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Day 6 - Jasper to Miette Springs (and back)

Living in an RV van is a great test of a relationship - especially when the other half is having a negative day. So (although I'm writing this) most of the notes for today are from Art. Just a warning - they don't get that positive until we get to the Bar, late afternoon…..

Our eating habits while in the campervan are very healthy - we've had cornflakes and fruit salad for breakfast every morning so far. I am soooo missing the lovely bacon and eggs from A&M, but Art is being a tyrant. Lunch is oh so healthy french bread with salad and ham or chicken breast, with fruit to follow, and I've cooked a proper meal in the van every evening too. Never mind - wait 'til we're back in civilisation and eating cordon bleu meals on the train :)

As we are now past the 500km distance limit on the campervan, every extra km will cost us 39c. And that's without petrol. We filled van up with fuel this morning - over 100l (and it wasn't empty). We know there's another 500km back to Calgary, so we're being a bit aware of how far we're travelling from now on. One bright point of the morning was a meeting in the petrol station. This elderly couple came up to me, and asked me in a very proper English accent if we knew how to do 'this self-service thing' because they'd never had to do it before. It turns out that they moved to Canada from Coalville, in Leicestershire, 40 years ago - and they'd both gone to Coalville Grammar, the same school that Art had gone to!

We decided on a trip to 'Miette Springs', on the North-East (SH16) road from Jasper to Hinton. On the map, it looked like there were rivers and lakes to pass. Well there are, but without snow the landscape is very grey. Because of the late spring, there are very few deciduous trees with new buds - you can just see them peeping through. Where they do, they are a lush bright green. The road was much busier with large trucks and other vehicles than the one from Lake Louise to Jasper. This may be because it's a Monday, but I think it's because this is the main road from Vancouver to Edmonton.

Not many photos today, one can only photo so many mountains and lakes, especially if you are from NZ

Ashlar Ridge

Miette Springs are about 17km off the main road. There are a number of places to stop on the way, but none are too exciting. We stopped at the Pocohantas Mine Trails, which show remnants of the old mine and settlement. Well, there were a few lumps of concrete lying around… Next, was the Punchbowl Falls. A short walk of 20m took you to the viewing platform - where you couldn't see the falls without leaning right over. And even then, they were more of a dribble. At the far end is the resort of Miette Springs. This has some cabins, a few sheep in the car park, and a number of hot pools that look like they were built by the same contractors who built Watford Municipal Swimming Baths. We turned round, pulled up in a lay-by at the side of the road, had lunch and a snooze…….

We are finding that the sun is very strong. And we forgot to bring hats. Our factor 15 suntan lotion doesn't seem to be strong enough, so we both have a healthy glow. Back in Jasper we decided to go shopping. Factor 30 suntan lotion - no problem. Baseball cap - they're really expensive! What we need is a local clothes-store instead of a tourist shop.

What we would also need if we were here next month is, apparently, industrial strength mosquito repellent. Apparently they are man-eaters around here. Edmonton currently has a plague of them, caused by the stagnant water from the melting snow.

Meanwhile, Art and I are (temporarily) in shorts and t-shirts. Apparently though it will rain tonight.

I must mention the trains too. Jasper seems to be a centre for freight trains - and they are very, very, VERY long. They crawl through, blocking the roads, and go on for ever. I counted over 100 trucks on one train (and gave up counting on others).

Trains and more Mountains

So - to the bit that Art likes best - the local bar. We've been recommended the 'Whistle Stop' by two people, so that was where we headed. The beer and food seemed a very reasonable price. There were sports of all kinds on the TV screens. In Canada ice hockey seems to be the equivalent to rugby in New Zealand, and curling seems to take the place of netball. But it was the locals that made the bar. Especially the man in the Hawaiian shirt and shorts, and the group on the next table who were trying to persuade Art to try 'Jaegermaster bombs' (for the uninitiated, these are one-third full pint glasses of Jaegermaster beer, with a shot glass of Red Bull standing in them in one go). 'Guaranteed to keep you awake all night' apparently.)

So now it's back to the campsite for a healthy meal of chicken in tomatoes with green peppers and mushroom. I can't wait until I'm allowed a nice unhealthy fried chicken meal or pizza again :)

New Shoots

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terris_travelogue/canada/f_jasper_miette.txt · Last modified: 2011/05/19 11:06 by tel
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