We arrived after a fairly hard day, see the post for the Icefield Parkway. A very warm welcome from Brenda and Ron to their lovely home, we have a bedroom, bathroom and sitting room to ourselves with a useful fridge. Fresh fruit and chocolate left out for us with a hospitality tray with kettle and coffee maker.
We were shattered, and although I did write up the day, I didn’t have the energy to add photos, so left it unpublished.
We slept well in a very comfortable bed, and woke to sunshine. After refreshing showers, we set off to find the local bakery ‘The Bear Paw’ to buy croissants for breakfast. The place was very busy, with many people eating in, and others departing with their brown carrier bags. In fact you could have found the bakery by walking in the opposite direction to anyone carrying a brown paper bag!
I had thought today we would try the Miette Hot Springs http://www.jaspernationalpark.com/jnppool.html and the Jasper Tramway. http://www.jasperskytram.com/ The first was out for two reasons, one it was over an hour’s drive, and Rog, reasonably enough, wasn’t keen on a two hour drive today when we would have a long one to Savonna tomorrow. The other reason was that after yesterday we would be deemed ‘unclean’ and not able to use them anyway!
So that left the Jasper SkyTram. Only five miles out of Jasper, we arrived about 10.30, and booked a ‘flight’ for 10.57. This trip differed in that up to 26 of you were packed into a car, with a guide. I am only little, and it was frustrating when she started pointing out mountains and other points of interest on the left side of the car, since I could not see over people’s heads!
It was okay when she was talking about my side, and we tried frantically to spot the mountains she was describing. ‘Oh look’ she says, Mount Robson, the tallest mountain in the Park, we haven’t seen that for two weeks!’ We are surrounded by mountain ranges, and our chances of locating the smallest and furthest one away are slim, but we do try!
On arrival at the top, we all spill out onto the mountain side, and get our bearings. There is a path leading to the summit which we start to walk up, stopping to take numerous photos of the views and alpine wild flowers.
The lakes below are a sort of iridescent shimmering blue green, which we have been told is the effect of the ‘rock flour’ in the water. Rock Flour is formed when the glaciers slide boulders over the rock face and grind them down, then washed into rivers by the melt water. Depending on the turbulence of the water, it will appear, blue, green, or milky white. The rivers look a very pale milky blue.
After taking photos of each other standing at the edge of each precipice on the way up, the air is making me a bit breathless, and we stop and reconsider. The views are stunning where we are, but the weather is changing, and it is getting much colder now the sun has gone in. Time to see if we can face lunch!
The restaurant by the SkyTram station is serving vegetable soup, that and a roll will do nicely, and we share a cinnamon and pecan muffin to follow. Our table is right in the corner and we can watch the cars come up and go down. It is interesting that the whole cafe shakes each time one arrives or leaves, perhaps not for those nervous of heights!
A test pops in from our cat sitter, sadly our blue point Siamese seems to be slipping back into being sick and having accidents, she was behaving perfectly when we left, which is really disappointing. Fingers crossed she settles down.
Suitably refreshed, we catch the next car down, and decide on an easy afternoon exploring Jasper town itself. A pleasant stroll around the shops, they all seem to be selling virtually the same tourist goods, but we do pick up a couple of things for the grandchildren (I am not saying what, they will read this!) and Rog finds a T-shirt he likes. There is an old steam train by the side of the road that draws many admirers, a picturesque information centre, and a large totem pole.
The totem pole is modern, it was specially created in 2011, the original having been sent back to the place where it was created when it got too weather beaten in 2005.
In true tourist fashion we buy ice creams and eat them perched on a rock by the side of the road.
Back to the B and B to write up the blog, and get ready for dinner, we have decided on Fiddle River to eat, http://www.fiddleriverrestaurant.com/ with mountain view if we are lucky! (Yes, we did get a mountain view, and not only that, but a superb view of the Rocky Mountaineer, Canada’s equivalent of the Orient Express, arriving at the station.)
Very attentive waitress, which did not go unnoticed by the male side of this couple… He was really disappointed that his longed for elk stroganoff had run out, and he had to settle for wild boar stew. I had a Vienna Schnitzel which would have fed at least three, about 10″ in circumference, how do people manage to eat something that big? We shared a maple pecan cheesecake, and even between us we could not finish it. At the end of the meal, the lovely waitress smiled at Rog and said she would not charge for the dessert, because she could see how disappointed he was to miss out on the elk dish – his charm knows no limits! 🙂