We got to Jasper National Park, set up the trailer in Whistlers campground and went to town to meet Jasper the town bear.
The town of Jasper is in Jasper National Park as the town of Banff is in Banff National Park. Residents and businesses rent the land from the Federal Government. They are regular towns; however with schools, hospitals, stores and services for residents as well as tourists. You will notice that I didn't mention police as one of the town services. They do have police but law enforcement is not a separate town or National Park function. All law enforcement in Canada including the enforcement in National Parks is provided by the Royal Canadian mounted Police (RCMP). There are no separate Park Rangers or Provincial (state) city or town police as there are in the United States. In fact, on the night we returned to our trailer in Whistlers campground from dinner at the Jasper Lodge the RCMP had set up a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) check at the entrance to the campground. It's a good thing I don't drink anymore.
The Edith Cavel Restaurant at the lodge, named after a British Nurse who gave her life to save others during World War I was rated four diamond by the CAA/AAA. It was continental leaning towards French and we don't care for French Restaurant's so we were slightly disappointed. It was however a pleasant evening with nice company, each other and a glamorous view of the lake. We even got dressed up for the evening unlike Marylin Monroe, who when she was filming the "Lost River" with Robert Mitchum, came to dinner in her tight jeans. She was informed that her tight jeans were not appropriate in the lodge dining room so she left the lodge and roomed and dined elsewhere. I guess the Canadians are more like the British then we realize. Had I been in the dining room that evening I wouldn't have been happy that they asked her to leave.
While at Jasper NP we went on several hikes including a night hike supposedly under the full Moon. Unfortunately the Moon was completely covered by clouds on the night we went and we needed to use our flash lights to descend the narrow mountain trail we had climbed to view it. Other then that it was an interesting hike with a number of other tourists as well as several locals.
We drove out to Maligne Lake and hiked along its shore. We couldn't hike around the lake because of its size many people take a scenic boat cruise to the other end which can't even be seen from where we were. We did go up to and around a nearby smaller lake called Moose lake but didn't see any moose. We did see these mountain sheep and momma bear with her cubs on the road to the lake however.
After viewing the lake we headed back towards the campground and stopped at Maligne Canyon a popular tourist spot. Most tourist including the numerous buses that stop there take the 20 minute walk to the first and second bridge. We walked down the Canyon to the fifth bridge. A series of six bridges with connecting paths criss cross this famous limestone gorge. The 2.1 Kilometer trail gains or drops 100 meters depending on whether you start at the top or bottom. We started at the top and had to return to the top because there are no shuttle buses returning people to their cars. As you cross the bridges and at several overlooks along the path you look down to the bottom of this narrow, steep gorge.
We also drove back onto the Ice Field Parkway where we walked through the Valley of Five Lakes with its five small lakes in various shades of blue green, then through a canyon abandoned by the water at the Athabasca Falls.
We also stopped at an overlook called Goats and Glaciers were we saw sure footed white mountain goats crossing the face of a mountain.
Next: Banff National Park
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