Day 10: Monday, September 23

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From Banff To Jasper

We got up around 8:00 this morning. We had a big travelling day ahead of us as we were driving up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper.

We had breakfast in the dining room of Irwin’s Mountain Inn. Expensive but quite good.

After breakfast we returned to the room, packed our suitcases and loaded everything into the Santa Fe. We then checked out of the hotel and ventured out to see a bit of Banff before we hit the road for Jasper. Our first stop was the Cave & Basin just outside of Banff. We walked through the Cave, then the Basin, and took in many of the displays in the Story Hall:

We ventured through some of the paths outside the Cave & Basin; many were designed for bird watching. Very relaxing:

From Cave and Basin we made our way to Bow Falls to check out the falls. Impressive:

It was getting on lunchtime and we needed something hearty for our afternoon journey to Jasper, so we found a Subway just off Banff Avenue and had lunch.

After lunch we left Banff for Jasper. It turned out to be a MUCH longer drive than I had calculated and we were on the road for over 5 hours. Our only stop on the drive was at the Columbia Icefields Discovery Centre, where it was cold and windy as hell. We didn’t go on the glacier as were trying to get to Jasper before nightfall (I’m not a very brave night driver) plus it was so foggy that visibility on the glacier was not good:

The Icefields Parkway was winding and twisting and really scary in places as there was no guard rail nor shoulder on the curves – just a drop of several hundred feel down. The weather was absolutely terrible on the trip up to Jasper – we were socked in with fog and the rain was pouring down, so it was impossible to see much of what this potentially outstanding trip should have provided.

The light was fading so I was glad when we arrived in Jasper. (My original travel plan was to stop in Lake Louise on the way to Jasper, and also stop at the Columbia Icefields to go out on the glacier, but due to time constraints we did neither). With the help of Google Maps we found our hotel for the night, the Maligne Lodge, and were booked into Room #123. The Maligne Lodge was a VERY 1970s “motor lodge”-style place, with our room on the ground floor opening directly to our parking spot:

We unloaded our bags then headed out for something to eat. We found an amazing restaurant called Evil Dave’s Grill, which was very highly rated on the Web. It was kind of expensive but we’d had a long drive and really needed some delicious soul food. Vince had the “Diabolical Tenderloin” (6 oz. AAA Alberta beef) and I had the “Malevolent Meatloaf”, which was made from Bison and Wild Boar. Our dishes were utterly delicious and worth the $$$.

We made our way back to the Maligne Lodge and unpacked a little bit. We turned in at about 10:30, absolutely exhausted.

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