Wildlife sightings again!?!?!?!
Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
120Trip End Sep 01, 2012
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We travelled east out of Jasper township for a really long drive of about 10 kilometers in order to get off the beaten track and arrive at Lake Annette. This was a small lake of incredible blue hues which we were able to walk around. It was only about a 45 minute walk but it was amazing to see the different shades of blue from light aquamarine to rich, dark turquoise. Jess took lots of photos and we enjoyed the warmth of the sun as it beat down from above and flickered on and off of us as we walked through the trees. Along our walk, we found an old dock at the edge of the lake that simply screamed "lunch break" to us. We all agreed that this was where we would come back to after our walk and have a picnic lunch in the sun. We finished walking around the lake, which also had a small sandy pond next door, unfortunately this was fenced off and labelled: "Danger, Quicksand! " Then it was back to the dock for some lunch. The kids splashed in their sandals on the water that was above the lower dock and we all enjoyed the sun and the warmth with our lunch. Then, due to the warmth in the air, the crystal clear blue water, the depth off the end of the dock (about 4 feet deep) and the great launching/leaping pad the kids got changed into their togs and played and swam for a half an hour. Tim had a beer and Jess warmed her toes and feet in the sun, all the while gleefully wriggling her bright red toes as they had been the coldest items in the night last night
We carried on down the road, scanning dutifully the sides of the road for wildlife and were rewarded shortly after with a large mature bull elk with his antlers still in velvet, grazing on the side of the road. Good old Uncle Pete, he always says follow the cars so every time we saw people pointing and pulled over, we stopped and generally speaking, we were rewarded. We passed up the Maligne (ma-leen) Canyon as were were heading to Maligne Lake because we had heard of the possibility of renting canoes and going for a paddle. The other half of the plan was, after checking out the lake and the possibility of a paddle, to drive another 20km up the road and stop off at a hot springs. Halfway to the lake, Tim realized he had completely miscalculated and the hot springs were a backtrack of 30 km and then 61km further down another road….Tim had misread the guidebook and map….this is perhaps sweet justice as every chance Tim gets to tease Jess about her map reading skills, he takes! After a short debate we decided to finish going down to Maligne lake and go for a paddle instead of the hot springs. When we got to the lake, it was tourist mecca, the sun had gone behind some clouds and the general consensus was to head back for petrol and ice cream and see what happens from there
After this, we passed up Maligne Canyon and headed for the town of Jasper and our ice creams. Tim and the kids had ice cream with 2 mix-ins each, while Jess shopped for important things like toothbrushes and wet wipes.We cleared our email and posted our blog in an internet laundromat and then mailed some postcards. Tim then finally caved and suggested we go get hot chips and sprite from…..The Jasper Brew Pub!!! Tim got himself a sampler platter of beer (he loves those things) and sampled while we all ate hot chips
We jumped in the car and just around the corner we quickly shot to a stop as we spotted what had been making the mess on the road. It was a small group of bighorn sheep; 3 ewes and 2 lambs. They were quite calmly grazing on the side of the road and one even lay down as we pulled up. Then, after taking some photos, one wandered over to Jess's open window and stuck its head in the car. Jess, ever the quick thinker, hid her apple ("DON"T FEED THE WILDLIFE!") and shut the window. The ewe then calmly went to the front tire and started licking it. We were off, laughing all the way. Bighorn sheep have been on our wish list for a very long time now and we got them! It was another stunning end to an inspiring and compelling day. When we have days like this, I don't want this trip to ever end.