My last day off, last Thursday, was a very fun-filled day. Since so much happened, I’m going to write it in three parts.
Erin & Caelan’s Awesome Day Off: Part 1
Where we live in Jasper, we’re about a fifteen minute drive or a forty minute walk from the town. Unfortunately, only a couple of my friends have cars, which puts kind of a damper on trying to get out and have adventures.
Usually, one of my friends with a car does have the same day off as me, so I tag along with whatever yoga or hiking activity she’s doing. However, days off swapped around a bit over the past couple weeks, and this Thursday it was just me and my friend Erin off on the same day. Neither of us had a car, but we had big dreams for our day off. So we did something revolutionary: we rented a car.
It was a fantastic decision.
We picked up our beautiful, 2018, Dodge Charger early that morning (we requested a smaller car. That’s what they gave us. We were thrilled). It had everything: heated seats, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a rooftop window… it was beautiful. And, best of all, it would take us anywhere we wanted, all day long!
I often say to guests that Canada isn’t a country you can traverse easily without a car. While I was travelling in Europe, I loved the efficiency of their public transport. Trains, buses, and streetcars can take you just about anywhere, and your feet or a good bicycle can talk you everywhere else. Canada, unfortunately, does not enjoy the same web of connection; our country is very large, and very car-centric. The main way of transport is driving, and there are few options that offer much flexibility or affordability when it comes to getting around – especially in a national park.
So you can imagine how excited we were to have a car to ourselves for the entire day. And, as an added bonus: the car company told us initially (when we booked online) that we would have to return it by five p.m. That morning, when we showed up, the rental guy told us that since we were locals, we could keep the car for an extra night if we wanted to and could put unlimited miles on it. We were pretty stoked.
Our beautiful car for the day:
We began our day with the compulsory stop at Timmie’s, and then hit the road!
We started out by driving down Maligne Lake Road. This road is one of my favourites in Jasper. Not only is it a beautiful drive, but wildlife (especially bears) are often spotted along this road. We meandered our way up, taking stops wherever it looked pretty.
Medicine Lake, one of the stops on the way up:
Beside Medicine Lake. There was a forest fire in this area a few years ago, which caused all of those black trees. The purple flower is fireweed. It’s called that because it’s almost always the first flower to appear in areas that have been burned.
View of Medicine Lake from the shoreline:
Driving along beside Medicine Lake:
Views further along Maligne Lake Road:
We carried on all the way to the end of the road, and went for a short stroll by Maligne Lake. This Lake is easily one of the most-photographed lakes in Jasper, and it’s easy to see why!
I came to this lake once during my first year in Jasper. I did the boat cruise, which was a lot of fun, that took us all the way down to the lake to see Spirit Island. That was a foggy day, and it was nice to see the comparison to the day we were recently there, when it was nice and sunny. I may have to go back and do the boat cruise again later this summer, but unfortunately that day, we didn’t have quite enough time (like I said, we had big plans for our day).
But, just because they’re real pretty, here are some of the pictures I took when I did the boat cruise two years ago. It was very foggy that day:
Spirit Island, located at the far end of Maligne Lake:
After Maligne Lake, we drove back down the road and turned east, headed for Hinton, and the next leg of our day…