We are somewhere in Canada, but I’m not sure where. Photographer Al Seib and I left Vancouver, British Columbia, at 8 a.m. Monday and traveled 300 miles east on the Rocky Mountaineer.
Think it’s hot in L.A.? Come to southern British Columbia. These Canadians, truly the most wonderful people in the world, keep insisting it’s only 40 degrees here in the heart of the province. Turns out that’s Celsius. Forty degrees Celsius converts to -- let’s see -- about 300 degrees Fahrenheit, roughly the boiling point of blood. (OK, more like 104 but hot.)
“Is it fun?” you ask.
Well, Monday was Canada Day, a celebration equivalent to the start of Lent. Here in a town by the name of Kamloops, they’re having fireworks along the river, barbecues, swimming. Kamloops has a population of about 85,000 spread out over a vast area.
Locals say that, in terms of city limits, it’s bigger than Vancouver. But make no mistake, this is rural Canada. And I mean that in the nicest way. Imagine the North Country’s Hannibal, Mo.
Getting here is the thing. Now, the Rocky Mountaineer is a splendid means of transit, a 20-car train, with bubble tops that let you see clear to heaven. The food is first-rate, and as it is on a cruise ship, it seems the friendly staff is feeding you constantly.