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Alaska’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 29 Jul 2009

Location: Canada

MapAlarm off at 6:30 a.m., continental breakfast consisting of cereals, breads, fruits, juices, & coffee, and on the road by 8:30.....first stop - gas at the local Chevron. We drove w/ no hitches or stops on our way to Tete Jaune Cache, BC...arrived at 11:30 OR 12:30, depending on which time zone you look at....we were to be in two time zones in and out of the day. We were able to check into our motel early and unpack the car. Marmar Jane ventured out with us to Jasper town proper as well as Jasper National Park. We were all ready for lunch by 2:00 (MST) at a Cantonese restaurant followed by an ice cream cone at a Nestle's 31 Flavors. We decided that on this day, our first day in the park(s), to check out one of the side roads we had never taken....Hwy (road) 93 A South. It is not well maintained and not well traveled. The road reminded me of what the Alcan 'used' to look like, flora & fauna right to the edge of the road. We expected to see wildlife, but did not. We DID see people swimming and kayaking in secluded lakes near the road and at the end of the road the most beautiful waterfall....Athabascan Falls....noted for the swiftest flowing waterfall in Canada or North America, can't remember which. Tracy & I were glad to get in a bit of hiking, along with Sam, around the falls and down the canyon to the river feeding it and flowing from it. Sitting in the car for days on end, eating, and not moving around atrophies the 'getty-up'. Upon leaving the park, we pulled into a log cabin lodging area and to our surprise there were 10 or so female Elk grazing in their grass. Several had on collars, possibly park collars. On the main highway back, Tracy spotted 2 black bears. Jane & I both confirmed and so we turned around in the middle of the highway to get a shot. Sure 'nough, there they were. We watched for about 10 minutes until another car circled around several times and asked what we saw. We told them and pulled out. Just a few minutes later we saw crowds of people on the highway. There were three bull elks with HUGE racks. What a great day for wildlife. This is all it took to make our day. Then we returned to our motel room only to find we do not have any a/c OR fans. Canada is experiencing one of the hottest years on record. Wouldn't you know?
The plan tomorrow is to eat breakfast out, after having coffee in our room, and view the remainder of Jasper National Park and all of Banff National Park....stopping by the Gondola ride up the mountains and hiking up to a receding glacier before arriving in Banff, Alberta to a Red Carpet Inn to prepare for our travel to the lower 48.