One of the highlights of our trip was visiting some amazing waterfalls, huge gorges carved out of the mountains.
Our first stop was Sunwapta Falls:
|Apparently the odd person climbs the fence for a closer shot,|
often to disastrous results. Darwin is alive and well.
|Yup that's Barry and I up there on that bridge!|
On the way to the falls, we passed a herd of mountain goats. The things about Jasper National Park is there is wildlife everywhere, and every tourist stops on a dime at the side of the road and jumps out for a photo. (I, friends, would be one such tourist, though I stayed in the car when we saw the wolf!)
As a Capricorn, this was quite a delight for me, given our lack of mountain goats here in Eastern Canada.
There were some jokes about my excitement at seeing them because I am a Capricorn, but because I AM a Capricorn, I sloughed them off; slow and steady wins the race, my friends. Onwards and upwards!
After the goats we headed to see the Athabasca Falls.
The Athabasca river flows through Jasper and I would say that the word Athabasca conjures up quintessentially Canadian images. Every kid in elementary school learns about the mighty Athabasca in Social Studies.
|look at the colour of that water! |
The picture does not do justice to the milky blue of it!
We left Jasper the next morning, after sad goodbyes (it is always sad to say goodbye to my niece and nephew especially as they change so much between visits and are so wonderful!) and a rip-roaring good meal with my brother and his wife at a fabulous little Jasper bistro, Syrahs.
We were en route to Lake Louise, but first, I needed to cross something off my bucket list, a dream first kindled in a Canadian geography textbook in the early 1970s.
|I don't think this was the actual book, but it was probably close...|
My friends, I was going to the Columbia Icefields.
I was finally going to walk on a glacier!
Ever since I saw the first photos as a social studies student in Mrs. Garnett's grade 5 social studies class, I was obsessed with someday getting on one. And this is the one to get on.
While the Athabasca glacier has been slowly receding since 1843, the ice fields are amazing.
Five glaciers come together on these ice fields and the effect is awe-inspiring.
On the way to Jasper, we had popped into the visitor's center across the highway to take a picture of the snow buses that were on the glacier.
|Those buses are 5 km away|
But now we were back. We bought our tickets and hopped onto two buses to take us on the half hour trip onto the actual glacier.
We couldn't have picked a better day. The day before had been stormy and snowy. This day, we were rewarded with a gorgeous sunny day.
The picture below was taken standing on the glacier itself, which is the depth of the Eiffel Tower, looking up to the "steps" of the main glacier.
You sort of have the feeling you are in Frozen, and in my white fleece, I was channeling this fellow:
|The visitors centre is in the distance, where I took the very first picture above.|
You can see how high and far away we are.
The glacier is now melting at an unprecedented rate.
I doubt my grandchildren will have the same opportunity to do what Barry and I did, though I sure hope so.
This melting will have devastating impacts on the water supplies of North America and I was reminded again, standing in this majestic place, how important it is to fight for the environment. Since we currently have a canadian federal government who does anything BUT fight for the environment, it is time to get busy in advance of next year's federal election.
I am so happy I got to visit the ice fields and I highly recommend it!
Only one last piece on the vacation is coming up - living the high life in Lake Louise!
Have a great Sunday and stay safe out there!!! xoxo wendy