27 September 2007
JASPER, ATHABASCA & THE VALLEY OF THE FIVE LAKES
September 7, 2007
Well, we finally had a morning without mishap. The only problem was it was raining and the mountains were shrouded in clouds. We took off at 7:00 am anyway. Our first idea was to go to Edith Clavell Meadow. Unfortunately, the higher we went the more rain and clouds we ran into. We went as far as the hostel, turned around and went back down the mountain. Turns out dogs can’t go there right now anyway as they are doing some kind of Caribou reclamation project. They didn’t want my kind disturbing them. It seems wolves are caribou natural predators and dogs remind them of wolves. That being the case, imagine the impression I would make! That’s ok. We respect that sort of thing totally.
We headed on down 93A and came across a big bull elk fording the
Athabasca River. Thanks to poor lighting conditions, and me, mom didn’t get any keeper photographs. She misses more shots thanks to my irrational exuberance. As soon as she rolled down the window I tried to jump out while making a pretty impressive racket. I don’t mean to do it. I just can’t seem to control myself when I see wildlife. I just want to get after it and completely forget my manners.
A little farther down the road the same thing happened again only this time it was a pair of wolves, one tawny and one black. The tawny was huge and wore a radio collar. The black was much smaller and I couldn’t tell if it had a collar or not. Anyway, I repeated my performance trying to jump out the window and screeching my lungs out. I thought mom was going to strangle me. The thing is, I’m usually in a crate but Shadow is too small so I’m just in the backseat. As soon as a window goes down I’m there. I know mom’s windmill of a mind is working overtime on a solution. I hope it isn’t too awful. I really am sorry but I seriously can’t help myself. Anyway, I thought these guys might be cousins or something. I wanted to get their attention!
We continued on down 93A. Mom was not a happy camper. We stopped at Athabasca Falls. The place was crawling with tourists and it was raining. I got left in the car while mom went to check it out. Bummer.
We then headed back north on the Icefields Parkway (93) and stopped at a spot where they launch white water rafts on the Athabasca River. We walked along the riverbank for about an hour. Mom took some photos of mushrooms and stuff and a little animal mom later identified it as a pine marten. After that we called it a morning. Went back to the campground, ate lunch and took a siesta.
Around two thirty we hit 93 South again. It was still mostly cloudy. We headed for The Valley of the Five Lakes. This is a really neat place to hike. We got rained on some but we also had some sunny moments. The trail is well traveled but since we were there later in the day there were not very many people around. The five lakes, which apparently don’t have names just numbers, are crystal clear and some have that incredible green/blue/turquoise color. We spent about three hours hiking around these lakes and I think mom may have gotten one or two photographs that met her standards. This was especially good, as she gets a little cranky when she doesn’t get any photos that light her candle, so to speak. ☺
That’s about it for this day. Hope the weather is better tomorrow.
Until next time ...