Nature Up Way North!!

It is official: my computer died. After taking the damn thing twice to the repair shop, I can honestly say that a) my computer is out of warranty, b) I will need a new one and c) will search for a replacement in the US.

Other than that nuisance, Cutie and I decided to take a break from city life and head for the Jasper National Park. On our way there, we saw a few mountain goats slowing traffic and green-blue lakes:

Driving by Patricia Lake

Driving by Patricia Lake. There are still sheets of ice on the water!

We stayed at one of the cabin lodges that just opened for the low season. We barbequed our meals every night and chopped firewood for the fireplace. The windows at our cabin were single-pained, so the cabins got drafty pretty fast unless we kept the fire alive.

Cute little cabin. Needs more insulation!

Cute little cabin. Needs more insulation!

I love fireplaces!

I love fireplaces!

During the day, we headed out to do some horseback riding near the Pyramid Road area, trying to see if we could spot a few wildlife.

Near the Canyon

All we could spot was the scenery, a few dead trees and birds.  After our riding, we headed to downtown Jasper to find out about the trails and which ones to avoid (one trail was closed due to a grizzly bear sighting). We decided on the trail that would be less populated by hikers (and Cutie wanted to see a black bear): The Valley of the Five Lakes trails:

Most of the lakes have dried out into ponds :(

Most of the lakes have dried out into ponds 😦

Cutie and I hiked for a few hours on the trails, managing only to see a few ducks, a chipmunk and a few birds. We ate lunch on the bridge that connected the two valleys, over a small stream.

Cool day under the sun!

Cool day under the sun!

After our lunch, we hiked on a bike trail that could lead us to Banff, until I heard a loud growl that made me grasp my hiking stick like a bo. Cutie thought it was a mountain lion stalking us, but after walking a few meters further and looking around, we couldn’t see it anywhere.

After going shopping in Jasper, we headed out to another trail where the canyon was. The trail was mostly paved, but what I found amazing was the frozen waterfall:

And it sounds like someone is taking a shower!

And it sounds like someone is taking a shower!

There was some water flowing downstream, but was enough to take a shower underneath, so to speak.

If anyone wants to stay at this park, beware that at low season the lodging prices are cheaper, but most of the water attractions are still closed (due to the long winter), half of the campsites are closed (again, due to the long winter) and the food and gas are more expensive because downtown Jasper is a tourist town.  Overall, it is a nice park and in our case, we saw most of the wildlife while driving on the roads.

 

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