Monday, August 16, 2010

Yarg! It's Raining

The weather, ever since the dramatic storms over Lake Jackson, had been problematic, never raining hard, but with frequent little showers.  It rained again Wednesday night, not bigtime and not continuous, but enough to dampen our spirits.  But what do you do when you are camping and it's raining?  You either sit in the tent contemplating your navel or you get in the Prius to see what there is to see.  (If we were real campers, we'd put on rain gear and go hiking, but....)

So we breakfasted between raindrops at the campsite and proceeded to explore some of the drives around Jasper - the drive out past Patricia and Pyramid Lakes.  Pyramid Lake sits at the foot of Mt. Pyramid, which in turn forms the backdrop for the town of Jasper.

We came to like Jasper very much.  Jasper has a substantial permanent population and lots of neatly kept cottages with flowers everywhere.  There's a nice "feel" to the place.

We came across the 50 KM road up Maligne Canyon to Medicine and Maligne Lakes.  Medicine Lake has the peculiar property of drying up by the end of summer.  Its water percolates though the coarse moraine rocks and gravel to a underground river (more about that later). 
Medicine Lake

Maligne Lake is about 25 KM long, large enough that there's a concession running 1.5 hour boat trips.  The weather was not inviting for boat trips, so we put that off to another trip, but had a good lunch at the restaurant with a window seat looking out on the lake and the mountains that define it.
Maligne Lake
The Maligne River, Canyon, and Lake get their names from a priest/explorer who had an extraordinarily difficult time crossing the Maligne River at its confluence with the Athabasca.  In frustration, he named it the Malignant River - Malign in French.

Along the way, we had encounters with wildlife.
Majestic Elk

She Likes to Pose