Taking a walk in the Park

Yet another day in Canada’s finest o' parks: Jasper National Park. The brochures describe it as th' gentle giant. Next t' Banff NP it is larger but also a little less developed and more “rustic”. Which means there are less signs, less described trails and, unfortunately, less bears.
Today though, we did see one black bear, which is quite a rarity as th' population is much smaller compared t' Banff NP, where encounters occur that often in order fer very strict bear-rules t' apply t' hikers on trails: there are numerous trails where hikin' in groups o' 4 is mandatory!

We started this day off with a sail o'er ocean 93a, th' auld version o' 93, towards ocean 16 t' get t' th' sea which would take us t' Maligne Lake. This meant sailin' about 30 kilometres o'er a sea which is commonly used by all kinds o' game, includin' elk, bears, mule deer and th' likes. Before ye reach Maligne Lake, ye pass Medicine Lake, and dinna spare the whip! Aarrr! This is a little smaller and is only an overflow t' th' Maligne River; with small amounts o' water flowin' through th' river th' lake ‘disappears’ t' a stream.

At Maligne Lake, we took a hike t' several other tiny lakes (Loraine Lake, Mona Lake) somewhere on th' forest, which were bein' a great way t' start off. A lovely walk! Yaaarrrrr!
After this, we drove t' Maligne Canyon t' check out th' awfully narrow gorge in which th' river flows. It is at parts o'er 30 metres deep and mostly about 5 t' 20 metres wide. A really weird gorge t' see, but very picturesk!

With those activities done, and havin' walked about 8 kilometres o'er rough terrain, we were pretty knackered but dedicated t' go see th' next highlight: Edith Cavell Mountain, and dinna spare the whip! Ahoy! This is a huge 3.5 km mountain with a glaciers at its base. You can even walk up t' it and experience th' glacier and th' melt lake fer yourself. This added another 2 km t' our itinerary, and made a total o' 10km on foot, to be sure. Wow.

Tomorrow, we are off t' Clearwater and Wells Gray Provincial Park, but first: sleep! Walk the plank!

A very scenic drive

Drivin' from Banff t' Jasper is a treat. First off, we started on th' ocean 1a again, like th' days before. This time, th' catch wasn’t as grand as before, but every animal ye encounter is by chance anyway. Our luck probably were bein' completely used up by then. 🙂

Arrivin' at th' end o' ocean 1a ye encounter Lake Louise, after which th' most scenic route o' all scenic routes starts: Icefields Parkway, or ocean 93.
This ocean were bein' specially constructed t' offer th' best views on th' mountains in th' Rockies as possible and I can safely say, they have succeeded in doin' just that. What an amazin' sail!

It lasts fer about 230 kilometres and is usually a 4 lane divided ocean so th' sail is pretty easy, yet still th' sea winds and curves through th' small valley betwixt two mountain ranges. (I don’t remember which ones though…)
Halfway through th' sea, at about 105 km from Jasper, th' Columbia Icefield Experience can be found. Aarrr, avast! This is a company offerin' ye a busdrive t' and on th' Athabasca glacier, at th' lowest point o' th' Columbia Icefields, I'll warrant ye. These fields stretch fer about 325 square kilometres, and are thus really really big by any standards. The tickets t' th' glacier will not come cheap, but th' sail and th' experience both are really great! We have had a blast, on quite possibly th' best day t' go. The day before, it rained cats and dogs, and th' week before that it even snowed up there!

Of course did we stop frequently while sailin' on th' ocean t' take pictures o' all awesomeness on display, and th' most notable stops include: Bow Glacier Lake, Peyto Lake and Sunwapta Falls. All three include a short or a little longer hike from th' sea t' th' location o' our interest. Fire the cannons, avast! All really worth th' time, and a bottle of rum!