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September 22, 2013: Jasper National Park

While at Rae’s, Pete wisely made several phone calls and finally reserved a horse corral at Jasper National Park. It was no mean feat – such things are hard to come by. It was good though, because as I discovered, it would have been difficult securing a place to keep the horses in a national park.

The ride to our destination was a wake-up call, one in which we realized that we should get a move on if we hope to get back before the bad weather sets in. We slowly made our way into the high country. And as we climbed, the weather went from being somewhat rainy, to somewhat snowy.

Actually, it was a gloppy rain/snow mix. This made for bad driving conditions. Pete focused on the road while I owwed and ahhed at the stark, snow covered mountains. I also spent time keeping Ryder amused, by encouraging her to chew on her antler. I would have her color in a coloring book, but know that she’d only chew on the crayons.

In later afternoon, we stopped at a roadside attraction, a waterfall – alas, too many others had the same idea. It is amazing how many people want an easy glimpse of nature. If it was back a ways, only half as many gawkers would be there. It was actually worth the small hike. The blue gray river waters were wide, powerful, moving at a fast clip. And the falls, well it wasn’t Niagara, but I would have hesitated taking it on while in a barrel.

The campsite was off the main drag, down a bumpy gravel road. It seemed to me to take forever to get there. We found the corral – it was spacious, and the stout poles adequate for keeping the horses enclosed. It needed a good cleaning, this despite the fact that someone had dug a pit for the manure. There was also a creek running alongside the far fence. A good deal, we decided, because we didn’t have to highline or haul water to the horses.

On the other side of the road, ours was what is called a primitive site. There was an outdoor toilet up in the brush, and there was a small open space. There weren’t any picnic tables, nor did we have neighbors. We slept in the rear of the truck. It was a peaceful and quiet evening. I found myself wishing that we’d stayed here a few days. However, Pete wanted to get going because he feared that more bad weather was ahead. He could be right. We woke to a thick layer of frost on the truck windows. I scratched “Winter is coming!” backwards, on the glass, with my finger nail.

Next: 183: 9/24/13: Lewis Hawkes Pavilion, Grande Prairie, AB