When I get to travel, I am always amazed by the landscape of the different places that I go to and coming to Alberta was no different. Coming to camp here I was excited to get out and explore this new area and I knew that I would be amazed. One Monday when we had no groups on site we headed as a whole staff team to Jasper National Park, which is part of the Canadian Rockies. I had always seen pictures of the national parks out west in Canada and had always wanted to go and see them so now was my opportunity.
We were up early at 6am to leave in convoy, 2 cars and a van. We loaded the packed lunches and the snacks and off we went. The journey was going to take us around 4 hours, so we settled in for the long haul. It was quite a chilled drive with a stop for breakfast at McDonalds about halfway through. I have never had McDonalds breakfast, so it was interesting, have to say I prefer Tim Hortons, but it was all good, it kept us going. All fuelled up we headed onto the last part of our journey having to stop once more for a toilet break in a gas station. In true Canadian style there was a Tim Hortons in the gas station, so I got my go to fav of a vanilla dip donut, if you know you know. I felt like a true Canadian getting my donut for free using my Tim’s reward card. We finally were on the last stretch of our trip and it was were the drive got exciting.
As we entered jasper National Park for the last leg of our journey, I was amazed by the sheer beauty around me. Many of the mountains still had snow covered tips which was incredible. The sky was clear blue and the contrast against the grey of the mountains and green of the trees was incredible. No matter how many times I get to see landscapes like these I always get awestruck, it is truly amazing the things that occur naturally. I wanted to take it all in but at the same time snap some pictures to keep as memories. It was like one of the screen savers you see on a laptop and you think surely that can’t be a real place, well it is.
We arrived at our hike destination and started to walk. It was so nice to be walking with not a sound but the wind in the trees well apart from the chorus of ’99 Milk Bottle on a Wall’ that half the group where singing. The sun was also beating down on us which just made the experience all the better. We had a couple of stops along the way to get some photos which was amazing. I also got told by some passing hikers that there was a bear spotted on the trail a little bit further in which was both scary and exciting. As we neared the end of the hike our last stopping point was definitely the best. We had a view out over the mountain with the ice blue water below. It truly was amazing; I spent some time just sitting staring and taking it all in thinking how lucky I was to be there. In true road trip style, we tucked into our bagged lunch when we had finished the hike, half eating outside, half eating while packing into the cars to head to our next destination.
We drove about 30 minutes further into the park as we headed to our next stop which was Athabasca Falls where we were all prepared to jump into the water. We arrived and walked a short 5 minutes to get to the falls which were amazing. The sheer power of waterfalls always amazes me. As the sun hit the water to, it created mini rainbows in the mist which looked magical. We arrived at our spot to swim which was just down from the waterfall. With an audience of hikers who all probably thought we were mad, we stripped into our swimsuits and headed into the water. The river is a glacial river so that can tell you just how cold it was. I was one of the first to head in and it was certainly a shock to the system, I couldn’t stay in too long as my legs began to go numb. I have to say it is certainly one of the most amazing places that I have gone swimming or more accurately dunked my body in.
When we finished up at the waterfall we headed back to the cars and dried off. Next stop on our trip was food. We headed to Boston Pizza for dinner which was much need after the day’s activities. On our way out of the park I got to see a bear’s butt on the side of the road which was interesting. Then it was on to home base of camp, everyone thoroughly tuckered out after the days activities. It was so nice to get out and see the amazing landscape that surrounds us and I also got to do it with some amazing people who I have become to consider as great friends. I am so excited to get to spend my summer with these people and have more amazing adventures. This trip once again just proved to me how amazing mother nature is and how wonderful it is to spend a day hiking in nature.