Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Canada Part 3.....

After the fantastic experience of walking on the Glacier we continued our journey along the Icefields Parkway spending a little time at Athabasca Falls,

a waterfall on the upper Athabasca River, approximately 30 kilometres south of the townsite of Jasper.
A powerful, picturesque waterfall, Athabasca Falls is not known so much for the height of the falls (23 metres), as it is known for its force due to the large quantity of water falling into the gorge.  
We continued our journey to Jasper and our hotel for two nights Chateau Jasper.
After quickly unpacking a few items we ventured further into Jasper to get something to eat before retiring for the night.
There are some lovely buildings in Jasper, a church,
 and individually styled houses,
beautiful scenery,
a totem pole,
and an old steam engine.

The following morning was crisp and a little cold so we wrapped up and boarded the coach for a trip to Maligne Canyon, a natural feature eroded out of the Palliser Formation, the canyon measures over 50 metres (160 ft) high.

Flowing out of Medicine Lake, the Maligne River flows about 15 kilometers upstream as a full size river, but very quickly disappears seeping into the ground and completely vanishes from the surface not far from the lake for most of the year.

The smaller streams that feed the valley below that point rebuild the river by the time it reaches the top of the canyon.

Our next stop was Medicine Lake,

a geologic anomaly in the sense that it is not actually a lake but rather an area in which the Maligne River (flowing from Maligne Lake into the Athabasca River) backs up and suddenly disappears underground. During the summer months during intensified meltwater runoff the lake (which during the winter months is a meandering frozen river) fills to levels which fluctuate over time and with the runoff events. Much like a bathtub that is filled too fast for it to drain, it becomes laden with water (lake) until it can slowly drain as the tap flow (runoff) is reduced (river).

The underground system is extensive and during the 1970s researchers used a biodegradable dye to determine the underground river's extent. The dye showed up in many of the lakes and rivers in the area to the point where it became clear that the underground system was one of the most extensive in the world.

Next we went to the breathtaking Maligne Lake,  famed for the colour of its water
the surrounding peaks, the three glaciers visible from the lake
and Spirit Island, one of the most photographed locations in the world.   Maligne Lake takes its name from the French word for malignant or wicked. The name was used by Father Pierre-Jean De Smet (1801–1873) to describe the turbulent river that flows from the lake (in the spring), and soon spread to the lake, canyon, pass, mountain and range. It is also possible that early French traders applied the name to the river for its treacherous confluence with the Athabasca River.

We had a cruise on the lake to look forward to, so we purchased some sandwiches and a soft drink from the restaurant to take with us, then took our boat ride to the island.  The next photographs were taken from there.

I think you will agree it is beautiful and can understand why is is photographed so much, to say we were in awe of the scenerey is a gross understatement.

Being, by now, late afternoon, it was time to board the coach once again to return to the hotel where we just had time to freshen up and change before joining our fellow guests on the tour for a complimentary dinner at the hotel.   After dinner we were treated to a very interesting talk by a local wildlife expert.   Everyone retired reasonably early as we had to be at the station in Jasper for 8.30 the following morning to take the next exciting leg of our journey, one which had really been the deciding factor, for us,  when booking the holiday.

Join me next time for Canada Part 4 and The Rocky Mountaineer!


Cloudia said...

You look smashing by that lake!


Susan Kane said...

I love the mountains and rugged nature. You captured their images very well.

Ron said...

"I think you will agree it is beautiful and can understand why is is photographed so much, to say we were in awe of the scenerey is a gross understatement."

Yes, I TOTALLY agree! The scenery is MAGNIFICENT and your photos REALLY capture it. Honestly, you did an amazing job with your camera, m'dear. BRAVA!

And I especially love the photo of the mountain tops, with the clouds. WOW!

Thanks again for taking us on an informative and lovely tour! Looking forward to Part 4!


MorningAJ said...

It's stunning scenery. It's really impressive.

Akelamalu said...

Thanks Cloudia x

Glad you enjoyed them Susan :)

I can't take credit for all the photos Ron, some of them are MWM's, probably the best ones if I'm honest. ;)

It is indeed AJ. :)

Valerie said...

Brilliant pictures, Pearl. Loved the scenic ones - and the ones of you and MWM of course. Gosh, I'd love to go back there.

Akelamalu said...

We are pleased with how the scenic pics turned out Valerie, though having been there yourself you know they don't do the real thing justice. x

Banker Chick said...

Your pictures are gorgeous, I especially liked the ones of Emerald lake and Lake louise. I have had some catching up to do. Been in the dumps a little, but I always enjoy your vacations.

A Lady's Life said...

You are having a wonderful time.
Glad you came??
Simply breath taking!!!

Beach Bum said...

Truly beautiful country.

Akelamalu said...

Thanks BankerChick, glad you enjoyed the photos, I hope they cheered you up a little. xx

We did have a wonderful time and are very glad we came Lady's Life x

It really is Beach!

Maggie May said...

You're going to have such a lot of happy memories and things to look back on in your old age!
Canada looks a wonderful place.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Akelamalu said...

That's the idea Maggie ;) Canada is wonderful.

Travis Cody said...

The scenery is fantastic!

Gledwood said...

Those photos are incredibly beautiful. One of the stories I'm planning is set in a place like that: mountain lakes where grizzly bears and beavers hang out... I would so love to go to Canada (or Finland)'re so lucky

tony said...

Lovely Photos!

Akelamalu said...

Oh yes it is Trav!

That sounds like a great story Gleds and yes I know how lucky I am. :)

Thanks Tony x

Daryl said...

what an amazingly beautiful part of the country, love all these photos!!!!!!!!

Akelamalu said...

Glad you like them Daryl x