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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Along the Kicking Horse River...

... AGAIN!


Once again, we see a post card showing the struggling train as it heads up the Kicking Horse Canyon next to the Kicking Horse River. The words scratched onto the bottom of the picture say,"777. Mt. Field and Kicking Horse River." This train looks as if it is on its way from Golden, British Columbia to Field.

It is a passenger train of nine cars; the observation car at the back tells me that the Canadian Pacific Railroad certainly knew the stunning beauty of this area would be a great attraction to paying passengers. I wonder if this car simply went back and forth from Revelstoke, British Columbia (or even Vancouver) to Calgary, Alberta and back over and over and over...


Once again, I include some biography about Byron Harmon from the website: "http://www.harmonphotography.com/artists/byron.html"

The most ambitious and photographically lucrative trip of Harmon’s career was a self-initiated trek across the Columbia Icefield with writer Lewis Freeman in 1924. What made the expedition so impressive was not only the crossing itself but the inclusion of a pack train of 15 horses loaded to the teeth with photographic and motion picture equipment. In one instance of extremely bad weather near the beginning of the trip, Harmon lost,”more supplies in two days than the recent US Geological Survey expedition lost in its three months voyage through the rapids of the Grand Canyon. Even at that, however, we were never seriously handicapped by a shortage either of food or of photographic supplies”1. Also included in the supplies were several carrier pigeons Harmon had bred himself and an early radio device, the intent being to, prove that radio reception was possible in the wilds of the western mountains, and “wanting to see if the pigeons could thread their way through the peaks back to Banff” 2. In both cases the experiments were successful. The trip followed, primarily, the line of the Continental Divide and included many dangerous river crossings as well as the treacherous ice travel. In one extreme case of photographic stoicism, Harmon camped in one spot for eight days waiting for the perfect light on Mt. Columbia. The trip yielded 400 stills, 700 feet. of film, an article for National Geographic, and a book by Freeman entitled On the Roof of the Rockies.

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.