Day 57 of 62

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In the morning we left the Pocahontos campground and ventured a little bit further into the park, playing the find-a-campsite game and eventually settling at a larger campground just south of Jasper city. The campground is next to the Athabasca river, milky white with glacial silt. Once we had our reservation, we went back to the city and walked around. I’m much better prepared for hot and sticky weather (which we’ve had!) than cold and windy weather, so after several days of being quite cold and looking for an additional layer (mostly in the Rockies at the beginning of the trip) I got a fleece jacket which should serve as a nice souvenir as well as providing warmth.

After lunch, we drove into the foothills and got tickets for a gondola ride up the mountain. They packed 15 of us into a gondola designed for 8 and we zoomed up to 2300 meters elevation. At the top, I was glad to have my fleece because it was a lot colder than I had anticipated. The temperatures were moderate; I think only 4C colder than where we started, but the wind was whipping around us in all directions. We hiked up and around this mountain, and every direction held gorgeous mountain views. We were above the tree line and the bare rocks required close attention for hiking, particularly in sandals. From the top we could watch the shadows of the clouds moving across the valley and the city of Jasper.

The view from the top of the gondola ride

After coming back down the gondola ride, we headed to the campsite and started another fire. This one also started easily and burned well, but a strained forearm muscle severely hampered hatcheting the firewood into suitable chunks for the little firepit. Perhaps we’ll skip a fire tomorrow.

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