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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jasper National Park ~ The Damage!

Last night from the campground, we could see in a distance, lightning and a fierce thunder storm. We only received a small amount of rain here in Whistlers Campground.

The Sky Ready to Damage Maligne Highway! Three Miles Away! 
The intended plan for today was to drive over to the Maligne Highway and visit Maligne Canyon and further up the road to Maligne Lake. We would spend the day seeing all of these attractions.

We packed up the camper and drove down to the gate hoping to extend our stay one more night. The Registration office was opened and I was able to pay for the site. The attendant asked as I was signing the Visa slip “What are you doing today” I said “we are going over and doing the Maligne Highway” he said “The road is closed!” “What,” I said. “The road is closed because of a landslide from last night’s storm.” I asked “What would you recommend doing or seeing as an alternate”. He thought a minute and said “I would recommend going over to Mount Robson Provincial Park and checking out the highest peak in Canada” He said it was only about a hour’s drive away.  It’s funny how the canoe has a mind of its own. The surprise to us was that we entered into British Columbia and a one hour time change. We decided not to set our watches again. I think we changed the time so many times that we’ve lost track!

Mount Robson does look mighty high with a Glacier running from the top down like a ski jump. A visit to the Interpretive Center, the coffee shop, gift shop and back toward Jasper we went. It isn’t that we didn’t like Mount Robson… it was, that a lot of the activities required a lot of hiking to do or visit, and we didn’t want to commit to that.

Mount Robson Highest in Canada
In Jasper, we stopped at the Visitor Center to inquire about the Maligne Highway, hoping that it was all cleared up from the landslide. The girl went on-line and showed us a picture. The road was gone! It would be three working days to repair. We asked if we could at least drive a little ways and probably take our bikes a little further. She said go for it they will tell you when to turn around. It is only three miles to the turn off and across the Athabasca River we went. No road block yet, but a magic marker sign said “ Road Closed Ahead” We wanted to make it at least to Maligne Canyon and see the Maligne River which had cut a 165 foot channel into the limestone over the centuries. “Ah”, the Park Rangers just ahead with a comment! “If you want to see the Maligne Canyon turn here. The road ahead is closed”. We made one of our original destinations! Medicine Lake and Maligne Lake would not to be on this journey.

The Canyon was spectacular, as you can imagine.

That is what we did and saw

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