The cold snap was continuing, and it was again, freezing. I cannot stress how cold this day was. There is no other feeling like the insides of your nostrils freezing! My phone doesn’t like to operate in this cold, if I take it out for more than a minute, it has a hissy fit and turns off; it won’t turn back on until I have warmed it up again.
Our first day in Jasper we headed up the road, where you drive up a glacial valley, firstly to lovely views back over Jasper, then on to Maligne Canyon, to do the walkthrough.
We did the little walk down the way, and made our way to where the canyon opens out, and we climbed carefully down into it. The river was frozen mostly solid, with only a bit of water flowing right near the bottom. Water had flowed from the walls, and frozen, forming more walls of ice, ice all around! The floor was super slippery, what with being sheet ice, and parts of the floor had little ice terraces, where water had flowed over the top, but then frozen. It was very pretty, a bit otherworldly.
I wanted to spend longer down there, you can walk quite a way up teh canyon, but the lack of feeling on our feet made us leave. The walk back to the car was great, as it warmed us up a bit.
We then drove up past Medicine Lake to Maligne Lake, where we had lunch, then cruised back to town. This is an interesting area: Maligne Lake is a large glacier fed lake, the largest lake in Jasper National Park. It flows down to Medicine Lake, which was created when the river backs up, and disappears underground. It flows under and overground, and comes out furthur down in Maligne Canyon, where the walls are covered in fantastic ice sculptures, from the different springs and parts of the river that flow and emerge from underground.
After driving around some of the smaller lakes, we saw a squirrel, and another coyote, this one had some lunch in its mouth.
We watched a few squirrels, then headed back to town to get warm again.
The next day we had planned to drive to Valemont in BC, to get our licences sorted, but we gave them a call first, and I think we can use our NZ licenses for up to 6 months if just visiting. We are only here for a bit longer, so it seems a shame to have to drive so far and pay money to change our licenses when its only for a month or so.
We ended up with a day and not much to do. It was snowing, but a wee bit warmer, so we decided to walk the few blocks to town and check out the sights.
We checked out the Den, a little corridor of native canadian scenes set up with stuffed animals. It was interesting to see, but it smelled a lot like dead animal.
We wanted to go to the museum, but that is only open Wednesday to Sunday. We wandered back home (after lunch at The Bears Paw bakery – delishuz), and started the car with only a little reluctance, and drove to the Athabasca Falls.
IT was very lovely, another frozen in time falls, with a bit of deep blue in the small patch of water that hadn’t frozen. We saw some squirrels playing near the car, and I got quite close to one who was just sitting there, eating his little nuts. Two of them had a bit of a fight while running up a tree.
A quick drive back to home, and dinner at a yum pizza place. Also, we had dessert pizza that was filled with nutella, a dessert calzone, and it was delishuz.