We slept really well. That bed was just as comfortable as it promised. The shower was great too and once we were up and dressed we headed down for our complimentary breakfast. It was outstanding. We had it in a spacious and well lit room. The food selection was excellent. There were cheese omelettes and sausages. You could make your own waffles. There was a lovely selection of fresh fruit, such as melon, pineapple, grapes and orange. Plus you could just have an apple or a banana. There were yoghurts and pastries. There was hot and cold cereal. There were different strengths of coffee as well as tea and four different juices. There were bagels and toast and boiled eggs. And it was all lovely. That was the nicest breakfast I’ve had in a hotel and in a lovely setting. We had a great breakfast!
Once we’d eaten our fill, we popped the few bits we’d unpacked back into the cases and I just had one last look online before we dragged everything back down to the car and got back on the road. Today we were heading for Jasper and would be on the Yellowhead Highway for most of the drive going through Wells Gray national park.
Yesterday’s drive was very enjoyable and we’d gone through some lovely scenery. Today we were expecting even more as we climbed up higher into the Rockies. We weren’t disappointed. We took a leisurely drive, taking all day to get to Jasper, stopping at several places along the way, and we took just one or two photos as we went.
We stopped at several pull in places along the way for me to leap out and take a couple of photos but the first scheduled stop was at Clearwater where we parked up to stretch our legs and get an ice-cream. Stephen had Chewy Chocolate and I had a Burgundy Cherry. Both were just like homemade. Mine had masses of huge cherries in and was yummy. We also bought some fruit from the stand there. We’d been seeing fruit stands at intervals all along the road so we were curious to see what was on offer. There were peaches the size of grapefruits and lovely big pears, bunches of grapes, punnets of plums and the most curious looking squashes you’ve ever seen. Oh, and corn on the cob. We just got some nectarines and pears though.
A bit further along there was a stop by the Raft River where we pulled in on impulse. There was a boardwalk style viewing area set up for you to see over the river, which was full of salmon. There were information boards too. We knew we’d been following the path of the salmon all the way along the river and we’d been given information in Alaska and Hell’s Gate and other places about them as they’re so important here. It was great to get such a good view of them.
Further on we came to Blue River which is where we’d planned to have lunch. There was a nice deli there where we picked up beef salad rolls and dill pickle crisps. Not a flavour we get at home but they sounded nice and they were in fact very tasty indeed. We also got some rather good coffee there and as it was another scorcher, had it all sitting at a picnic table outside looking at this view.
Life doesn’t get much better than that, eh?
Next stop was Valmount at 2667 ft, where we popped into the info centre as I wanted to pick up some leaflets on the local area. A helpful woman in there gave us a tip about some falls coming up which she said would be worth stopping off to see, so we did just that.
We parked at the sign for for the falls and it was then a five minute walk downhill to the boardwalk which wound round to an overlook to what was more like a rapids than a waterfall. It was quite a lovely sight and we did as we’d been told and stood patiently watching for a few minutes. Then we were rewarded by the sight of a salmon jumping up the rapids. Then another, and another. Fantastic. We had a little walk round the boardwalk taking a few photos and then headed back to the car to carry on with our drive.
I really can’t describe to you what this drive was like. The scenery was just constantly beautiful. We were almost always following a river and sometimes there was a lake or occasionally we’d see a waterfall. There were always trees, a variety of trees but always some conifers. And always mountains, all around us. The scenery was changing with every bend. We were going up the mountains and down again, sometimes right down by the river and sometimes high above it. Sometimes we’d drive for a while and you’d just be enjoying the mountains and the trees and then you’d round a bend and see the sunlight glinting off the river and we’d both go “Wow” at the same time. It was just incredible.
And having said all that, none of it compares to what we felt when we drove round one corner and came face to face with this.
That is Mount Robson. I knew it was coming up and I knew it was high. It was still a jaw dropper. It’s the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies at 12972 ft. Isn’t it just stunning? We stopped at the visitor centre for it, which was closed as it was getting a bit late in the evening by then, but it still had the best viewpoints for taking photos. And we really needed to take some photos.
Once we’d looked our fill we carried on towards Jasper. Or as the satnav calls it – Yasper. The satnav keeps getting awfully confused. We think it’s the mountains that are getting in the way of the signal or something. Every now and then it seems to think that we’re not actually on the road so it gives instructions that would put us back on. So, it’ll say “Sharp right”, but if we actually did that, we’d hurtle off a cliff. So, we don’t, of course ‘cause that’d be silly. Stephen’s taken to calling the satnav Bruce. I’m getting a bit worried about him.
Anyway, we finally got to the gateway to Jasper National Park and purchased an annual pass for the park. It’s cheaper to do that than to buy one every day given how long we’ll be in the area, as it’ll do for Banff as well. Once in the park, it wasn’t long to our hotel, which is lovely. We‘re at Mount Robson Inn which is at the quiet end of Jasper. Our room is very similar in size and style to the one from last night and there’s plenty of storage space. We’re here for three nights. There’s dining onsite which we’ve just investigated and had a quick bite to eat. Stephen had the most enormous burger and I just had some soup as I was peckish but not that hungry. I did nick some of his fries though. We plan to go back there for breakfast as it sounds like they have a nice selection.
Tomorrow we’ll be exploring Jasper so we plan to have fun!