Vancouver VIA Rail

Vancouver-Via-RailCredits-  Template by Shabby Miss Jen’s Designs;  Paper by Jessica Sprague Blue Solid paper from Cr8 Mini Kit;  Elements:  Stapler Pair and Heart Sticker both by KPertiet;  Alpha by Jessica Sprague from Grand Intention Kit

Trains fascinate me because it evokes a feel of the olden days.  It is the only means of public transportation to Vancouver from Jasper unless one drives to Edmonton and fly out from there.  An opportunity I cannot pass up and so I booked us on the VIA Rail Canada and got ourselves to Vancouver via rail!

Not without some 7-hour delay.  While VIA Rail owns 223 kilometers of tracks, most of the infrastructure used by the passenger service is owned and managed by the freight railways operators.  In short, the train will be late and it is not their fault.  So looking at the glass half full, we took the opportunity to see more of Jasper.  How can one get tired of this quaint town anyway?  So off we went to Maligne Canyon… and got back way before the train arrived.   No complaints from us!

The 20-hour (thereabout) train ride offered beautiful sceneries.  The high-level coaches and lounge cars have big windows for better viewing pleasure.

Money well-spent…

VIA Rail Canada
Jasper Station
601Connaught Dr.,
Jasper, AB

More Glorious Lakes

Scenic Sunday

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This marks the end of my series of lakes and other bodies of waters around Jasper.  The many glorious lakes is clearly a major reason why Jasper has become a favorite.

Patricia Lake

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Pyramid Lake

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Cavell Lake

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Unsure which lake this was but scuba diving in glacial fed waters?  Are. You. Kidding!?  Kudos to them!!!   🙂

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For more scenic scenes, click here.

Maligne Valley

Scenic Sunday

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Pronounced “mah-leen”, is riddled by an extensive karsts system – a geological formation of caves above and below ground level.  In the case of Maligne Valley, no one knows where the water for Maligne Lake goes.  Located at the south end of Maligne Road, this gorgeous wildlife-filled, glacier fed lake is one of the largest in the Rockies.  Watch for elk, sheep, moose along the road, we were told and bears are usually spotted around the lake.

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Completing the Maligne Valley highlight is Maligne Canyon where the river has eaten away at the limestone of the valley eroding the softer rocks.  The result is a smooth, steep walled canyon bringing forth one of the most spectacular gorge in the Canadian Rockies.  Waterfalls, fossils, potholes are just some of the wonders of the canyon.

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Medicine Lake: The Lake that isn’t

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There are lots of glorious lakes within Jasper National Park but there is one lake that lured us no end.  Medicine Lake, just approximately 20km southeast of the townsite.  A geological rarity.  Why? you ask.  We all assume that Medicine Lake is a normal mountain lake but it isn’t.  It is perhaps best described as a sinking lake that has holes in the bottom like a bathtub without a plug.  During intensified runoff of summer, too much water flows into the lake filling the drain.  Before long, the lakebed begins to fill and by late spring, early summer (which was about the time we were there), Medicine Lake is in its full glory.

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Medicine Lake is located along the road to Maligne Lake, a lake almost synonymous with Jasper. On our way to Malign Lake one evening, the still water perfectly reflecting the mountains and the sky caught our attention.  And so we stopped and admired its glory. 

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A great road route to spot wildlife, we were told, was also probably the main reason why we ply that route more often than once during our stay in Jasper.  It is Caribou land and we got word from a tourist we met earlier that there were caribous and bears (ok maybe he was exaggerating and there was only one) lurking around.  More than enough reason to go back again and again even if we were out of luck as far as caribous and bears were concerned.  It is, after all, a glorious lake, er, body of water(?) during the summer months.
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Athabasca Falls

Scenic Sunday

After the breathtaking Sunwapta Falls, we took another turn and found ourselves in yet another dramatic and powerful waterfall. 

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Considered among the most impressive falls in the Rocky Mountain, it is not surprising to note that Athabasca Falls could quite possibly be the most popular in the Canadian Rockies.  Lucky for us, we were there at a time where visitors, sometimes overflowing, were few.

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A short access trail surrounds the falls and allows for a glimpse of park.  A lookout spot and a bridge provide vantage points for photos. 

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Speaking of which, the falls is a deafening combination of sound and spray and even if it is not raining, a rain-jacket might be a good idea.  Not because we were soaked but I worried more about my camera lens and wished I brought something to cover up.

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The Athabasca River is the largest river system in Jasper National Park and the heavy flow of volume from that river pours over a hard layer of rock, cutting deeply into the soft limestone below creating potholes and medicine bowls. 

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This odd rock formations thousand of years in the making is also a take off point for white water rafting.  Sadly though, A’s 18 day stint in the Colorado River left him with no desire to be in cold water any time soon.  Oh well…   😦

Visit more Scenic Sundays here.

Sunwapta Falls: Turbulent Waters

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Not far from the Icefields Parkway, south of Jasper, is the aptly named Sunwapta Falls meaning “turbulent waters” in the native tongue of the Stoney Indians. 

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Originating from the Athabasca Glaciers, the volume of water caused by the glacial meltdown was high in early summer, when we were there.

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The small island in the middle of the Sunwapta River just up stream of the falls is, in my opinion, what makes the upper Sunwapta Falls beauteous. 

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Make sure to detour to this falls when in the area.  For more Sepia Scenes, click here.