We stayed at Jasper for 3 days. Weather has continued to be good, however the smoke has persisted and for the first 2 days we have ‘pottered’ around the general Jasper township area. Washing duties called and we spent a pleasant hour and half in the towns laundromat. It is an advanced laundromat with structured pricing based on the size of the machines. There are $5, $6 and $7 machines and there are quite a lot of them. While waiting for the washing you can have coffee and cake at the onsite coffee shop. If you are feeling a little dirty yourself you can have a $5 shower at the onsite bathroom, the loos are free. It was quite a busy place.
Our cabin is a little over 50 km from Jasper and located just off the highway to Edmonton. It is up in the hills and looks down a tree-lined valley with mountains towering around us. If not for the smoke the views would have been great. Although the smoky hazy outlook is eerie late in the afternoon.
There are a few hot springs in the Banff/Jasper National Parks. The one at Miette, about 25 km away from our cabin claims to have the hottest flow, having to be cooled from over 50 C down to about 40 C. There are 4 pools at the complex. The real hot one, a less hot one, a cooler sort of one and real cold one. The waters, not unlike all these sort of springs, lay claim to regenerative powers. Allthego had a plunge in the real hot one. It was full of all sorts, including some real hot ones, some less hot ones, some cool ones and a lot of cold ones. After walking around in the hot pond for a while he tried his toe in the real cold one, it was real cold and there was no one in it. One lad did plunge in but got out quick. As for the regenerative powers, other than for looking a bit pink, Allthego noticed no difference in himself from/after the experience.
On the way back from Miette we looked closely along the roadway for wild life having been told that this could be a good area to spot bear. None was sighted. BUT near the junction with the main road there was a big bull elk just grazing away seemingly oblivious to all the stopped cars and onlookers . It was almost as though the Trading Post people, where we had stopped to buy some milk, had him tied up behind their sheds and had brought him out for show in the afternoon. A few intrepid photographers got up quite close but stepped back quickly when the big fellow started coming their way.
In the Jasper township itself there are the usual array of shops of all types, but we have never seen a Grandma shop before. It was full of Grandma stuff. There is a big old Mountain class steam engine on display near the railway station. Built in 1923 it has 6 foot 1 inch drive wheels, carries 10,000 galls of water and 17 ton of coal. It was used on the railway to Jasper. A big beast!
In wandering around the Jasper lakes and gardens we have noticed a thorny plant with small roundish red fruits. They are the Alberta Rose, but we had not seen any flowers; being past the flowering season it seems. But outside the railway station, of all places, we spotted 2 pink flowers….late season bloomer! What a special looking flower display these would make.
Our last day in Jasper draws near and we hope for the smoke to clear so that we can get back down the Icefields Parkway to the Columbia Icefield.