Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Friday, August 24, 2007

On the to Jasper way

Hey Lovies, Quick review. We are a little east of the Saskatchewan Crossing, again in a dumpsite/gravel pit but Ohhhh! So amazing. This morning we were on our second cup of coffee when 5 big horned sheep came down out of the forest to graze through some wood ash someone had dumped. We got to watch them for over an hour, even while I was frying up some oatmeal cookies and Michael was banging away with his veggie processing set up.
It’s been amazingly beautiful for this last stretch of the trip. My spirit aches to share it with you. Not in words but in great vision that is like swooping vistas of great heights and glacier blue water, IMAX from me to you but with the clear air and more frequent baths.
But, to rewind to the last entry… Revelstoke was a perfect little town on the Trans Canada Highway. (Slated for Big Development, alas.) We camped on the Columbia for two nights and were able to enjoy the aquacenter (which is housed with the senior center and library.) It has a huge waterslide, climbing wall, water course, Jacuzzi…everything for a community that has 9 months of winter. We heard music in the streets, went to Farmers’ Market, rode on the bikeway along the Illecillewaet River and got wooshed with a rain storm that issued in days of rain and clouds. After leaving Revelstoke we spent a night on a residential street in Golden. Except for its bridge along the Kicking Horse River, Golden didn’t strike me as so golden.
Further up the Trans Canada we stopped at Emerald Lake, after getting our national park pass. It was the first of the glacier fed lakes I’ve seen this trip with the ethereal blue glacial dusty water. We made our first flash as sight hungry tourists at Emerald Lake, which has a very practical and unrelenting flow of new tourists every hour, many languages and all manner of dress. We thwarted the Canadian version of crowd control…and managed to black out early and sleep in the parking lot, like maybe we were staying in the Lodge?
After that we had a brief stroll to Takakkaw Falls. ”Magnificent thing,” in Cree. No sign of any First Nations people but lots of French and other languages. I’m enjoying all the French and would learn it if there was time to stay long enough past the sign reading, sounding out phase. I’ve see 4 license plates from the US since coming into this country…
OK, then we got into the flurry of Lake Louise and its visitor center. I quickly got over the fact that we couldn’t afford the gondola ride (canoes rent for 50$ and hour!) and got a bike trail map. We rode up from the valley and my first take on this famous lake was, Wow! Look at that “Chalet!” There were teeming throngs of tourists and it was pretty wonderful but not enough to figure out a strategy for staying.
We camped at a trailhead across the valley where I didn’t sleep. That was yesterday. The day started off with that logy feeling you get when you haven’t slept but after awhile on the Bow Lake trail up to the waterfalls I was exultant. I just love these amazing places down to the rocks. The rocks are so varied and interesting I can just poke around in a foot square of them for minutes, and then your eye swings this way or that, to the dancing watercourse, the falls, the glaciers above, the incredible peaks…it just about bursts you!
After Bow Lake we had our last rush of the day which was going to Bow Pass, which looks way down onto Peyto Lake and across to the gouged vast glacier that feeds it and out onto the whole long trough that fronts on the west facing peaks that line out as far as there is visibility. The air in these high places just rings with joy. (I love looking in the faces of people on this tourist trail—those that are lit with the majesty and incredibility of what we are witness to versus those that might be passing you in a mall…)
M has just processed another 200 miles or so of veggie oil and we’ll have ourselves a tofu sandwich (we are off all but non fat dairy,) before we go on north toward Jasper.
I’m sure you have heard the glaciers are retreating. Come see them before they grind away the last tourist to feed the last waterfall and amazing lake. Bring lots of money for gas or learn how to process veggie oil….

Next day… After I wrote the above we went on and saw the receding Columbia Glacier and some playful Mountain Goats hanging out on a curb… I took lots of shots but had left the ”memory” card in the computer so now they are just, JUST?, cherished memories.

Jasper’s cute. Love from exactly here and now, Chris, Michael and Sashkatoon


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