Padinago's trip to Canada in 2009

Day 6 - Jasper National Park, Alberta

Today we plan to see Lake Maligne and Medicine Lake. We have breakfast at the hotel and around 8.30am we leave for Mildred Lake, Lake Annette and Lake Edith. All lakes, which, in the summer, are full with tourists but now, it is nice and quiet. Then we drive to Maligne Canyon and make a small hike of about 45 minutes. Then we drive to Medicine Lake, where suddenly, next to the road we see a black bear. He is not at ease (like us) and decides to leave. Further on we stop at the viewpoint of Medicine Lake and walk down to the lake. There Nathalie and Lucien start talking with a French speaking Canadian woman and Patrick takes his camera and Nathalie’s to the lake where he takes pictures but just when bending over on a rock he hears something and the lens hood of the large lens falls straight in Medicine Lake. He tries to get it but realizes he is carrying two cameras and does not want to take any risks so he leaves it. Impossible to find the hood as the water is very cold. Well, it is only a lens hood… Meantime, Nathalie is constantly watching everything around us as just before we stopped we saw a black bear so he is somewhere very close... When we drive on Patrick is a bit sad but suddenly cheered up when he sees a small herd of Black-tailed deer. The animals are as curious as we are and we get the chance to take nice pictures. A bit further, between the two lakes, we see a trail going down. We decide to follow it and see what it brings. The trail is not very long but suddenly in the woods Nathalie sees something and she thinks it might have been a moose. Everybody jumps out of the car except for Sofie who thinks it is safer in the car, and we look for the animal. We have to climb a bit but finally Patrick has a good spot and sees it, indeed, a moose. Nathalie was right. Our first moose in Canada! We take lots of pictures that we will have to sort out later. We are back on the main road and drive to a small parking lot. It is a picnic area so we continue towards Lake Maligne. Once at the lake we take some nice pictures of the four of us in front of the lake and with the beautiful blue sky. From the bridge we see the trout swimming against the current. We get somewhat hungry to see the fishes and look for a picnic place. We cannot find it here so decide to drive to that area where we stopped earlier. We enjoy our lunch (again prepared by our master cook Lucien). We are suddenly surrounded by some Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels who seem to be very interested in our food… They eat out of our hands. We drive on and just passed Medicine Lake we see another black bear. Is it the same as 4 hours ago? We will never know it as he refused to tell us.  A bit further we are back at Maligne Canyon and go for another quick look and have a drink at the Maligne Canyon restaurant. We sit on the terrace together with some robust bike riders who great us friendly. Suddenly Patrick sees something… It is an American marter. He silently gets closer to take pictures, the marter is very photogenic. There come the bikers with their tiny compact camera’s and they suddenly turn out to be just ordinary persons like us.  We continue to have a look at the other side of Maligne Canyon and then continue to Jasper Lake up to Pocahontas. We drive back in the direction of Jasper and go to Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake. At Pyramid Lake there is a small bridge to Pyramid Island. PaNa decide to walk across it while LuSo wait in the car. It is extremely windy here but beautiful. We drive back to the hotel for dinner and after a short walk (as it gets very cold in the evening) we are exhausted and go to bed.

Daytrip approx. 225 km

Near Maligne Canyon Maligne Canyon Black bear near the road Medicine Lake Black-tailed Deer at Medicine Lake A moose at a little road between Medicine Lake and Maligne Lake Maligne Lake Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel at our picknick Black bear near Maligne Lake Road An American Marter at the Maligne Canyon Restaurant Maligne Canyon Jasper NP Jasper Lake Patricia Lake Pyramid Island (Pyramid Lake)