Saturday, July 30, 2016

Jasper National Park (part three) --- canyons, waterfalls and a reunion

Bright Green, Moss-covered Cliffs at Maligne Canyon

Roger here...  Since leaving Missoula, Montana, our connections with the outside world have seemed to always be a surprise.  Sometimes we had campground wifi. Sometimes we did not.  Sometimes we had cable TV.  Sometimes we did not.  Sometimes we had Verizon phone coverage.  Sometimes we did not.  We usually did have at least one of something.

We did not expect to have any kind of communication at our current location at Lake Louise, Alberta.  However, we do have Verizon coverage, so our hotspot works.  I had better post our last blog from Jasper National Park while I can.  Dianne here:  We have Verizon as our phone carrier, and while we're in Canada we're using their new "Travel Pass" option.   For $2/day per device you can use your regular phone/data plan without incurring roaming charges.  It's $2/day for Canada and Mexico, but $10/day everywhere else.

This post will cover visits to Maligne Canyon and Athabasca Falls.


A Bridge Photo Looking into the Churning Water Below
The drive along Maligne Lake Road was filled with amazing sights. The easy walk along Maligne Canyon was a highlight.

This was another example of a deep (narrow) slot canyon with noisy and surging water below.  The photos were taken from the several bridges that criss-crossed the canyon, as well from the canyon-side trail.  Dianne here:  It was like the falls we recently saw at Marble Canyon in Kootenay National Park in British Columbia, only on steroids.

This is a nice view from the top of the waterfall.

This is a view of the same waterfall as the cascading water plunges to the bottom of the canyon.

Dianne here:  Photos of these falls just don't do them justice, so I took a short video:

Cascading Water Sliding through Pock-marked Boulders


We drove alongside the Athabasca River for miles before arriving at the falls.  We immediately noticed yet another colour anomaly.  The waters of the Athabasca River were not brown, not black, not turquoise, not ochre, nor mint.  They were milky white.  In the picture above you can see that the flowing water from the river is white before it plunges over the falls.  

Dianne again:  The water really did look like skim milk.  A placard at the falls explained the milky white color of the water better than I could:

Rainbows are visible in the next few photos.

These were not gentle falls.  They were roaring, turbulent and powerful.

Dianne again:   Here's another video, this time of the roaring Athabasca falls:  (this one is a bit longer)  


One of the joys of traveling in a motor home is connecting with friends from the past.  (We have done quite a bit of that since leaving Texas in May).  Those meetings are especially fun when they are unexpected.  

Through Facebook, Dianne discovered that her high school classmate and friend, Penny, was enjoying a tour with her husband, Larry, in the same region of Canada where we would be.  Calendars were checked.  We amazingly discovered that we would be in the small town of Jasper, Alberta on the same day.  Serendipity.  We decided to spend the evening together.

We met for drinks at the De'd Dog Pub.  It was a warm evening so we sat outside.  

After drinks we walked a few blocks to Earl's, a great restaurant that Penny and Larry had found.  The scenery was great.  The food was great.  The company was the best.

Many old stories from Frankfort, Indiana (where Penny and Dianne graduated from high school) were relived.  Dianne here:   Penny and Larry are world travelers, and we heard lots of good travel stories.  They had also just left Lake Louise and Banff, where we are headed next, so we received a few valuable tips.

  Who would have believed in 1968 that these two Frankfort "Hot Dogs"  -- yes, that is our school mascot --  would cross paths, not in Frankfort Indiana, not where she lives in Florida or where we live in Texas, but in Alberta, Canada.  Facebook has good and bad qualities, but the best and highest use of it is the ability through serendipity to reconnect with friends in new places.

After dinner we drove Penny and Larry back to their hotel.  The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge --- quite the swanky place.

Many of the rooms were in cabin-type units that were nestled into jaw-dropping settings along a river and a lake.

We relaxed with drinks outside their room.  I had a very weak drink followed by a straight ginger ale (driving home).  We then walked along the lake....

We relaxed for a bit in chairs by the lake that had been set up for a wedding before ending a very enjoyable evening.

This post from Jasper National Park marks the northernmost point of our journey.  We are now beginning the long southeastern trek back to Texas.  We do miss our winter home in Texas.  However, we are in no hurry to get back.  There will be lots of wonders to see and joys to experience in August and September along the way.  Some of those wonders can be found at our current location at Lake Louise in Banff National Park --- next time.

Dianne again:   The evening before we left Jasper the skies opened up for a brief downpour, then we were rewarded with an amazing double rainbow I snapped out the window of the rv:


This is one of my favorites.  Tequila and Dianne having a moment at Maligne Canyon.

I LOVE this little girl!

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