Monday, July 2, 2012

Jasper means ice, bears and breathtaking vistas

After two nights camping at Banff's Tunnel Mountain campground, we convened at McDonald's on Banff Avenue, checked our email and ate breakfast before leaving for Lake Louise and Jasper National Park -- the northernmost goal of our 2012 motorcycle adventure.

The weather was sketchy and we were spattered with rain before we passed Lake Louise. Although sunny skies would have made riding easier, the dramatic skies, low clouds, mist and showers actually enhanced the scenery.

Columbia Ice Field was a highlight, as were the bears. The roads were mostly empty, but every hour or two we'd encounter a cluster of cars and campers parked on the shoulder -- a sure sign of bear.

After lunch at Subway in the town of Jasper, we headed out of the park, endured more than an hour of construction back up where workers were repairing a washout, and camped next to a swollen river at Valemount, B.C. The sound of the rushing water lulled us to sleep and drowned out the snoring.

Jasper National Park was the northernmost destination in this year's journey.
The road through Jasper mostly tracks through valleys with rocky peaks looming on both sides.
Newly risen from hibernation, this slender grizzly was chomping on fresh green grass and wildflowers next to the highway. 
The less than perfect weather added drama to the scenery.
A cluster of vehicles parked on the side of the road was a sure sign there was a bear.
This young black bear was too busy eating to pay much attention to humans.
The Columbia Ice Field, a glacier, flowed within yards of the road.
David, Daniel and the Columbia glacier.
A late snow melt coupled with weeks of rainy weather caused problems like the washout that backed up traffic for at least a mile in both directions when we left Jasper for our campground in Valemount.
Our swing through Canada began in Butte (A). We crossed the border in Rooseville (B), spent two nights in Banff (C), visited the bears and glaciers in Jasper (D), camped in Valemount (E) and took refuge from the rain in a motel in Kamloops (F).

No comments:

Post a Comment