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Thursday, August 30, 2012


This was one of the places I was looking forward to getting to most, but it was hard to match up after leaving Robson.
I'm always a fan of hot springs, so I went to check out Mitte Hot Springs. The campgrounds at Canadian National Parks have a different take on camp fires. Instead of buying four over priced logs at a camp store like in the USA, it's a 5 dollar charge for a fire ring and an endless supply of wood. They just take all the wood they thin out from projects and buck it up in a pile.
The hot springs were developed (which wasn't unexpected), but their remoteness meant they weren't as packed as the Banff hot springs that I've been to before. At the hot springs I met a former CDT hiker who was on a cross country bike trip, and had started two months before in Northern Alaska.
The next morning I found a parked my car where I was going to end my hike and went to hitch to the beginning. There was another couple there from California that were going to do the same hike and they had paid a cab 90 dollars to take them around. They were nice enough to offer me a seat, so I didn't even need to use my thumb.
It was a quick hike up to the ridge and down the skyline trail. As the clouds grew darker and taller, my hiking became faster. I almost made it to camp without needing my rain jacket, but ended up getting a little wet. It was the end of August and the first signs of winter approaching.
In camp there was a nice social group of people. Some kids from Edmonton, a couple from Scotland who had hiked the CDT a couple years ago and I'd read some of their blogs from the trip. We had a good time sharing stories and adventures. There was a guest lodge just down from the campsite for those that want a little more civilization with their wilderness. Behind my tent was a waterfall filling a high alpine pond.
The cold made for great sleeping, but woke up to rain and snow on the tent. I hung out in the tent till it let up about 10am. It didn't rain much of the day, but the clouds hung in the mountains
Two shovels pass was totally enveloped in cloud, but made it feel like a martian landscape. The kids from Edmonton were there and were all taking a picture in a Bill Murray shirt, so I joined in on the meme.
The rest of the trail was downhill from there. The clouds spoiled most of the views, but it never rained or snowed for too long. And even if the vistas were ruined, some of the shots were neat in a different way.
Back on the valley floor it was warm and sunny. I stopped by Maligne canyon which was a lot neater then I was expecting. It looks like a slot canyon in Utah, but is cut through a much denser rock. It was hard to get a sense of the depth, but it was hundreds of feet.
Back in Jasper, I ran into Antje on the street. Always good to make friends when traveling alone. We met up at camp and traded Jasper stories. I'm sorry I was only there for a short time because there is so much to do. Two younger Germans came over and asked us for help setting up their tent and if we had a stove they could borrow. Apparently they met at a hostel in Edmonton and decided to go to Jasper and go camping, without any idea what they were doing.
The next morning I posted up in a coffee shop for three hours working on follow up questions to the job I was applying for. Not a bad setting for a job application, but a sign that my travels weren't going to last forever. After I finished, I headed south. I saw tons of rental motorhomes and one company had a graphic in the door window of two girls, and I always thought it looked like they were kidnapped and locked inside.
There were so many mountains and glaciers and streams and waterfalls it was exhausting just to look at them all. I started taking pictures through the windshield while driving, and they still look amazing. I even saw some impressive big horn rams crossing the road.
This ended up being one of my favorite pictures from the whole trip.

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