train tracks to the shop. It was just the four of us with him and he was great with the kids. He told us the history of the depot here in Kamloops (please don't ask me, I have forgotten already) and that it's one of the two places in Canada that CN (Canadian National) and CP (Canadian Pacific) share tracks and can move cars back and forth (ok, I remember a little).
He was a little surprised by how much our train loving boy knew and that he was already a little familiar with the steam engine we were about to see.
So we crossed the track and were taken into the shop where they work on the huge engine. We were even allowed to climb up into the cab and look around.
All of this is amazing. This engine was going to be in use this evening and was going to start prep in a bit. But there we are up in the cab looking around. Of course it wasn't until we came down that I asked if I could take pictures :)
also known as The Spirit of Kamloops

open air passenger car
Another tidbit for you, it take this engine 6 hours to come up to full steam power...... so since it was going to be taking passengers on an excursion at 7:30 pm tonight, they would start her up about 1:30 pm and begin prep and checks even before that. We were there about 11:30 am, so much later and we might not have been able to see all this up close.
We also got to walk through the passenger cars they use.
The guide was awesome and we all had a great time. This was well worth the time/money.

The next stop of our day was the BC Wildlife Park. The closest thing to a zoo we had seen on this trip.
And we had heard they had two orphaned grizzly cubs. So the plan was animals and find lunch....not necessarily in that order.
duck and geese pond.... the landscape in Kamloops is quite different
Looked like a dandelion, but was the size of my fist
We peaked a bit around the park and spotted the mini train, so after a quick loop about the park on the train, we ate. 
Grizzly bear cub
Zoo train

After lunch we got a bit more serious about seeing the animals. But the heat was getting to us all. Luckily it isn't a very big place and after a few hours in the sun we had seen it all. Back to shade and A/C – yes we know, we are wimps ;)

Dinner tonight was at Eastside Mario's.
view of Kamloops
Then back to the hotel. We had thought about a swim but our little lady is taking her turn at not feeling 100% so we choose to rest up instead.
Tomorrow we head to Harrison Hot Springs.  

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