Mo & Terry Smedley
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Prince Rupert & Ketchikan by land, sea, and air

The week of April 15, Dad & I traveled to Prince Rupert & Ketchikan.  Dad kept me company while I worked in Rayonier offices in both cities.  I started out in Centralia on Saturday, April 13, taking the Talgo to Seattle where I met up with Dad at King Street Station.  Our next leg took us by bus to Vancouver, B.C. where we spent Saturday night.  Sunday morning, we set out on BCRail's Cariboo Prospector for an all-day trip to Prince George.  After a quick overnight in Prince George, we headed for Prince Rupert on VIA's Skeena train, arriving Monday evening.  I worked in Prince Rupert Tuesday and Wednesday, while Dad walked all over the town and waterfront.  Late Wednesday evening, I made an overnight ferry trip to Ketchikan so I could start work first thing Thursday morning.  Dad stayed another night in Prince Rupert, so he could enjoy a daylight ferry trip to Ketchikan on Thursday.  I worked Thursday and Friday in the Ketchikan office, while Dad did more exploring on foot.  Saturday, we flew home from Ketchikan to Seattle where Mo picked us up.

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The Cariboo Prospector operates in two sections - a daily run to Lillooet and a two or three times weekly section North of Lillooet.  Here, we're stopped at the Lillooet station while the Budd cars are separated for the continuation of our trip. Our Budd car awaits clearance to leave Lillooet.  A report of track damage had been received, and a pilot car was dispatched to check things out before we left. Late afternoon finds us at the Williams Lake station.   Click here to see pictures from our BCRail system tour last year that took us all the way North to Fort Nelson. VIA's Skeena train operates from Jasper to Prince Rupert, with an overnight stop in Prince George.  A nicely restored dome/observation car provides great viewing of the passing scenery.  Dad was finishing up his book on the Lewis & Clark expedition.
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Spring has not fully arrived in BC's Northern Interior!  We passed mile after mile of scenery like this West of Prince George. Here's the dome car on the Skeena.  There were very few passengers on this off-season run, giving us almost exclusive access to the dome car. This is Fraser Lake, still frozen from shore to shore. There are relatively few mid-car domes still around.  You get really interesting views to the front and rear from this kind of car.  Click here to listen to the sound of the train horn heard from the dome car.
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Our train was running a few minutes ahead of schedule, so we stopped at Endako for a break. The dome/observation car on the Skeena. Dad strikes up a conversation with the train crew. Still-frozen banks on the Bulkley River.
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A quick lunch stop in Smithers.  We both had some tasty homemade Chili. Hudson Bay Mountain just East of Smithers. The rear of the observation car provides good views of the many trestles on this route. Isabelle from Montreal, traveling from Jasper to the Queen Charlotte Islands.
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The crew opened up the rear window for good picture taking on some of the trestles. We've crossed over into the Skeena River watershed, which we'll follow all the way into Prince Rupert. Along the Skeena River. An ice blockage on the Skeena.
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Skeena River scenery. More conversation in the observation car. Skeena River As we approach Prince Rupert, the Skeena widens into a coastal inlet.
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Here's the stateroom on the mv Kennicott ferry I took to Ketchikan. The ferry is ready to depart Prince Rupert on a perfectly clear night.  The display of Northern Lights out on the water was stunning with no city lights to interfere. You can see a BCFerry docked at Prince Rupert as the Kennicott makes way for Ketchikan. Here's the Kennicott docked at Ketchikan the next morning.
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Dad's ferry (the Taku) arrives in Ketchikan the next day.  This picture was taken from Rayonier's Ketchikan office, which has a wonderful view of the waterfront. We drove out to Totem Bight park Thursday night to look at the displays.  We were here in 1984 when Mo and I took a cruise with Mom & Dad through SE Alaska. Totem Bight Totem Bight
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Totem Bight Look carefully and you can see how the bear scrambled up this pole. Totem Bight The raven looks down on us.
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Totem Bight This carved bear greeted us at The Narrows restaurant for dinner on our way back to town from Totem Bight. A short tram ride above Ketchikan takes us to lunch at the Cape Fox hotel. Creek Street in Ketchikan was almost vacant - only one or two vendors preparing their shops for the onslaught of summer cruise ships calling in Ketchikan.
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Creek Street's colorful - but not yet open -  shops. Ketchikan claims to be the Salmon capital of the world - but we found fresh fish sometimes hard to come by at the local restaurants.