Road Trip 2013: Day 13. Jasper

I’ve been looking at road trip pictures and videos(all part of a blog entry on memories that I’m still writing), and thought I’d post another journal entry from my trip last year.  Enjoy.

Day 13: Jasper – 77 km driven
So I did attempt to go stargazing last night, but it didn’t work very well. I went to pyramid lake as it was suggested as a place to do it. But I had never been there during the day, so it was very confusing, and I never did find a good spot. It was a bit eery walking through the trail in the pitch black with just a weak flashlight. I did try a few shots looking straight up, and it is incredibly easy to take star pictures with this camera. Anyways, I went back to the campsite and quickly went to sleep since it was late.

Stargazing in Jasper, with possible hints of the northern lights, which I couldn't see myself.
Stargazing in Jasper, with possible hints of the northern lights, which I couldn’t see myself.

This morning was supposed to be decently early as I was planning on hiking the trails at Mount Edith Cavell, and apparently its better to get there early to avoid the rush. I woke up at a decent time, not really wanting to get up after my late night before, and had to renew my site for the next night. But I hadn’t thought about the fact that the camp office wouldn’t be open. So I took off to Jasper to buy some bottled water, since there wasn’t any drinking water at camp. I took a few pictures around town while I had the chance too. When I got back to the office, I found out that my site was reserved for the next night, so I would have to relocate to a different site. I went to scout it out, and it was still occupied since checkout wasn’t until 11am. So after taking the tent down and putting everything in the car, I went to Edith Cavell. It was down a nice twisty road, which had just recently been paved, so it was an absolute joy to drive. I got to the parking lot just in time to grab one of the last spots, and the hike began.

The Road to Edith Cavell
The Road to Edith Cavell

Edith Cavell has a large glacier hanging off of it, with several smaller ones, that all feed into a small lake at the bottom of the mountain. The mountain was very close and very high…it filled even my ultra wide lens. The lake at the bottom had a glacial shelf sitting in the one end which looked very cool, and there were iceburgs floating around in the lake. I could hear the ice cracking and occasionally could see some small pieces falling.

The Cavell Glaciers
The Cavell Glaciers

Then I set out on the trail for the meadows. It was a decently long trail with some elevation gain…so it was a bit of a workout, but worth it. Once the trail climbed above the treeline, the meadows opened up. There were wildflowers all over the place. Interestingly enough, there wasn’t a ton of grass, although it looked like it from a distance. Instead it was various small ground cover type plants. The plants were quite varied and different from what I’d seen before. While walking along the trail, I saw a couple Ptarmigans, which are a bird that only lives in alpine climates. There were a couple of nice lookouts and the general presence of the mountain and glacier which were directly across from the meadows. I found the mountains themselves to be interesting as they were very multi-coloured. There were streaks of red that looked like rust, and many different shades of grey. This is unlike the mountains in Banff, which were very grey and one coloured. I didn’t go to the final lookout as it was a bit of a climb, but I took my time and enjoyed just sitting and drinking in the experience. The weather up that high is interesting…in the shade it was quite cool, as the alpine wind was strong and cold. But the sunlight out here seems to be warmer than I’m used to, so it countered the cool of the wind. In all it was a nice climate to be in.

Alpine Wildflowers in the Cavell Meadows

I was done a bit earlier in the afternoon than usual, but that was nice as it was getting hot out and I needed a break after all that hiking uphill. I went to my new campsite and setup camp. Once that was done, I went into Jasper because I wanted to get a shirt that said Jasper on it. I found one, then got some ice and gassed up the car.

The plan is to go to bed at a decent time because I have to get up early tomorrow since I’m hitting the road again. The next part of the trip is beginning. I’ve been touring all the usual national parks for the past week and a bit. Now I’m to go off the beaten path and experience the north. I’m feeling a bit apprehensive right now. Back when I was planning the trip, it was the north part that I looked forward to the most. But the national parks have blown my mind, and the weather forcast for the next week is rain in the north. I really don’t want it to be a wasted experience where I just drive through in the rain because I have no time to wait it out. I guess I just need to trust God to make sure what he wants happens. I know there was bad weather and rain on the forcast for this week, and it never really killed any of my plans.

Otherwise, not quite two weeks into the trip, and I miss my old life. But technically at this point my old life is packed up in a warehouse and isn’t available until September anyways.

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