Thursday, July 13, 2023
Stats: 109 miles driven, 5 miles walked, Jasper to Maligne Lake to Maligne Canyon to Maligne Lake to Jasper
Update on our hotel room and sharing a bathroom with about 8 other rooms. So far, so good. We each walked down the hall once in the middle of the night (the joys of getting older) but, thankfully, we’ve had use of the bathrooms whenever we wanted/needed. One night down, two nights to go.
While I’m talking about the hotel, I forgot to tell you that this is an old building, built around 1900. It is European style in several ways. One is that the floor Americans would call the first floor, is the ground floor. Our room is 204 which is on (what an American would say is) the 3rd floor.
There is “no lift” (elevator) which isn’t a problem except that I’m huffing and puffing by the time we get to our floor. I’ll blame it on the 3,000 foot altitude. The wood banisters are beautiful! There are wildlife heads hanging on the lobby walls.
Our morning began at 6:00 and we were walking to breakfast before 7:00. I had seen a bakery/coffee house last night so we went there for a breakfast sandwich. A veggie omlet with cheese on a whole wheat bun. Tasty!
Lo and behold, they also had unique flavored scones this morning so we each got one. Mine was something like double chocolate espresso and Gregg’s was raspberry and white chocolate.
He drank a flat white (his fav) and I had a chocolate chai – I’ve not heard of that combo before. I enjoyed it, it wasn’t too sweet. It would probably be good “dirty,” too (with a shot of espresso added.)
We had tickets for a boat tour of Maligne Lake at 9:45. The ticket agent said to plan an hour drive to get there. No worries, since we left around 8:00. Long story short, the “fog” in the air is actually smoke from fires in British Columbia (the western most Canadian Province.) It was too thick to navigate a boat safely. Plus, we wouldn’t have been able to see the mountains on either side of us.
They gave us the option to reschedule or get a refund. We rescheduled for 5:15, then took a hike by the lake since we were there. The woods were SO QUIET if there was no one else around. I rarely heard birds singing. It was just still.
The ticket agent recommended that we return about 40 minutes down the road to Maligne Canyon and hike along the river there. It was awesome and I was singing “How Great Thou Art” to myself. At times, we were near the water. At other times we were high above and had to look down to see it in the canyon crevice. But the constant was the sound of water rushing over the bolders, hitting the canyon sides, and at times dropping many to create a beautiful waterfall, crashing at the bottom. I love the sounds of rushing water and waves.
At the end of the hike, I had “a rumbly in my tumbly.” There was a restaurant there so we sat on their deck, seeing and listening to the water, and ate poutine with brisket on it. We were first introduced to poutine in Maine, I think. We were on our Lower-48 States trip with Rachel. It is French fries with cheese curds and (technically duck) gravy poured over it. Pittsburgers are known to eat gravy on their French fries so we took to it right away. Today’s fries had chimichurri on them which added a nice flavor.
By then it was time to return 40 minutes to find out if our boat trip was going to happen. The smoke had dropped so we were pretty sure it was going to be cancelled again. We were correct. This time we requested a refund. Tonight we were frustrated to realize that the ticket agent didn’t REFUND us, she CHARGED us again. Ugh. We’ll have to straighten that out tomorrow.
We finished listening to A World of Curiosities and thought this is one of her best books. I am in awe of the way she weaves a story and draws you in. Gregg and I both deduced “who dun it,” although, with Louise Penny, we’re never really sure until the end. We enjoy her books and would recommend them with the caveat that the “F” and “S” words are used often.
Tomorrow we have tickets at noon to take a CAT vehicle onto a glacier/ice field. It is an hour and a half south. There are many hikes and waterfalls to see along the way. We’ll return for our last night in Jaspere before heading south to Banff on Saturday.
Wildlife seen today: A Big Horned Sheep was standing in the road, looking lost. We also saw a Magpie (large black and white bird), squirrels crossing the road, and a few chipmunks. Also a completely black wooly worm and another cool looking bug with long antennae.
It’s been a good day. Different than what we had anticipated, yet good all the same.