Day 16: Jasper Hot Springs and Paddleboarding
I woke up this morning to the sound of heavy rain on the bus roof. It was 47 degrees in the bus. Brrr. Without even looking outside I knew it wasn’t going to be a lake day, but that’s ok! Yesterday was too hot to think about going to the hot springs pool, but a rainy day? Perfect.
The one thing that IS close to this campground is the hot springs. Just up the road about 17km. We arrived at 9:15, which was shortly after they opened and none of the tour busses had arrived yet. It was quiet and the pools felt awesome. It’s an established hot springs pool, like you’d find in a resort town, not a “natural” pool that is like a warm pool on the side of a river. They had one medium sized pool and two smaller cold pools. It’s a nice little spot, but there were only 5 of us there at the time. I wouldn’t want to see it when its crowded.
After soaking for a while I showered and headed back down the hill. It was still raining so in lieu of going to the paddleboard lake I decided to head into town. Today is Canada Day, and the 150th anniversary of the country. There are events all over the country to celebrate, so I thought I’d see what was going on in Jasper township.
Even before I reached town I noticed a significant increase in traffic on the roadway. But when I got to town it was absolute bedlam. All of the wide open lots were packed with cars. The roads were blocked off for the parade, and it was clear I wasn’t going anywhere. I turned around and headed back out of town a bit and parked at one of the pull offs along the road. I made lunch and checked some emails and then, amazingly, the skies cleared, the sun came out and it warmed up fast. I cleaned up my lunch and headed for the lake!
When I arrived I expected to see the lots filled with people and cars, but it seems everyone was in town for the festivities. Perfectly fine with me! I parked the bus and headed out on the lake.
Awesome. Hot springs in the morning and paddleboarding in the afternoon. What could be better! And I needed to make the most of my day today because this afternoon I head out of the park and to my campground in Hinton (town just east of the park). That will give me a jump on the morning as I’m headed out on the Alaska Highway.
When I arrive at the park they tell me they are having a BBQ and cake to celebrate Canada Day and that everyone is invited. Free food? I’m in. I quickly do a load of wash and clean up the bus a bit until its time to head to the party. The campground has a huge covered gazebo with a firepit in the middle and they are grilling burgers and dishing out ice cream. Fantastic. I chatted with a couple of the other campers, but there were only about 10 of us at the picnic. I was somewhat surprised more people didn’t show since the campground was full. Come on, free food!.
After the BBQ a big thunderstorm rolled in and I decided to clean up and organize the bus a bit. After being on the road for a little over two weeks I had a better idea of where I wanted things and how I wanted it organized. It was also a good chance to catch up on some video editing. I also shot a video tour of the inside of the bus. Unfortunately videos upload soooooooo slowly. Hopefully it will finish by morning. UPDATE: The video is at the bottom of this post
Tomorrow I head out to the start of the Alaska Highway. I’m pretty excited to get to this part of the journey! I’ll lose all cell service at some point, so my updates might be a little delayed until I get to Anchorage.
UPDATE: Here's the video tour! Sorry the quality isn't better. I'll update it when I get better wifi.