29, September 10
Destinations: Waterfowl Lake; Athabasca River
Miles driven: 176
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I got out of bed at 9:48,
but for no other reason other than to use the facilities. It
continues to be rainy and downright no good. I left camp at 10:24 to head
over to Waterfowl Campground to see if it was still open as I needed to
replenish my water supply. At 10:54, just after I crossed the Banff park
gate, I saw the third and final grizzly of the trip as it was walking
casually alongside the road on the opposite side towards me, so I had
a real good look. All the bears I had seen on the trip were all the same
medium size. Two cars were parked on the other side and one on my side.
I did not stop.
Waterfowl Campground was still
open, though there was a sign that said it would close on the 12th. I
filled all my water bottles and jugs and brushed my teeth. I wasn’t
sure where I'd get water fill-ups after this closes as most of the gas
stations do not have a readily available sink, but I was sure I'd find
something easily enough. I drove out of the campground and parked at a
pullout overlooking Lower Waterfowl Lake. It was still rainy and it was
going on 16 hours straight. The sun made three brief appearances through
a thin cloud layer between 1:10 and 1:22. The clouds remained very low
but did allow for some views towards the tops of the peaks from time to
time. Rain had slowed within the last half-hour or so and it seemed like
it wanted to stop, though it just stayed with it.
I left the Waterfowl pullout
around 4:30 and headed back to Saskatchewan Crossing where I had to put
some fuel in as I didn't want to run it close heading back up to Jasper.
This place was also $1.29/liter just as the David Thompson Resort was.
Everywhere else had been $1.17. I only put 8 liters in as I didn't want
to dump any more money than necessary into that stuff.
At 5:55, looking to the mountains
to the north around Mt. Christie and that area, the storm was finally
working on breaking up. I could see sun and blue sky through some thinner
clouds and the sun was shining in a few spots down the valley.
At 6:29, I briefly stopped
at the Mt. Fryatt Viewpoint. Black bear #10 walked across the road just
ahead. An idiot in a rental RV (the one in the picture) had stopped, gotten
out and started to try to follow it to get a picture. He even walked up
the hillside after it a ways. He never got another look at it, let alone
a picture. I was morbidly hoping the bear would turn back and put on a
show, but that didn’t happen!
The skies finally did open
up a bit and there was even a little sunshine. I stopped at the Athabasca
River bridge just south of the park gate where I took pictures looking
back to the south of Mt. Kerkeslin. After sunset, I went into Jasper and
fueled up. A guy in a 2nd Generation 4Runner pulled up to the pump next
to me and complimented my 4Runner. He asked about tires and various other
modifications. I failed to give him my site, but figured he saw my site
sticker on my back window.
I arrived back at the Moab
Lake lot at 9:13 for another night. There was actually now quite a bit
of clear sky overhead, but a lot of low clouds hovering on the mountains
from the slowly clearing storm. I thought it could really be a nice picture-taking
morning if it was clear off to the east, but I wasn't convinced it was
going to be. I went ahead and set my alarm for 6:20 again in hopes I could
finally get a sunrise of the mountains to the east of the Athabasca River,
which is what I had been wanting to get the past few days.
12:57 PM — Mt. Chephren
and Lower Waterfowl Lake
PM — Lower Waterfowl Lake
PM — Lower Waterfowl Lake
PM — Weeping Wall of Cirrus Mountain nearing Big Bend
PM — Big Bend—the big hairpin turn along the Icefields Parkway
5:31 PM — Columbia
PM — The Columbia Icefield Center and a couple of the snowcoaches
that go on the Athabasca Glacier.
PM — Somewhere along the Athabasca River
PM — Black bear Crossing. The driver of this motorhome was the aforementioned
idiot who tried following the bear for a better picture.
PM — I'm currently unsure which peak this is. I'll try to come up
with it later.
PM — Mt. Kerkeslin and the Athabasca River from the Athabasca River
just south of Jasper
PM — Mt. Kerkeslin and the Athabasca River from the
Athabasca River bridge just south of Jasper
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