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Full Circle

Day 240: Prince George to Prince Rupert

Skeena River, British Columbia, Canada 
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The Cariboo Prospector makes its way through the Coast Range.
Michael Palin - Full CircleAnother early departure. Unlike yesterday's train, this one has an observation car. There is not a lot to observe for the first few hours except the tops of trees. After a while the similarity of the trees becomes strangely mesmeric and I drink cups of coffee and go very slightly mad. Awakened from my reverie somewhere near Smithers on the Bulkley River. Lunch is roast beef or turkey. I choose turkey and the hostess nods approvingly.

'You look like a turkey sort of guy.'

Two hundred and forty days into the journey and I'm still learning new things about myself.

We're a small train - two aluminium shell Budd cars and one observation car - proceeding at a sedate but consistent fifty miles an hour. The 475-mile journey ends in a great climax of mountains, curving glacial valleys and steep cliffs through which the Skeena River flows towards the ocean. The weather that has held so obligingly for us through these spectacular railway journeys now begins to turn and the first flecks of rain begin to pepper the perspex dome of the observation car an hour before we reach the end of the line, the Pacific Coast and the town of Prince Rupert.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 240
  • Country/sea: Canada
  • Place: Skeena River
  • Book page no: 314

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