Elk Cetera

On Wednesday, it snowed, as predicted. But, while we were expecting snow, we weren’t counting on this much – nearly a foot!

Wednesday was definitely not a day for hiking, so we decided to drive out to the Miette Hot Springs, about an hour to the east on the road to Edmonton. The snowstorm intensified.

Unsurprisingly, the mountain road up to the hot springs at the turnoff from the main road was closed, so we returned to the campground for a day of reading and planning for our next hike.

The following morning, Thursday, the snow began to let up. When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow, gave the luster of mid-day to objects below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

Well, maybe not, I guess I’m a little early for Christmas poems. But right out the windshield Thursday morning we did see a herd of elk wandering through the campground!

And they were getting closer and closer and more and more curious:

Pretty soon, the big buck came along,…

…keeping an eye on his harem.

One of the young does almost got wedged between our motorhome and our Jeep!

We were pretty much trapped in the RV for about an hour, but we were getting cabin fever and needed to get out, which we finally did:

On our way out, we discovered that the herd had decided to chill in the ‘hood for a while.

Escaping the campground, we drove south on the Icefields Parkway (Alberta Highway 93) to the Athabasca Falls:

My favorite view was down below in the calm waters where visitors had constructed a number of inuksuks and cairns:

As for the rest of the day, we drove a little further south on the Icefields Parkway to the Sunwapta Falls…

… and then back up to Jasper to hike the Valley of the Five Lakes Trail, a whopping 3 mile trek with a 300 foot ascent. Here’s a picture of one of the lakes, Third Lake, from the trail:

By this point, we were getting a little tired of the snow. Winter came a little early to Jasper, but it’s warmer by a few degrees to the south in Lake Louise, our next destination.

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