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Reisverslag Hitch hikers, National parks, parkways and more!
2 augustus 2014
Hitch hikers, National parks, parkways and more!
Today our first mountain hike at Jasper National Park. It was the first day that the weather got really nice, so this day was supposed to be one of the nicer days. We drove up to Maligne Lake, where we were going to start our hike from. On the way up there we came across some hitch hikers so we couldn´t do anything else than take them with us. They were gonna go to the same lake as we were. There they were gonna hike 42 kilometer’s in one day. For most people that is already quite the hike to do in 2 days, so this was something pretty intense. One of the 2 hitch hikers was a 25 year old cop who ran 100 +K’s for fun, so this was probably not too hard for him, but 42 kilometers hiking in one day is still a lot. Anyway, when we found the start of the trail we started climbing. The total trial was about 11 kilometers with a height difference of 500 meters, a pretty decent hike. After a while we got out of the forest and into the meadows. From there we had a clear view of the lake and all the 3000+ meter snowy mountains that were behind it. After we hiked all the way up the mountain we had an awesome 360 view of the surrounding valleys, mountains, steep cliffs and forests.
After we went back, it took us a total of 5 hours we drove back. On the way back was the Maligne Canyon, but before we even got there, we stopped when we saw a bear eating berries close to the road. It was about 13 meters below us, but before anyone realized it, he climbed up and within seconds he was on the road, not even 3 meters away from some people. Some people are apparently not too smart, so they just stay where they are, taking pictures. This can be harmful for them, but it can also be harmful for the bear. The canyon was awesome, but not something very special. It was at some places probably a 100 meters (300 feet) deep, and there were some waterfalls in it. The way back was almost even prettier than the hike we went on that day. It was a wide valley with high (rocky) mountains, rivers, grasslands and forests everywhere. Just the combination of everything was really pretty and because of this and the park in general, this won’t be the last time that I will ever be there.
Our campground in Jasper is probably the biggest one I have ever been on. It was a huge campground with more than a 1000 sites, surrounded by mountain peaks. I am sleeping up top in the camper, above the ‘car’ part of the RV. I have a little window where I can fit my head through, so since Jasper I have been sticking my head out every night for a while just to watch the stars. I don’t know why, but it is just really fascinating and if you just look you see enough falling stars (or something similar) shooting through the sky. They are there for not even a second, so I was doubting myself the first couple times, but I kept seeing it night after night, so after a while I started to believe myself.
The next day we (this time just mom and I) went on another amazing hike. It was just 8 kilometers, but the vertical difference was 700 meters this time which was a little more than the day before. The 360 view on the top of the mountain we were on today was totally different than the one yesterday (although a mountain is a mountain you would say). The mountains here were steeper but less high, at least less snowy, but they were as beautiful as all the others. When we got back we were pretty heated, so we decided to drive to a lake to refresh. I just picked a lake by hand and we drove there. It was an amazing beautiful wind-still lake, with mountains in the back ground. It was also cold as shit, probably 8-12 degrees C (35-45 F), so just a couple short dives was enough to refresh me till I was so refreshed that I got an headache. This was already our last day in Jasper, so we went to bed early because the next day we were gonna wake up even earlier than early.
We got up at 7 because today we were gonna drive on one of the most amazing drives on the planet. 93 Icefield Parkway is described as one of the most beautiful roads in the world, and I have to say that they couldn’t be more true. The road winded through valleys with enormous mountains, high cliffs, dense forests, blue lakes, wild rivers and not to forget more glaciers than I have ever seen. We saw elk, deer, bears and birds and we made stops at a wild waterfalls, glaciers, just finger tips away, emerald blue glacier lakes, viewpoints and mountaintops, pretty much every place we could stop at. We stopped at some amazing blue lakes with crazy mountain tops behind it where we went swimming. The beauty of these lakes is also hard to describe, but believe me that these lakes here were the most beautiful I have ever seen. Luckily we took the whole day for this just 250 Kilometer trip, because we arrived at our campground at around 7 at night.
We decided to just stay one ‘real’ day in Banff because it was so busy everywhere, something we are not that fond of. That one day we were there we went on a hike to the inkpots. Inkpots, at least here in Banff, are places where cold water (4 degrees C and around 40 F) comes out of the ground which creates a cool color (don’t ask me how). To get there we had to hike through a canyon where huge amounts of tourists also went to. But when it gets kind of hard or steep most tourists just leave or don’t wanna put too much effort in it, so it wasn’t that busy after we left the canyon to hike up a mountain. We went sort of around it and when it opened up we were in a big valley with the inkpots (of course), a river, mountain peaks all around us, grasslands and trees. It all looked pretty very beautiful, so we just hung out at the river and looked at the inkpots. As adventurous as we are (yes yes yes) my dad and I went swimming which is a little too big of a word for what we did, but we went dipping in the ice cold glacier water. This was probably the coldest water I have ever been in, so being in there for more than just a couple of seconds was pretty much impossible. After we went back, we drove too another lake where we went swimming in. As I already said, Canada is for me the country of the lakes, so we couldn’t do anything but swim in as many lakes as possible.
This is a nice place to quit my 3 (and fore last blog), so be ready for one more, my last one (for a while) on this amazing continent.
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21 augustus 2014 17:29 | Door: Vince van 't