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Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Stats: 4 hours driving, 250 miles driven, Edmonton to Jasper
We “slept in” until 8am our time (10am Jax time) and got on the road around 9:30, knowing that today was a much shorter drive day. First stop? Costco! It was just a mile or so down the street from us so we purchased gas and some snack foods. Sadly, we didn’t take time to browse.
All day it was hazy and overcast. It almost looked like smoke but we didn’t smell it. Tomorrow night there is said to be a possibility of seeing the Nothern Lights, so I hope it clears up.
Because of the haze, it was difficult to see the mountains in the distance as we drove towards them. Once we could see them, it was so interesting! It looked like a “tree line” although, where there were no trees on top of the mountains, there was rock/granite.
Last August on our trip to Newfoundland, we bought 1-year Canadian National Park passes. So we were able to take the fast lane into Jasper National Park!
We hadn’t gone far when we saw some Big Horned Sheep along the side of the road! And then, close to a parking area next to a lake, there was a HUGE ELK! We parked and headed closer (but not CLOSE) to watch him eat and mosey along. He didn’t seem surprised nor upset that people were around, although nobody went close. I’m thankful for a good zoom lense on my Samsung phone!
Nobody was saying anything, just watching in amazement at this huge, beautiful animal. When we did speak, it was in a whisper. It felt like holy ground and I suppose, in a way, it was. It was an “How Great Thou Art” moment in my heart, thanking and praising God for His awesome creations.
Back on the road, we saw more Big Horned Sheep by the road. Driving into Jasper is a little bit like a mini-Gatlinburg. Thankfully, the traffic isn’t bumper to bumper like Gatlinburg, but lots of “tacky tourist shops” (as I call them in Florida) and places to eat.
Of course, we found an ice cream shop. They claim to have homemade ice cream but I forgot to ask if they make it there.
The quandary for the day was WHERE to stay next and for HOW LONG. Hinton, an hour east of Jasper, was an option. They have a lot of hotels that seemed well used, like around Disney World. Staying in Jasper was expensive, yet would have us closer to the things we want to see and do.
We finally decided on 3 nights in Jasper at an old hotel in a room with the bathroom down the hall. Not our first choice by any stretch of the imagination, but it was $100 a night cheaper than having our own bathroom in the same hotel. We can always upgrade tomorrow if we decide it was a bad idea. It’s an adventure, right?!
Once we knew we were hanging out for a bit, we went and bought a ticket package for a boat ride tomorrow morning and ice field/glacier tour with a “tower walk” on Friday. The latter reminds me of overlook walkways that hang on the side of mountains at Capilano Bridge in Vancouver.
It was a lovely evening to walk around this small town after eating ice cream. We saw the Rocky Mountaineer train pull into the station. There were 6-8 busses ready to take them to their hotels. I suspect downtown got busier once they got settled in.
This will be an “early night” for us tonight. I am not sure about Gregg, but I know I’m wiped out from traveling almost 3,000 miles already and short nights of sleep. I’m an 8-hour a night kind of gal.
We need to be in the car by 8:00am in the morning to make our boat tour at 9:45. I saw a cute coffee shop with baked goods so that will be my incentive to get up in the morning.
My heart is full. And I can’t wait to see more of God’s beautiful creation tomorrow!
Until next time, Kristin for Gregg, too
PS – if there is no video below, come back later to see pictures from today. GooglePhotos takes a long time to compile the video so I plan to post it tomorrow morning – but I’m 2 hours behind East Coasters.