Day 23: Exploring Jasper National Park

Day 23: Friday, June 7, 2013

This elk was there to greet me as Blondie and I took our morning walk
This elk was there to greet me as Blondie and I took our morning walk

Blondie and I were surprised to find an elk next to the dumpster in the campground as we made our morning walk! I didn’t even see her until we were very close to her. What a great way to start the day!

The rain started coming down as we were ready to go out and explore the area. The town of Jasper has a few blocks of restaurants and shops. We enjoyed a nice breakfast at LuLu’s Cafe and did a little shopping at an outdoor outfitters shop. We had the same idea as many other people and went to the Visitor’s Center to check email. The place was packed with many people checking their phones, computers, and tablets for news from home. The connection was slow so we gave up and decided to go on a drive recommended by the clerk at the outdoor store.

Bear are frequently sighted on the Marmot Basin drive so off we went in search of bear. The narrow road climbs to a ski area which is closed for the season. It winds beside rivers and lakes with views of the mountains. There were no bears but it was fun looking.

At the end of the road we came to Athabasca Falls. There are easy walking trails for exploring both sides of the falls.

Four elk awaited us at the entrance to our camping loop when we returned. They were resting in the grass around two empty campsites. Such a great way to end the day!

Days 16 and 17: Here comes the sun!

Days 16 and 17. May 31, 2013 – June 1, 2013. Dick’s RV Park, Great Falls, Montana

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Friday was rainy all day but Saturday we finally had a beautiful, warm sunny day.

Unfortunately, Saturday was our last day in the lower 48 before crossing the border into Canada so the morning was spent taking care of all the last minute things we need to do before continuing our trek north.

Once the chores were done we took a tour along the Missouri River on River Road. A busy walking and biking trail runs beside the river. A huge city park near the river was filled with families enjoying the beautiful day. Several parking areas along the road offer great view of sights along the river.

Our drive began at the Welcome Center where a statue honoring Lewis and Clark overlooks the confluence of the Sun and Missouri River. Blondie enjoyed our stop at the city dog park where she could run and play. We stopped at some of the overlooks to view the falls.

This may be our last post for a while. We will be crossing the border into Canada on Sunday, June 1 and will be staying in two national parks without internet.