Monday, August 12, 2013
The Campervan: Day 12 - Jasper - Hinton
I woke up several times throughout the night to what I thought was the familiar sound of a fire crackling but in reality it was the unfamiliar sound of rain hitting the roof. Our first day in Jasper was tainted by what we then considered bad weather (realistically it was just overcast with spitting rain) and with that we decided we deserved a lie in - well until nine at the latest- and pancakes for breakfast.
After checking out of the campsite just in time we headed into Jasper for the first time. Instantly it was less touristy than Banff but that could be because there were more tourists in hiding due to the horrendous weather. As standard we started off at the tourist information which proved useful - but not as useful as the wifi. We wandered Jaspers two main streets -which seemed that little bit more authentic than those in Banff- and picked up some groceries before heading to Maligne Lake which is another windows desktop standard. When we got there though it didn't really look like the google image results we had expected as it was, of course, frozen over and the real nice parts were a hike along the lake which were closed off. However, these guys don't waste a photo opportunity as they crashed into the icy waters only to realise the ice was much stronger that expected and instead the ice was used to soothe some bruised knees.
Several cups of tea and some sandwiches later we were back on the road again out of Jasper towards Maligne Canyon and Medicine lake but the rain didn't let us appreciate the view for long. We decided we were getting far to scared of tourists so headed away from Jasper into deeper Alberta towards Meitte Springs- meanwhile Gabby had managed to get her hair tangled in a comb and had to be cut free. These springs were found up a single track road on a mountain but Canadians love their hot springs so we were greeted by another scene of a commercial hot spring full of visitors. We stayed to cook dinner and I tried to cut Blake's hair but adhering to health and safety I had to do it out in the rain - not the most successful method.
As we meandered back down the mountain, to the tune of Uno and Irish Snap, it started to get dark. We tried to find a campsite at the side of the road now that we were out of the national park but every side road seemed to lead to private property and so we ended up parking in front of Park West Mall in the town of Hinton. Not our most scenic spots but the 24/7 MacDonalds proved useful for charging and toilets purposes if not eating purposes.