Day 130 - Jasper (Canada)

Trip Start Mar 29, 2013
Trip End Aug 17, 2013

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dylan has a lie in, Taya didn't get the memo so is up at her usual 6.15am slot. Dare we even think that one day they might both 'lie in', preferably prior to their teenage years.

We start on a track just down the road from where we are staying, called Cottonwood Trail. Silly mummy and daddy are just in flip flops and its super muddy. The mozzies are out in force and Emma gets eaten three times in the first 10 minutes. We turn back, Rich and Dylan drive back for the mozzie spray, Emma ventures on towards town while Taya sleeps.

Emma spots a black bear in the distance close to the road, and decides to head down the road rather than the track. By the time the girls reach the area there are lots of cars watching the bear but its heading off over the hill. Emma watches from behind the bonnet of a car. The cars disperse when they can't see the bear anymore and a park ranger pulls up with her lights flashing having received a 911 call about the bear. She suggests Emma and Taya get back in their vehicle, erm we don't have one. We have a bit of a chat about babies and she offers to drive us back to our car. We get another glimpse of the black bear as we pull away.

The four of us drive back down the road to see if he's still around. We spot him about 3 metres from the side of the road munching red berries. Amazing. Definitely the closest we've been to a bear. Dylan leaps around in the car to get a better look. It's not easy to photograph him as the bushes are thick and he is not obliging by staying still.

We pop into town for a wander. We meet Jasper the bear statue which Dylan loves more than the real one. Outside a restaurant is a bear statue stealing pizza from a boys pizza box, Dylan steps in to mediate. He explains to the boy that there is still lots of pizza left in his box so he can share with the bear. Hilarious. We wonder if he actually thinks they are real. Yesterday talking to trees, today to statues.

Dylan spots a small steam train and carriage and we, of course, spend a while there driving it.

The town itself is packed full of tourist shops and outdoor adventure shops. We stock up on a new memory card as we are running low on shots - 4 x 16GB cards nearly full, that's a whole lot of photos. That's going to be a task and a half when we get home! 

We book a boat trip for tomorrow afternoon at one of the lakes we are visiting, whilst Dylan runs around talking to, and stroking, the enormous cuddly bears in the shop. He then lines us up next to each of them for an imaginary photo shoot.

We find a cafe Emma has read about in the Lonely Planet - The Other Paw, and find a table for lunch. So nice not to have another cheese and ham roll from our picnic bag. It's really popular, so a good choice.

Another play on the train with a little boy called Miles who lives in Jasper, whilst the parents chat about Disneyland.

Naps back at the bungalow for Dylan and Taya, although Taya's is very short, whilst Rich pops back into town, childless, for a more leisurely browse. Something about a shop and toddler combo is never relaxing.

We spend the afternoon playing in the bungalow and at the on site playground. Dylan is learning a difficult lesson about how to adapt to play with 10 month old who wants his toys. He does well, but we imagine this lesson to be a long one, especially as Taya makes the transition to walking at some stage. It's tough, since he gets the rules for sharing with toddlers, "I'm playing with this one so you can use that one until I'm finished", but his sister doesn't understand that, so he's stumped. Good learning curve for us too.

Dylan chooses his (and Taya's) birthday invites from a couple of options and seems pleased. He is pretty decisive, hoping the decision making gene is inherited from the Cheynes not the Kemptons.

Dinner of pork and cheesy pasta is gobbled down. Taya enjoys it so much that she licks out the bowl. Early bedtime for Taya.

The boys head out in the rain to explore the outdoor hot tub but its shut due to thunder and lightening! They play connect 4 and Jenga before a fun filled shower.

Rich doesn't feel great. He heads out for some fresh air, looks a little pale on returning, then promptly faints, crashing down on the coffee table full of Dylan's cars in a rather spectacular and extremely noisy leap. Frightening the life out of Emma. He is absolutely fine now.
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Vicki on

Wowsers what a day! The bear and the faint!! Thank goodness Richie is ok!

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