Day 11 – Jasper

I’m back in Alberta and have frost on my windshield again!  As far as I know, Manitoba hasn’t had frost yet. Of course, I don’t know – but feel the need to complain!  🙂

Once the frost was removed, it turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day here in Jasper.

I had breakfast at the lodge and headed down the mountain to explore.  I hoped to find some critters on the drive down, but unfortunately there were none.  I barely got out of town when I saw my first Elk though.  This very handsome guy was soon joined by 2 lovely ladies.  🙂

After watching them for awhile, I headed to Maligne Canyon, which is not far away. Again, no critters on the drive there – but beautiful views of the water rushing down the canyon.  On the way back down I decided to see what the 2 bridges before the canyon were so I drove into both of them.  They are bridges #5 & #6, which are much lower down than the canyon, so the water is rushing, but pretty much at ground level.  On the way out from #6, I saw a Coyote out in a clearing along the road.  He was prancing right along very quickly, so before I could stop the car and grab my camera, he was out of sight.  I was hoping for another clearing up the road a bit in the hopes I would be able to catch another glimpse of him, but the forest would not clear away for me and I didn’t get to see him again.

I planned on going right to Maligne Lake also, but remembered that I hadn’t put gas in the tank since arriving and I didn’t want to run out before getting back to a gas station.  This is not like the city, where gas stations seem to be on every 2nd corner and it was a pretty long drive to the lake.  After getting gas, I got my traditional photo with Jasper the Bear and then went back up to visit Maligne Lake and take more pictures.

On the return trip, another Bull Elk with about 6 lovely ladies was close to where the other one had been earlier in the morning,  At first I thought it was the same male, but decided that this one had a bigger head of antlers on him.  Just as I had decided to go, some Conservation Officers (who had been sitting there watching) came out and chased the Elk all away.  Some of the people were being idiots and getting much too close for safety.

After lunch, I wandered around town for awhile before heading back up the mountain.  Finally on this trip up I found a bear very close to the road, but no one else had seen him yet.  He caused a bit of a traffic jam as others began stopping after I did though – but I had the best view.  🙂  He was still there when I pulled away, so others had good photo ops too.  Maybe they even had better photo ops if he moved out from behind the bushes.

Above are the first bull Elk, Jasper the Bear, the Maligne Canyon and shots from the bridges.

Next is the 2nd Bull Elk (with his head dress), views on the way up to Lake Maligne and somehow my picture got in there too, then Lake Maligne and the Black Bear.

I did a lot of climbing and walking today and my FitBit was happy.  🙂

Tomorrow, I drive south to Banff.