Jasper, July 25, 2010
Following the two days on the train, I spent the next two nights at a very pleasant lodge right in Jasper. The breakfast buffet was really good, and not as pricey as some others I would have on the trip.
A small bus gathered some of us up from our hotels to take a tour of the scenic areas in the area. We visited Medicine Lake, which magically appears and disappears, or something like that. It had decided to appear while we were there. At least the river disappears under mountains. There's a shot of a ravine lower on this page.
We visited Maligne Lake. Yes, the name in French means the same thing that it does in English. The French and English explorers obviously found the area so pleasant that they used names like "Maligne" and "Gates of Hell." Maybe they didn't find the lake so evil, but the river gets very treacherous. We took a boat tour of the lake and had some time on Spirit Island.
After the lake tour we headed back and found ourselves in a long line of stopped traffic. A skinny young bear was begging for food from the cars in front of us. I don't know that he was having any luck, but people were stopping to look and take pictures. Bears need to consume massive amounts of food to store fat to get them through the winter. In this area they are mainly eating berries, lots and lots of berries. This poor little guy has become dependent upon humans, so he probably didn't survive the following winter.
Some big-horned sheep came along and were fairly cooperative for photographers. They didn't beg for anything or seem to threaten or be threatened.