Kamloops to Jasper


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North America » Canada » Alberta » Jasper National Park
August 6th 2014
Published: August 6th 2014
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The Coastal Range through which we drove yesterday was impressive and pretty, with large peaks and pretty mountain lakes and streams. For flatlanders like us Oklahomans, they were a sight to see. But nothing really prepares you for the experience of coming around a bend in the highway and suddenly seeing Mt. Robson looming in front of you. It is startling, and resulted in the expected simultaneous chorus of "Holy s***!" The sheer massive size of it just overwhelms, and it is high enough that it still is wearing a snowy top and face. At 12,972' it is probably the most prominent in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Range, although only 21st in height in Canada (most of the highest are in the Yukon).

Jasper is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies and also less traveled than the more southerly Banff, and is the place to see wildlife we are told. On the early morning part of our drive, I saw a golden eagle, but birds of prey have been pretty hard to come by so far. But this afternoon we stopped to large a large bull elk feeding alone, then saw several small groups of mountain goats in their summer coats.

These mountains are now snow covered now, but their sheer faces are fascinating. You can almost watch the processes of erosion taking place. You can see large bowls in the rock face where plate have sloughed off, and in one place a mountain line that terminates abruptly in a sheer face where a large chunk obviously just fell off.

You can also take tours to see Burgess Shale here, but those fossils will have to await another visit.

Tomorrow: more of Jasper, hiking the area around Maligne Lake and Canyon


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