CANADA OR BUST, CHAPTER 11: IN WHICH WE FIND COOL MOUNTAIN AIR
Day 13: Edmonton, AB to Jasper, AB. Even though we were up at 6 a.m. and at breakfast with the car mostly packed by 7, we managed to stretch out our departure from Edmonton until 9 a.m., when we turned onto the Yellowhead Highway, a major east-west thoroughfare connecting the four western provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The highway was named for the Yellowhead Pass, a gap through the Canadian Rockies across the Continental Divide on the Alberta/British Columbia border within Jasper National Park. Yellowhead Pass takes its name from an early Iroquois-Métis fur trapper and explorer nicknamed "Téte Jaune" (yellowhead) for the blonde streaks in his hair.
As we traveled west on the divided highway, the prairies gave way to thick evergreen forests. Tall, narrow spruce and lodge pole pines crowded up against each other to form thick barriers of dark green. Occasional stands of birch and other hardwoods intervened to add variety.
Further west, the Canadian Rockies grew into view. By noon we had reached Hinton, 16 miles from the entrance to Jasper National Park, and the only place we were able to find a room for the night in this busy tourist season. The temp was holding just below 60°, and we were enjoying the energizing briskness after so much heat.
|Potholes in Maligne Canyon|
|The disappearing Medicine Lake|
|What part of "elks are dangerous wild animals who can maim and kill you" did these tourists not understand?|
THURSDAY, 20 AUGUST 2015
- Miles driven: 341
- Miles walked: 3.6
- Weather: 52° to 69°, sunny to partly cloudy
- Lodge pole pines: 173,825
- Gas: $3.44/gallon (Edmonton)
- National park pass: $45 CAD for five days (per person)
- Wildlife in park: squirrels, mountain goats, elk
More Photos from Today
|Maligne Falls (sense a naming pattern?)|
|Would you approach this rack?|
|Like other deer species, elk calves are born with spots for camouflage.|
|Speaking of camouflage, these young bighorn sheep were challenging to pick out of the rocks.|
|Amazing beaver lodges adjacent to the boardwalk|
|Sign of the Day|