July 19 2012 by Bryson Forbes
Our great weather experience continued as we woke up to sunny skies. We headed over to The Inn restaurant at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Jasper Inn & Suites and Suites for an excellent buffet breakfast. What a great start - scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, pancakes, French toast, hash browns, assorted yogurts, fresh fruits and juices, oatmeal and cereals and coffee and teas.
The highlight of our day was heading over to Maligne Lake, which is about 50 km's from Jasper but well worth the drive. In fact, this was the highlight of this leg of the trip. The drive from Jasper followed a rushing river that was spectacular and provided great opportunities to wildlife sightings. With 7 of us in the car there were lots of eyes peeled for bears, caribou, moose and deer. Despite all the eyes, we only saw one deer on the drive up.
Maligne Lake is gorgeous and we got to see it first-hand on the boat cruise, which was recommended and booked, for us by the great staff at the Best Western Plus Jasper Inn and Suites.
The ninety-minute tour took us between two mountain ranges with close up views of glaciers, avalanche tracks, and a quick ten-minute stop at Spirit Island where we hiked the trails. Being one of the biggest glacier fed lakes the water is extremely frigid - it only get s to a high of four degrees. We were told by our tour guide, Josylyn that if you have the unfortunate experience of being submerged in these waters it would take no longer than ten minutes for hypothermia to set in. Our family stepped into the water for a picture so just being ankle deep in those waters was cold! The water is the most spectacular colour - a green-blue that they refer to as "emerald" in these parts. It's really something to see and experience.
After the ten-minute hike we boarded the boat again for the ride back and we all stood on the back deck and took in the panoramic mountain views. It was quite the experience to be out like that experiencing the water and mountains so closely.
Too soon the boat tour was over and we were back on Maligne Road to Jasper. The ride back turned out to be quite the wildlife experience where we witnessed a couple deer and a black bear cub eating berries and grass at the side of the road. We stopped to take pictures from our van window and didn't dare get out of the car. We figured a mother bear may have been looming close by but a few drivers did get out of their cars to snap some pictures. For the record, getting out of your car to take a picture of a bear is strongly discouraged!
Then is was back to the BEST WESTERN PLUS Jasper Inn & Suites where we tried their dinner special which included three courses for $26. I had the Caesar salad with New York Sirloin with mango-berries cheesecake for dessert and it was a really great deal. The service was fantastic as we reminisced about the great day we had just had.
After dinner, the kids got suited up for a swim in the pool and I joined them to work off that dinner. It was a perfect close to a perfect travel day.
What wildlife have you seen in your travels?