Rock'n in the Rockies!

Trip Start Jun 01, 2002
Trip End Sep 11, 2007

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Traveller Thought #1: "The wheel was a great invention, and I will give it to whoever that Penecillian has probably helped a few people out - but what a great invention is Goretex! Gortex on boots, jackets and gloves - keeps Mr Justin warm when stupidly out early in the morning or late at night in snow... just a thought

As most of you are aware I have been known to take the odd photograph here and there and the thought of riding through the rockies in a bus and no option to stop and take a photo here and there was not a high priority in my mind. So I decided to throw a note up in the hostel and see if I could score a ride from Banff to Jasper (via Lake Louise)...

So when there was a knock at the hostel door and a guy offering a lift; as he had hired a car and was looking for someone to share the cost - it was a great win! It was even more of a suprise when I explained my interest and he stated that he too was a photographer and was working for a travel company and need to take some shots of the rockies! So call it luck but bingo bango - I was going to see the rockies with a bit of style and opportunities to burn film willy nilly.!

So what better way to start by heading out that evening to get some shots over Banff city during sunset - or should that be snowset! Yep (Amos) and myself discovered that big black skies do not indicate rain in Banff but they indicate snow and plenty of it!! So we wait and think that it may pass - it does not and our gear is packed up and a night is called!

I try again in the morning - up at 5am and short 1km hike to a lookout that I saw the previous day and waited for sunrise - the wait was worth it and hopefully some great shots. I meet Amos at 8am and we are off!! Now normally it would take approx 3 hours to drive from Banff to Jasper - this particular day it took us 10 hours!

See the advantage of having your own car is that you can say "Hey pull over I want to take some shots of the lake, moutain or snow scene!" and there are no problems. I cannot imagine standing up in the Greyhound and asking the people in the bus

"Excuse me bus full of people, do you mind if we pull over here so I can set my gear up, wait for the correct light and then run some film off - should not take more than 45 mins... - I do not think so! You can now imagine why it took us so long to get to our chosen destination!

The rockies are somewhat amazing! And with the previous nights dump of snow it made it more stunning than I could imagine. So we drive and stop, drive and stop and this causes some what confusion with passerbys as they see two guys with tripods etc looking and pointing into the woods. I was actually hoping one of them would stop and ask us what animals we are taking photos off - this is where I would calmy answer "Rare White Tigers from India, which only escaped last night... I think you should stay in your car - we are professionals."... and then wait for the reaction!

Jasper - 10 hours later..

"Have you got a reservation"? Ummm no, "Do you realise it is the long weekend?" Ummm - forgot! "Well where are completly full and so is the other hostel!" ........... Chit chat, chit chat, chit chat, -

"Well there was a couple of people who are 40mins late, I guess you can have their beds for the night... - THANKS! This saved both Amos and myself sleeping in the car for the evening!

We completed a number of dawn rises and late sunsets to accomplish the phots we wanted to capture (cannot wait to get them developed), but I have to admit I gave up by the end of the days with the dawn rises - this is meant to be a holiday - yeah right!! In addition to the morning and evening sessions, we visited Abasca Falls (not really running at this particular time that much), Milange Canyon which was a geat little hike and saw some amazing lakes (especially Pyramid Lake - beautiful).

Something funny that does come to mind is a little story which I will call Bear Jam! As we were talking to the lady who owned the hostel (Rustic Hostel at that, no running water and pitt toilets) she explained that she used to work with the Bear Protection Society.... at that particular moment, a guy pulls up in his oversized Chevy Truck and explains to her that up at Medicine Lake (15km) away there is a BEAR JAM. She then contacts the local ranger and explains that there is a BEAR JAM and appropiate measures should be put in place and rectified.

So here I am standing next to her, listening to all this and I hear the phrase BEAR JAM mentioned a number of times and this is what runs through my head.

- Lets say 2 maybe 3 Bears are walking along minding there own business, when one of the bears all of a sudden slides off his path of travel and rams into the side of the 2nd bear. The 2nd bear caught up with the impact and momentum of the 1st bear crashes into the 3rd bear - where now none of them can move - therefore causing a BEAR JAM!

- My thoughts were wrong (suprise suprise) - it is actually when a Mother and her cubs get separated, but I am sure that my theory sounds a lot better!

So with 3 days over in Jasper and enough film taken to create a 3 hour documentary on the rockiers... the time has come to an end. Also 3 days in Jasper's rustic hostel also meant no shower for 3 days and with the opportunity to complete the 3 S's at the other hostel before I get on the train - I take it up with big smiles... (just being considerate to the other people on the train).

A few supplies for the train and a farewell to Amos an adventure #324 finishes and #325 begins.

Until next time - enjoy!
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