Monday, August 13, 2007

July 23, 2007: Jasper

Soooo, have we mentioned how much we like the town of Jasper?

Since our original trip plan was altered due to the aforementioned events, we decided to spend several days in and around Jasper camping instead. Sunday we came off the trail, Monday was our first full day "camping" instead of "backpacking" aaaaand our anniversary!
First: headed into Jasper to talk to Parks Canada about the trail conditions. Found out: mosquito count up 486% over last year. Trail had been previously specified as "fair condition, some washed out sections" (no mention of washed out bridges). The Parks guy was really nice and refunded us some of our backcountry passes.

Second: headed over to the "Friends of Jasper National Park" store to browse...which meant that we purchased two books, one about the Park Warden Service and the other by Karsten Heuer (see associated website) about hiking from Yellowstone to the Yukon. Also bought some patches to sew on our packs. Got a free bumper sticker and recommended that the store bring in a new and highly anticipated (by Kirstin) book called Forgotten Highways (see publisher's website). When we headed out of the store we ran into (almost literally) Brent's Uncle and Aunt from Cochrane! Chatted with them for a while about hiking and trails and their trip and ours.

Third: Stopped at our favourite Jasper coffee shop, Bear's Paw Bakery. Yum! After retrieving some coffee and cinnamon buns, we chatted with Les, a local retired CN train engineer about the local trails, about the mosquitoes, and the present bear situation (an acquaintance of his had been attacked near Banff the previous week!).

Fourth: Went on a hunt for a frying pan...we forgot to bring ours and Brent was feeling a serious lack of pancakes.

Fifth: Went for a pizza lunch to Jasper Pizza Place. As usual, the food was great but the service was bad.
Sixth: Hiked up the Old Fort Hill that overlooks the townsite and the Athabasca River. Short and easy enough to do in sandles as our feet sorely protested being put back into boots so soon!
Ok, so we didn't hike very vigorously

The top of the Point

Feet in the Athabasca
Seventh: Relaxed at the campsite for a bit and did some reading and napping. Then we ate the cookshelter since it was raining.

Eighth: Went back to Jasper for a tour of some of the town's important historical buildings. It was very interesting and our tour guide was fun. We were finished just in time to escape from the rain and....

Our gregarious guide, Mark

Jasper Information and Friends of JNP store.
Architecture style unique to Jasper.

Lone Haida totem pole far from its home on West Coast

Inside of the Anglican Church

Nine: ...go see Hairspray in the theatre! John Travolta as a fat woman, Christopher Walken as said fat woman's husband...lots of singing, dancing and laughs. Not a very deep or serious movie but great nonetheless.--especially the popcorn flavoured with cowboy dill.

When we got out of the movie, it was dark and rainy and quiet in the town...absolutely lovely. It was a great anniversary!

Jasper at night

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