Meeting the locals in Jasper
Trip Start Sep 10, 2009
17Trip End Oct 22, 2009
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The Moose bus picked me up about 11am and we headed off to Jasper. We stopped first to look at Crowfoot Glacier and go for a walk to a Lake. It was really cold, lots of snow but we warmed up a bit while we were walking. We saw a bird which Shelley, our driver/guide, identified as a Whiskey Jack - the real name is a Gray Jay; took me a while to identify in the bird book.
Usually on this leg of the Moose tour they stop at Mistaya Canyon for lunch but it was so cold that we decided to eat in the van and just walk to the Canyon. It was a really pretty walk and I think the snow made it even prettier but it was hard to take good photos. After that Shelley took us to see a waterfall that she isn't supposed to take us to - there isn't a proper trail. However, it was a great waterfall; we got right up to where the water comes straight out of the rock.
Our last stop of the day was Maligne Canyon just outside of Jasper about 5pm. This was another gorgeous walk and then on the way into Jasper we saw our first Elk.
Jasper is at a lower altitude than Banff or Lake Louise so is much warmer and there hasn't been lasting snow in Jasper yet this fall. There has been snow in the mountains around and also in the Maligne Valley which is higher up. The Jasper town site is very small and seems to be mostly for tourists. Most of the permanent population are connected with tourism somehow although there are probably some Parks Canada staff who live here. The hotel I'm staying at is right on the edge of town but you can walk the whole town in about half an hour. I had a look around yesterday morning; there are lots of hotels, a couple of nice little gift shops and some restaurants.
After the cruise I went for a walk around the lake and met this charming little guy. I couldn't believe my luck when he sat on this branch and let me take his photo. Of course, I only got one chance before he scampered off.
On the way back into town we saw big horned sheep and more elk and then when I got back to the hotel, there was an Elk buck and his harem of does sitting in the grounds of the hotel. It was amazing.
Its been a great couple of days. Tomorrow I'm going to Banff for a couple of days. I'm hoping I can get a decent cup of coffee in Banff - I haven't had a good cup in days.
Where I stayed