On our last day in Jasper National Park we debated about whether to go to Mt. Robson (a very beautiful mountain peak that we had visited before), the Columbia Ice Fields (would drive by there on following day), or Mt. Edith Covel. We chose the later because it was the closest but still a long enough drive to make it a full days trip.
As in many cases, the drive to the mountain doesn’t take you to the mountain, but to an adjacent mountain with a good view. We had read the park literature from our previous trip to the area that said that travel trailers weren’t allowed on the road and trucks over 21 ft. long couldn’t navigate the switch-backs. Our truck was too long – but when we picked up newer literature we found out that they had done some repaving and trucks up to 25 feet are now allowed.
We pulled off onto the road leading up to the look-out. The road was narrow and the curves sharp – 15 km/hr translates to a crawl in miles/hour.
The road was carved out of the mountain side so there were no shoulders to pull off for photos – all had to be taken out the window of a moving vehicle. And the mountains came down to the road and overlapped so it didn’t seem like there was a way through.
The driver doesn’t look around on this road – in fact I frequently felt like Jim wouldn’t be able to make it if I, the passenger, took my eyes off the road.
The road wove its way higher and higher
We saw raging rivers and strange rock formations that I longed to explore with my camera but there was no stopping on our way up.
Down became deeper and deeper.
And around the next curve was the parking lot. More to come – stay tuned.
We pulled into the parking lot of the Visitors’ Center at the Summit of Roger’s Pass in the Glacier National Park where I encountered an unfamiliar bird. A Steller Jay up close and personal – on my rear view mirror.
There were two, flitting around but with no weariness of me and my camera. The one above seems to be an adult and the other was maybe her little one and they were practicing independence.
The young one still had down that she had all fluffed up at one point and her coloring was gorgeous.
Sometimes, when I am being awed by the grandeur of high peaks
And rippling rivers
I need to take notice of the little pleasures of our earth – take a few photos of wild flowers.
I wish I had brought my wildflower guide but we are traveling light and you don’t need to be able to name them to enjoy them.
I went out before breakfast to record this moment in time – not very early but still it shows how important it is to me. After close to a week of looking at prairie land in North Dakota (US), Manitoba, and Saskatchewan we began to see some rolling farmland and even uncultivated land in Alberta. Once we we got through Edmonton the hills got steeper and longer and there were forests.
Now we are camping on the edge of Jasper National Park of the Canadian Rockies. The photo above is from our campground and we will be exploring this part of the Canadian Rockies for the next few days before we head south to other parts of the Rockies.
Drives are long in the Canadian Rockies, probably because the mountains are BIG. We have been here before, about 16 years ago, about I don’t remember them like I am seeing them now. This may be because of my poor memory but it could also be because a whole lot of water has gone under my bridge in this time and I am a different person, seeing the world in a different way.
We drove the Yellowhead Highway between Hinton, where we were camping, and Jasper several time and each time the mountains looked different. On each drive we pulled over so I could take more photos of mountains and lakes.
There are so many trails in the mountains, trails that enticed me, made me wish I was younger. My last long mountain hike was up Mt. Robson to a turquoise mountain lake for lunch on a picnic table – that was 16 years ago before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia that has sapped my energy and seems to weaken my muscles.
On this trip another trail pulled me in and that story is coming. Stay tuned.
We drove the Maligne Road on a cloudy day with some blue sky or a blue sky day with lots of heavy clouds. Jim wouldn’t let me drive because he says I sight see too much when I drive. I didn’t have a good argument.
The lack of blue skies made the lakes grey but we were were wow-ed by the mountains that surrounded us. I had fun capturing peaks that were highlighted by the sun – making them the leading star in their turn.
As I think back, it was this series of peaks that awed us the most.
It was either the movement of the sun, the slight clearing of clouds, or the direction we were driving, but they were most impressive on our way out. Even Jim broke his rule of no sight seeing while driving – I caught him in the act with each “Wow, look at that.”
The red trees you see at the lower elevations aren’t early Fall color as I first thought. Because of milder winters during the past three years, the Pine Beetles have thrived and moved into Jasper National park. They turn the needles red and kill the trees. The Park Service is doing several things to help nature bring new growth to these areas.