After I spent a few days in Vancouver, I took the Rocky Mountaineer from Whistler to Jasper. My favourite part of the trip was the first leg, which took us from the coastal rainforests into the desert, up through the Fraser Canyon to the town of Quesnel.
It was the arid landscape of the Fraser Canyon that stole my heart. I adored this subdued palette of sage and sand, the muddy river and the valley, wide and meandering, followed by the curve of the rail. The arid wind too, so different from the cloying heat of Toronto, was a warm embrace against my skin.
The train has an open observation area at the back. I spent hours down there, watching it all slip by, amazed as always by the scale of this country, that this too is Canada, and that it will never stop surprising me.