Saturday, June 19, 2010

June 14 to June 19, 2010 - Jasper National Park (Canada)

Monday – June 14, 2010 – Jasper National Park (Canada)
We started off the day by backtracking from our campground at Wilcox Creek to pick up a few items that we were too tired to stop at on Sunday night.  We drove back the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) to the Weeping Wall overlook and then on to Bridal Veil Falls overlook.  Matt almost became bear food at Bridal Veil Falls.  He was walking to the end of the parking lot to get a good picture of the falls when he stopped suddenly about 10 feet from a black bear that was eating just below him on the hill (unseen from the parking lot).  Well, of course, since he was so near the car, no bear spray or anything.   He and the bear were both surprised and jumped.  He backed away very slowly and was glad that the bear was so happy with the plants he was eating.  Of course, armed with bear spray he did go back to photograph it, but it did teach us a very valuable lesson and now bear spray goes EVERYWHERE!!!!  Well, after the excitement of the morning, we picked up the RV and proceeded north on highway 93 towards the town site of Jasper.  We stopped just a mile from the campsite at the Icefield Center.  It’s a great center just across from the Athabasca Glacier.  We boarded the Ice Explorer for the tour out on the icefield as we had missed all the guided walks of the Glacier for the day.  We had just a few minutes to walk around the glacier and sample some glacier water (which was very cold by the way).  On our way into Jasper, we stopped at both Sunwapta and Athabasca Falls, both very beautiful.  We found our campground, Whistlers, in Jasper very easily and were very impressed with the campground.   It’s our first full hookups in a while so we feel a bit spoiled.  The campground has huge spaces and is so treed and green, quite the change from our cramped spaces in Moab.
Tuesday – June 15, 2010 – Jasper National Park (Canada)
We started off the day by paying a visit to the Visitors Center and the bank for some more Canadian cash.  After a quick drive through town, we drove out to Patricia and Pyramid Lakes.  The wind picked up and since the temperatures were only in the 50’s, we decided for a quick picnic lunch in the truck on the shore of Pyramid Lake.  We then drove to the other side of town to visit Malinge Canyon, Lake Edith, Lake Annette and a short stop at the Jasper Park Lodge.  The lodge was very beautiful and its grounds on the lake were beautiful.  We headed back to town to do some shopping and found a great pub offering $6 burgers so in we went for a great burger and cider.
Wednesday – June 16, 2010 – Mount Robson Provincial Park & Jasper National Park (Canada)
We woke to a beautiful day with only light scattered clouds so we decided to go view Mount Robson, Canada’s highest peak at 12,970 feet.  It’s a gorgeous peak located in the Mount Robson Provincial Park.  After stopping in at the visitor’s center there, we drove a bit further out to Rearguard Falls and then back to Overlander Falls.  Both were very beautiful and we were amazed at the volume of water flowing over the falls.  We drove back to Jasper and then rode the Jasper Tramway about 3,000 feet on the Whistlers Mountain.  We then hiked the rest of the way to the top to be rewarded with a gorgeous view of both town and the surrounding mountains.  Our only wildlife sighting for the entire day was a very cute hoary marmot that got so close to us that I thought he was going to crawl into Matt’s lap as he was taking photos of it. 
Thursday – June 17, 2010 – Jasper National Park (Canada)
Now today was a wildlife day…  2 Osprey, Black bear, 3 bighorn sheep, deer & a golden eagle – Sure helps make up for yesterday.  Beautiful weather again today with a high reaching 70 degrees and only high clouds.  Yeah, it’s great not to be cold & wet.  We left the RV a little after 8am to make the drive out to Malinge Lake for our 10am boat ride across the lake.  It was a beautiful and deserted drive.  The boat ride was beautiful, although a bit quick for us.  With only 90 minutes total and 10 minutes at Spirit Island, we wished for a longer stay to photograph the beautiful place.  We had a quick lunch at the lodge there and then went on two short walks around the Mary Schaffer trail and up to Moose Lake before starting back down into Jasper.  We were greeted by the same 3 huge male bighorn sheep that we saw on our way in.  We did stop this time to take some photos.  A quick stop at the grocery store and we were back at the RV for dinner and to make some reservations for our next couple of towns along our route.
Friday – June 18, 2010 – Jasper National Park (Canada)
We doubled back to the Columbia Icefield today so that we could do the glacier walk that we were unable to do on Monday.  We left Jasper about 9am and arrived at the Icefield Centre about 10:30 to sign up for the 11am walk.  We had just 10 minutes to spare to drive over to the other parking lot and to get our gear all ready to go.  It was a great 3.5 hour walk on the glacier, but it was quite chilly as the wind picked up and blew over the ice.  We viewed several deep holes in the ice, the blue color was amazing.  We had a great guide, Peter, who brought along his dog, George.  George was very well behaved and I got to enjoy walking him for part of the trip.  After our glacier walk was done, we had a bowl of soup in the café along with part of our lunch we had brought (a bit of trick to be able to save some money as everything is really expensive up here).  We left the Icefields Center and picked up a couple of sights that we missed as we were pulling the trailer into Jasper.  We stopped at the Tangle Creek Falls which were just gorgeous.  We also were treated to 5 mountain goats at the goat lick viewpoint.  We saw 4 adults and 1 very small kid (who was sooooo adorable).  We are always amazed at how stupid people get when they are around wild animals.  People were boxing in the goats (including mom and baby) and walking up within 10 or so feet of them in an area designated for re-growth.  We were silently hoping for someone to get kicked or fall down the hill to teach them a lesson.  Guess we are getting cranky in our old age!!!!  We decided to take 93A back into Jasper and it was a beautiful (although very bumpy) drive past several small lakes with picture perfect reflections in them.  Dinner at the RV and sleep for us. 
Saturday – June 19, 2010 – Jasper National Park (Canada)
We had to move the RV today into another spot in Whistlers Campground.  All the full hookups were reserved so we had to move across the campground into a no services spot.  Still gorgeous and lots of room, just had to back it in.  Overall, the move took us a little over an hour and will help us be prepared for when we leave Jasper tomorrow morning for the 6+ hour drive to Dawson Creek.  Tomorrow will be a travel day and then we’ll spend 3 nights in Dawson Creek which is the last large city we will be in until we hit Fairbanks, Alaska in mid-July. 
We found a coffee shop with WIFI so we are trying to do a bit of updating and also Matt is finishing up some work.  It’s unbelievable how much we rely on the internet and how much we are limited without easy access to it.  I thought I would give you a quick update on where we think we will be on the trip into Alaska (the dates represent the nights we plan on spending in each area):
Destination Country     Start Date     End Date
Dawson Creek, BC CAN Sunday, June 20, 2010 Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Fort Nelson, BC CAN Wednesday, June 23, 2010 Friday, June 25, 2010
Watson Lake, YT CAN Friday, June 25, 2010 Sunday, June 27, 2010
Whitehorse, YT CAN Sunday, June 27, 2010 Sunday, July 04, 2010
Carmacks, YT CAN Sunday, July 04, 2010 Sunday, July 04, 2010
Dawson City, YT CAN Sunday, July 04, 2010 Thursday, July 08, 2010
Chicken, Alaska USA Thursday, July 08, 2010 Friday, July 09, 2010

No comments: