Taking the Rocky Mountaineer train across Canada means early starts and, sometimes, long days too. But what better way to experience the morning than slithering out of Kamloops on the Rocky Mountaineer train on a unique scenic journey along the Thompson River.

The subject: Even if you aren’t a fan of pre-dawn alarms, the Rocky Mountaineer train whistle announcing your early departure also signals watching a town, the wildlife, and the scenery wake up and greet the day. In this photo, we were just pulling out of Kamloops, British Columbia, heading eastward as the sun was peeking up over the tops of the trees, illuminating the Thompson River, which is the largest tributary of the Fraser River. Kamloops itself sits at the confluence of the North and South Thompson (read some history here in Kamloops Daily News story), giving you plenty of riverside to enjoy on your overnight there as a part of the cross-Canada Rocky Mountaineer journey.

The inspiration: The creeping fingers of sunrise are always an inspiring moment, don’t you agree? And although a photo can’t communicate the serenity of the repetitive chuggity-chuggity, clickety-clack of the train along the tracks, or the sound of the whistle, close your eyes and dig into your mind to experience the moment with me.

My coffee was getting cold on my breakfast tray inside the train wagon, but I couldn’t be budged from the Gold Leaf’s covered outdoor vestibule as the wind whipped my hair and the rising sun warmed my face. One advantage of the Gold Leaf is for photographers who have full, unimpeded views with no glass in the way, ever — which made for perfect viewing of the sunrise as we passed along the banks of the Thompson River.

Artist’s tools: My Nikon D90 still serves me well for many an adventure, as does the 18-105mm lens f/3.5-5.6, both of which I got when I returned to photography after about 25 years! What I like about this focal length on a lens is its ability to capture almost everything for me without fiddling with changing lens or being draped with several cameras with different lenses. I’m a simple photographer like that. I was set at a 1/400th of second at f/10 with a focal length of 24mm. This sunrise photo along the Thompson River is a pretty pure image taken without much time (yet) put into processing. Enjoy it au natural!

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Rocky Moutaineer Train Station - Vancouver

Rocky Mountaineer Train Station - Banff

Rocky Mountaineer Train Station - Jasper

Rocky Mountaineer Train Station - Whistler

Rocky Mountaineer Train Station - Kamloops

Heads up! This information on the Thompson River was accurate when we published it on HI Travel Tales, but, as we know, traveling is all about changes (and inflation, sadly). Please be sure to confirm prices, transportation schedules, hours of operation, safety and health considerations, request for perfect weather during your entire visit, and any other important details before your adventure.
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