September 10th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0

A nice sunny morning, and a civilised breakfast sat at a picnic table.  We’ve recently discovered banana, granola and milk, and have been eating it every morning – it’s delicious.  Then, in the car, and away.

The drive during the morning was fairly tedious, just broke it to buy some gas + groceries, then a little later to eat lunch – cheese and crackers.  Early afternoon we entered Jasper National Park, paid our $2, + received a couple of free leaflets.  Almost immediately the scenery improved dramatically – huge mountains towering over us, covered in ice + snow.  Drove first into Jasper – had a small argument with Val, with fault on both sides, but we patched that up – then called in at the National Park centre to get some more information, + wandered around the town, buying a couple of cokes.  Found a gas station, which was very cheap, so drove the car up there + filled up.  Then headed south on the highway leading to Banff.  One of the maps we’d been given gave a mile by mile chart as to what to look out for, with viewpoints, trailheads, etc.  We pulled a couple of miles off the road to visit the Athabasca Falls.  It was impressive, not so much because of the height that the water fell, but more for the force with which it poured through a sort of chute.  It had also quite a well-worn route, showing previously carved yet now abandoned gorges, tho’ the language of the signwriter was rather poetic at times (“timeless battle of rock + water”)!

Athabasca Falls

We had decided to camp for the night at Jonas Creek (we could hardly do otherwise, could we?) + fortunately it turned out to be a well laid-out + attractive site.  Easily found a place + set out to collect wood.  In fact, the only collection needed was for small kindling, since there were sawn logs provided, + once I borrowed an axe + split one (quite took me back to Widdacombe) we soon had a splendid blaze.  Cooked beans with pork (tho’ indistinguishable amounts of the latter), followed by fried(!) jam sandwiches + cocoa – my cocoa mug was the beans tin.  Other people had by now piled in to the site – all the others were either full or closed.  It looked like being a cold night, but decided to risk sleeping in the tent.

Jonas Creek

The Jonas Creek reference is because (in case you didn’t know) Val’s last name is Jonas.  And Widdacombe refers to a cottage I once rented on the edge of Dartmoor- one of the coldest places I have ever lived in.

As for the argument we had, with “fault on both sides” – hm, that sounds pretty much like an admission of guilt to me.  Not that either of uis remember what it was all about now.


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