MODERN DAY CELEBRATION MEETS THE WILD
Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
81Trip End Dec 10, 2008
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We were headed for Jasper National Park, which was a good morning's drive away, so we made sure we were on the road by 8.30am. It was very overcast, and showery, and we had the lights on inside the van for most of the trip. We need lights for reading and colouring in ... the advantage of motorhome, keeps the kids busy! In fact, after a 2nd breakfast (first was pancakes) they cuddled up with some blankets and dozed off, so they didn't see much of the scenery, but it certainly made for a peaceful drive.
We arrived at Jasper around 12.30 (actually 1.30pm,because Canadian Rockies are on a different time zone), at any rate 4 hours later. For you travel bloggers who may be reading this, please note, this is 4 hours without stopping, and the roads were good and relatively quiet as everyone was home having Turkey! The other thing that surprised us (perhaps we were just naive), was the cost to get into the park. All National Parks have a charge, but we were used to paying $20, (regardless of how long you were there), this is $20 per day. So we fronted up with $100 for 5 days - a bit more than what we bargained for.
We headed straight for the only campsite that is still open in Jasper, the other 9 are closed for the season. Thus, we expected it to be quite busy, and hoping we could get in, as we hadn't booked, but we'd nothing to worry about, plenty of room, and even still some spaces with electric hook-up (remember this is a National Park, and as such you normally have to be fairly self-sufficient). Also, this runs on an honesty box type booking. You arrive, pick a space, fill in the front of an envelope with your details, and then pop your money in, and put it in the box. There's no ranger managing it - this is probably different in summer.
So after that, we went straight out, another 60km down the road, to Miette Hot Springs, (the hottest mineral springs in the Canadian Rockies). We'd wanted to do something special for Harry for his birthday, but one is a bit limited for entertainment, in the middle of the forest, so thankfully this was still open (in fact last day of the season was today, closed tomorrow), and it was perfect. We ALL enjoyed a soak in the outdoor hot springs, at the foot of these enormous mountains ..
On the drive home, the kids had some 'party food' ... potato chips, marshmallows, lollie biscuits, alongside enjoying the sights of the wildlife as the roam free here, namely the mountain big-horned sheep, and lots of elk, right there on the roadside - there's warning signs everywhere about "beware of the wildlife crossing the road!" It's crazy. Really hoping to see a lot more animals over these next few days, as we know there are all sorts living here, eg: bear, cougar, wolves.
Once back, we had more hot party food, birthday cake, and some dvds.
The wildlife couldn't care less.