After spending the whole day on the parkway I cruised into Jasper. My first stop was to Maligne Canyon. Great hiking area and many points of interest worthy of taking a photo. On my stop here I met Sebastian. We were both kind of lost and ended up talking about adventures. I told him how a friend from work wanted to drive to Yellowknife in Canada as it looked to be the furthest place you could drive. Sebastian said, “Oh no, me and my brother didn’t believe Ice Road Truckers was real so we decided totake the ice roads. He said they woke up one morning and it was -50 degrees celcius! I guess Canadian adventures are a little bit different. Nice guy though. Always interesting the people you meet while traveling.
I was amazed at how easily it was to find parking near the visitor’s center downtown. They helped me figure out what I wanted to do the next day and gave me a few maps. I then walked around downtown a bit visiting a few tourist shops. Again I found a lot of indian art in the shops, so cool. In hindsight I wish I would have picked up something to remember my time there but (as something that happens a lot) I can never figure out how to fit it into what I have going on (design wise) in my apartment. Before leaving town I stopped for dinner at a nice diner. I was on my way to Hinton, Alberta to find my hotel for the night.
I stayed at a Holiday Inn which was nice but lacked the free breakfast in the morning that you find at the Holiday Inn Express establishments. I had a few beers at the bar while I catched up with my email and voicemails then crashed for the night.
The next morning, I was up early to drive about 30 kilometers to Sulfer Skyline Trail and Miette Hot Springs. Two great attractions at one location! The best part was that I could do my hike and then soak in the hot springs. This hike was steep. It was about 5 miles round trip and going up would be pretty steep, 2100 feet to be exact. You basically hike up and around mountains, through a forest. Towards the top you break out of the treeline and have some really nice views of the valley, cloaked in smoke of course, but still beautiful. The last push is really steep and on a scree (broken rock fragments) field. Well there was a little tral up but you end up slipping a lot (especially on the way down). Before I knew it I was at the top of a mountain! I didn’t even know that was my destination but it really was nice looking over at the tops of other mountains and realizing what you had just done. Again, I sat down, soaked in the moment and ate some Oreos. Someone had them in the hotel in Denver and because of that it became my reward on the trip for a job well done.
On the way down I chatted with another solo traveler I met at the summit. We both needed each other to take pictures of ourselves and continued to chat until we reached the bottom of the mountain and our cars. It was at this moment that I realized my camera batter had fallen out of my camera. It was somewhere on the mountain…. Another guy who parked next to me said he found it and left it on a bridge up the trail. Good news-battery found, bad news-I had to go back up the mountain…
While walking up I ran into a family. I recognized them because I took their family picture on the top of the mountain, and asked them if they saw a battery on the bridge. To my surprise they said they had it and were going to take it to the hot springs lost and found. I was elated as it meant I could get back on track and go to the hot springs! You just have to love people in times like this.
The Miete hot spring costs about $6.50 canadian to enter. You get into a swimming suit, shower then hit the pool. The pool is filled up daily and is very clean. I stayed for about 20 minutes then hopped out. I didn’t want the hot water stealing too much of my energy. I had a long drive to make if I wanted to make it to the Tyrrell Museum the next day.
In leaving town I did notice that there were signs directing people who were driving to Alaska. I realized at that moment that I was really far away from home. According to google maps, if you were to drive non stop you could get back to Detroit in about 33 hours.
I drove out of Jasper and headed towards Edmunton. Once there I cut south and headed towards Drumheller, Alberta. It was about a 7 hour drive and once there I went straight for a Walmart. I was a bit wore out as the last 100 kilometers was down a two lane country round in the dark where I saw a lot of deer. Also it had started storming so once I arrived I quickly jumped in the back to check messages, update Facebook and crash for the night.