Friday, July 25, 2008
Mountains and More
The final week of our vacation took my Mom and Dad and I back through the mountains. This time we headed north towards Jasper. We shopped a bit in the town of Jasper and then we headed up to Mount Edith Cavel. We took a winding road with lots of switchbacks but the reward was beautiful. Close to the top we got out and hiked about fifteen minutes up the mountain to a pond fed by the glacier. The ground all the way around the pond was very shaley (if that's a word). It was beautiful although the water wasn't quite as clean as I expected. I fished out a very small chunk of ice out of the pond. But it was pretty pathetic compared to the one my mom fished out for me to pose with. It would have been great to have a picture of the whole process...picture my mom bending over the lake with me holding onto her pants for fear that she might lose her balance and fall into the icy water. We left there and headed down the mountain to Athabasca Falls. This was my Dad's pick and it was awe-inspiring! Different from any falls I have ever seen. The Athabasca River falls down into a narrow canyon and the water moves through with incredible force. The amazing thing is that you can walk through canyons where the water used to flow. It's hard to describe it with words but if you ever make it up to Jasper don't miss the Athabasca Falls!After leaving the falls, we ran into some wildlife. First, there were big horned sheep on the cliff over the highway. When we stopped to take some pictures, we realized that there was a photographer who had climbed the hill and was less than six feet away taking pictures! I stayed down on the road.Further down the road, we ran into some long-haired goats along the side of the road. When we first started taking pictures they were quite far up the hill. As we took pictures, one particular Mama and her baby were making their way down the hill until they were right across from us only separated by a ditch. With horns like hers that wasn't really far enough away for me so Dad and I booked it out of there. I didn't get to see a moose but it was fun to end our time in the mountains with some interesting wildlife. The mountains were so beautiful, each one unique in it's own way, they left me longing for more. One day, I think it would be fun to start at the top and work my way back and forth through the mountain passes all the way to the bottom of the Rockies.