So far so good so what? - megadeth now that ...

Trip Start Jun 29, 1999
Trip End Dec 04, 1999

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Thursday, September 9, 1999

"So far, so good, so what?"
- Megadeth

Now that Labour Day has passed summer has unofficially ended in Canada. This brings me some joy as that, hopefully, means that there will be a lot less 65 year old people wearing Tillet hats driving their fat-ass Winnebago's 20km/h under the speed limit. I really don't understand the Tilley hat deal. These hats look really dumb. Now I'm not against buying something that looks dumb (just look at my wardrobe) but spending over 50 clams on something that dumb is dumb. And don't try telling me that you're getting quality because these hats are indestuctible. In May 1992 I bought a $15 red baseball hat with "STAMPEDERS" on it. My good buddy John Andrews can verify the year in which I bought it. Since then this hat has been everywhere. It's been dipped in the Pacific, the Atlantic and Hudson's Bay. It's been to the desert and the mountains. It's also survived about a million workouts and squash matches. It's quite disgusting (Kevin McCall can verify this fact) but still intact. It's actually in one of the pictures I have uploaded to this site.

The sad part about Labour Day is that it ain't gettin' any warmer.

Monday, September 6th
I was planning on doing a bit more of sight-seeing in Edmonton and then heading out to Jasper but it was a really cold windy day so I chickened and my good friend Erin let me stay another night. So let's have a round of applause for Erin, her boyfriend Rob, and Superdude the rabbit. In the morning I went over to the Alberta Legislature building and took a tour. It's a very well constructed building and I suggest you do the tour (it's free) if only to get a chance to stand in the magic spot. There's a spot on the fourth floor where, because of the way the sound bounces around the hall, it sounds like the fountain 4 stories below is about to rain on your head. After the tour I took the LRT (a light rail transit line) up to the Skyreach Centre. Most of you might remember this place as the Northlands Coliseum where Wayne Gretzky had his greatest years with the Oilers. They have a statue of Wayne outside so I just had to have my picture taken with him. Luckily enough the Oilers were having an open practice! So I walked on in and sat down and watched the team and training camp hopefuls scrimmage. Out west I've noticed that there are some combination fast food stores. I checked out a Taco Bell/KFC place and was kind of disappointed. First of all, you don't get the full Taco Bell Menu. Second of all, you have to eat KFC fries. The rest of my day was spent on the couch watching Twitch City and a couple of movies.

Tuesday, September 7th
The drive to Jasper was uneventful. The new Moby CD I picked up in Edmonton sure helped pass the time though. After getting a campsite I headed up the switchback road that takes you to a wonderful view of the north face of Mount Edith Cavell. On this side of the mountain there are three glaciers (Angel, Cavell, and Ghost). A short trail leads to a little meltwater lake at the base of the Cavell glacier. This place was fantastic. The ice looked like hard green marble. Since it was a warm afternoon you could hear the glacier shifting and see rocks falling where the ice was melting rapidly. I then headed down to Athabasca Falls which was very pretty as well. The town of Jasper is a bit more restrained than Banff. It's still very touristy but it feel a little more authentic (i.e. there's no Hard Rock Cafe). It was very very cold this evening but I survived.

Wednesday, September 8th
The morning was even colder. I had to jump in my car and turn on the heaters to warm myself up. My campsite doesn't get sun until after 9am. Once the sun came out the weather was fantastic though. I headed down the Icefields Parkway to the Icefields Center at the foot of the Athabasca Glacier. This glacier is one of six fed by the Columbia Icefields. The Icefields cover 325 square kilometres and feed rivers that run into 3 different oceans. You can take a SnoBuggy way up onto the Athabasca but it costs 24 bucks. I opted to hike up to the toe of the glacier which is a very short but steep walk. I then drove a little ways down the highway to hike up to Wilcox Pass. This route takes you above the treeline very quickly and gives you a grand view of the Athabasca and Snow Dome Glaciers. The hike to the top of the pass is only 4.5 km and I suggest going off-trail to the top of a ridge at the base of Mt. Wilcox. The view here is panoramic. At the top of the trail a herd of Bighorn Sheep were having lunch. This made me hungry so I headed back to camp. After a late lunch I headed over to the Miette Hot Springs. For $5.75 (including towel rental) I soaked my aching muscles in 40 degree water. The resort actually cools down the water for our use. The natural temperature of water leaving the spring is about 54 degrees.

I'm not really sure where I'll end up tomorrow. All I know is that I'll take a few days to meander down to Vancouver.
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