Friday, 12 October 2012

Great Escape!!!!!

Things have been quiet on Facebook the last few days because Mark and I snuck off for a few days. With the dogs and other responsiblities, that is not something that often happens (I think the last time was Cuba in '06) but it seemed important and with Brittany back at the kennel, we could make it work.

The last two years Mark has been working away at becoming a Power Engineer in addition to his two other trades (Instrumentation Technician and Electrician). He has put in huge amounts of study time both at work and home and while I was off in Australia he passed his test for his 3 class certificate.
The extra ticket got him a nice little bonus at work and he, very kindly, offered to buy me a new bike with it.
In addition he got himself a bike (very basic compared to what I wanted!! =) ) and suggested a few days biking in Jasper National Park.

Juggling my schedule, Mark's schedule and our chosen resort's schedule was a bit of a challenge - but it is wonderful what you can accomplish when you are motivated!!!

So, I got home Monday from Utah, unpacked, did a stack of laundry, cooked Thanksgiving dinner and after running dogs on Tuesday morning....



...threw bikes and suitcases into the SUV and it was off to Jasper!!

The weather was a bit discouraging on the drive out but things had cleared by the time we got to the cabins (which were pretty cosy!!) ...



With the beautiful weather, we decided to sneak a 'quick' ride in before dinner.

Okay, 'quick' wasn't the reality. In fact, at one point I could hear the Dateline guy doing the "and they headed off for what they expected to be a short, easy cycle....but soon things went wrong. Very wrong."

Suffice to say the trail was.....ummmm....challenging....but the view from the top was SPECTACULAR!!!

Patricia Lake

A lovely view of the Jasper townsite!

We wandered around on the top of the mountain a bit but couldn't sort out exactly where the trail headed down, so with the sun starting to set and a million 'lost in the woods' stories running through my head I suggested we turn around (yes, those that know me well know that was a BIG concession on my part!).

Safely back at the cabin we were treated to a beautiful evening sunset over Patricia Lake!



The next day dawned cold and windy with even a bit of snow but we would not be deterred!!! We bundled up and headed off.

On the bank of the Athabasca River - yup, same Athabasca River that flows through the town of Athabasca!!!






Our ride had a bit of everything on it.


Maligne River



Including a 'no bike zone' - but we didn't figure that out till after we were well into it. SIGNS - PARK PEOPLE - SIGNS!!!





The views along Maligne Canyon were spectacular...



....but it was a LOT of work to get a bike there....





Our final day in the Park started with a beautiful sunrise which I watched from the lake dock...




And a spectacular bull elk..







...we did a shorter ride....


...before heading home.

So, we successfully avoided everything that might want to eat us in the woods...
 

Actually, we did see a couple wolves on an island on the Athabasca River.

No bears - but a few black bear tracks!!!!

YIKES!!!!!!

...and had a great 'recharge' before my 'busy season' hit full swing.

Looks like we got it in just in the nick of time, as this was the scene at the kennel this morning!!!