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Unread 17 Jul 19, 05:34 PM  
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Canada - May you said, oh yeah!- May 26th Jasper

Slept on and off for 7 hours!

Out around 5.30 after watching rocky mountaineer move into the station. The tourist office people had recommended the Maligne Lake Road for wildlife so we headed out that way. We saw 4 elk on the outskirts of Jasper and then some mule deer. We stopped just a few minutes into the drive at a lookout over Jasper.

Then carried out past Maligne Canyon and along the road to Maligne Lake. Despite the names being the same, Maligne Canyon is a few minutes from Jasper while the Lake is over an hour away. However the scenery is stunning and all sorts - forested bits, lakes, areas where forest fires have been and mountains, lots of mountains!

As we rounded the beginning of Medicine Lake - this is fed by the Maligne river and pools up to form a Lake over underground caves made of limestone. The water drains through these sinkholes to appear at Maligne Canyon. In summer, due to the huge amount of glacial melt water the lake is filled with icy blue green glacial melt water. By Autumn, the lake shrinks to a few pools. This phenomena is caused by the largest inaccessible underground cave system in the world. However it was somewhere in between these states when we saw it, some parts frozen but quite low.

In the distance on the straight side of the lake I thought I spotted something and it was! It was a solitary black bear who we watched for quite a while as he meandered along munching grass and flowers and scratching u[ the earth. When he went down to the lake we drove on and spotted an osprey in a tree. Then as we went through a wooded section just before we got to Maligne Lake we saw a moose on the edge of the woods. This made dh very happy as that is what he was hoping to see. They are way bigger than I realised and we think this one may have been a youngster!

BTW all the photos are from the car with a very long lens and dh has cropped them as well!

As it was still so early there were very few cars around, the temperature hovered between 1 and - 2 but blue sky and sunshine. Maligne Lake was still frozen, I had read of people having their boat trips cancelled because of this. We decided not to get out and walk as we had no bear spray and there was no one else around. We saw far more bear warnings here than in Banff last year and even a lot of the locals we saw in town had bearspray attached to their belts!

We headed back and saw the same bear still mooching along but on the other side of the road this time. We saw him tomorrow as well so reckon that was his patch. We stopped at Malligne canyon and walked to 4th bridge as there were other people around but not too many to spoil it. It was amazing, you couldnt bottom at some points.

We had hot chocolate in tea house beside river. This looks a very nice restaurant and we hoped to go back one evening but never managed to.
We bought a takeaway Greek salad for lunch and looked at our list of places to visit. Although we knew it would probably not be the best time to see beavers ie middle of the day we planned to head out towards Hinton and the Beaver Walk, stopping at Miette Hotsprings on the way. I'm sure locals would say differently but there wasn't much else that we were interested in out that way so it made sense to do it today with our limited time in Jasper.

On the way we stopped at Jasper house site of old trading post. The town of Jasper was named after the clerk there not the stone as I thought! Very short walk to see where the the ruins were across the river, but a nice little stretch your legs.

We carried on up to Miette and at a turn out with a sign pointed to Ashlar Ridge we think we saw 3 bears. We were looking through binoculars but they were still very small. Not sure whether they were grizzly or black but 2 were smaller so think they were cubs. We ate our salad lunch at Miette and followed this by short walk to source of springs. Boy they were stinky!

On the way back down we stopped at punchbowl falls but starting to think we are getting waterfalled out as we weren't really impressed

As we left for Hinton around 2 we saw 2 bald eagles playing over a lake. Not really a bird person but really enjoyed seeing the bird life in the wild on both our trips.

We had thought Hinton would be like Canmore, but not so much. Quite glad we didn't decide to stay there, apologies to anyone that lives there or has stayed there. Nothing wrong with it but just a regular town, not pretty and it is as the Rockies are levelling out and lots of plains. Apparently it used to be a big pulp mill town. Anyway we found the Beaver Boardwalk after a couple of wrong turns.
It was a really nice place in the middle of a housing estate but quite large. We saw the lodges and dams but no beaver, as we thought it was too early or too late! A local told me there are kits in the lodge but no sign even though we did quite a long boardwalk around the woods.

We refuelled the car and headed back to Jasper, seeing a couple of mountain sheep in a turnout. The journey took just under an hour. As it wasn't too late and we hadn't done that much walking today we decided to go out for dinner. We still hadn't had a nice birthday dinner for dh - plane food doesn't count!

We had heard good reviews of Earls and they had space. We sat outside on the balcony overlooking the town in very pleasant temperatures compared to the freezing start to the day. we shared Hawaii coconut prawns to start then I had yuzu lemonade, 6 oz sirloin with mash and asparagus followed by smores cheesecake. Dh had local beer, Cajun blackened salmon and peach and black currant cobbler. Really nice food and location, we felt the service was a bit rushed but all in a nice meal, although not cheap, but that seems to be Canadian dining in general. With tip it worked out at 86. We wandered back to our hotel and were settled back in our room by 8.

Edited at 05:36 PM.
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Unread 18 Jul 19, 10:36 AM  
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Fabulous photos! A great day out
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Unread 18 Jul 19, 05:01 PM  
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Brilliant photos, I really liked Jasper and you visited some places we just ran out of time to see.

Loving the wildlife pictures too, great to see them out and about for you. We saw more around Jasper. Maligne Lake was a real favourite of mine


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Unread 18 Jul 19, 11:40 PM  
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Fabulous photos, especially the wildlife ones!

We really enjoyed our meal at Earls in Jasper, so am glad you enjoyed it there too.
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Unread 21 Jul 19, 08:21 PM  
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Oh the wildlife pics are outstanding, makes up for the pesky beavers still evading you. Your day looked fab again even if you were waterfalled out ! Food sounds nice .. as do the hot chocolate breaks !
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Unread 31 Jul 19, 09:01 AM  
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The photos of the bear is fantastic, as are all the others!
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