Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dawson Creek, BC, to Jasper, AB, August 1-3, 2011

We woke up to get ready Dawson Creek and leave when Jim discovered the battery was dead on the tow car. He did get one of our campground neighbors to jump the battery so Jim ran it until we got ready to go. We hooked it up and took off. Needed to fuel up first so we stopped at the Safeway fuel station and was able to get 5 cents off for each litre of diesel by using a coupon we were given when we shopped at the grocery store. The drive was a long way to get to Jasper, AB, in one day. The trip was beautiful and completely awesome once we got close to Jasper and into the park. We went directly to Whistler’s Campground hoping to get a site. It was difficult to make the turn off 93 because of cars stopped on both sides of the road…people were everywhere. We never saw what they were looking at but must have been some kind of wildlife. We were anxious to get set up. When we turned into the campground there were two long lines of RV’s and cars trying to get into the campground. We finally made it to the kiosk and I got out and asked the man at the window…”What have you got for me?” He started clicking the computer keys to check on available sites for our MH. All they had was unserviced sites…no hookups. That’s OK. He found us a great site…#29AA. The campground actually has 718 sites. All the sites on our loop are very deep and wide enough to be easily accessed. We got right to it and easily backed in. Jim was worn out from the drive…not only was it long but it was also a very windy day. I could feel the MH being pushed around on the road. Some of the roads were very narrow with steep drop offs…no shoulders. I fixed some canned soup which I doctored up with extra chicken, chicken stock and left over rice. It was very good. I grilled some bread with butter and olive oil to go with it. We had some wine and just relaxed to prepare for tomorrow.
Woke up this morning after a great night of sleeping. My shoulder feels much better this morning. Must remember to take care of how I use my arm. I must have done something wrong to have it feel as bad as it did for about three days.
We had our breakfast and Jim made some important calls back to the US. We left the MH and headed to Jasper to visit the information center. We got some maps and advice on what to do in one day. Jasper is such a cute town…very Scandinavian looking. First place we went was us Maligne Canyon road. Stopped at the canyon trail and walked the short trail to the falls in the canyon.
We left there and continued to the end of the canyon road to Maligne Lake. Very beautiful drive. We looked around the lake shore then took the trail to Moose Lake where we actually saw a moose! She was in the water close to the opposite shore from where we stood. She would stick her head completely under the water to eat the grass. She would walk along the shoreline and once went deep enough to be totally underwater. Her head would pop up with her chewing grass. It was exactly how I expected to see a moose…in a pond in and out of the water. We just stood there watching, swatting mosquitos and taking pics. It was so amazing to be that close. She soon walked out of the water and up a nearby hill.
We walked back down the trail to the lake and took the car over to the boathouse. You can rent canoes or kayaks to take out on the lake. They also have a boat tour of the lake. Jim and I just wanted to walk along the shore so we walked awhile then went back to the car and back towards Jasper.
We went back into the town to check out the diesel stations to fill up the motorhome when we leave. We also were hungry from all the walking so we found a little bakery with wifi and had a sandwich. We were able to connect with the web to check email and facebook. We left town and headed back to the Icefields Parkway driving out past our campground to a road which led to Mt. Edith Cavell. We’re never sure about these roads except they usually lead to something good to see. This road was steep, narrow and winding. We had to drive about 18 miles up this road to reach the end at the trailhead for Mt. Edith Cavell and the glacier. I wasn’t sure how much more I could walk and definitely did not want to meet more mosquitos but we started walking…I should say climbing…the trail. It was very open with lots of rocks and small trees. Pretty soon we would see the glacier and the lake…couldn’t stop now. It was a nice walk…sometimes a little steep…but I stopped to rest as needed. We finally made it to the lake which contained big chunks of ice from the glacier which disappeared into the lake itself. There was a large cave up further on the side of the mountain but we decided it was too far to go. It was very beautiful. We went back to the trailhead by another route through rocky terrain covered with small trees. All in all a very nice hike.
We made the drive back down the curvy road and headed to Athabaska Falls. It wasn’t a very far drive and we’re happy we went. We parked in the carpark which has parking for RV’s as well as cars. There are several viewpoints for the falls. I’m always amazed to see the power of water. We were sad to see a bench dedicated to a young man who lost his life over the falls. He was hiking with friends and fell into the river only to be carried over the falls. This was not a small little fall but a very rocky, fast and long falls. No way to survive that. It saddens me to think that people can underestimate the power of flowing water. We still saw young people at the edge, standing on rocks above the falls.
Anyway, it was a beautiful day. We were ready for a quiet night before getting back on the road in the morning.

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