Aspen Lodge Motel. Volcano House Hotel.
Aspen Lodge Motel
Cottonwood and aspen fall color
Scenery along the Icefields Parkway. After our wonderful "Larch Valley Trail" hike above Moraine Lake, we headed north. At Hector Lake we left the land of the larch and moved into the territory of the aspen and cottonwood, both in full golden autumn attire. We would enjoy sunshine most of the way up to Jasper, where we got warm, spacious, well appointed, outdoor themed rooms at the Marmot Lodge.
These are the photographs taken on Thursday, the third day of our road trip. It was the best day of weather and best day for hiking and photographing on the entire road trip and we covered a lot of ground.
Since I sleep 8 hours and it is dark close to 12 hours, I woke up very early Thursday morning in my backpacking tent at Mosquito Creek campground. Fortunately so did J.J. - - so we got an early morning start on the day.
First a quick trip up to the Peyto (Pee Toe) Lake overlook, where JJ hoped to catch some early morning light on the lake. We had the overlook to ourselves until one large tour bus after another unloaded one large load of loud whooping tourists after another, but the light was flat and the sky uncooperative. We took what “memory” shots we could then bailed out heading south the way we had come. We stopped at Hector Lake for some morning reflection photos on our way to Moraine Lake.
At Moraine Lake we took the best hike of the road trip, up to Larch Valley. We had excellent weather and the larch were at their peek in color. What a wonderful experience.
After the hike we returned to the highway and headed north up through the northern half of Banff and all the way to Jasper. We found the lighting interesting and enjoyed having Athabasca Falls to ourselves, so we didn’t roll into Jasper until after dark.
We lucked out and got excellent rooms for two nights at the Marmot Lodge in Jasper. JJ and I gave our best well rehearsed routine for an “old timers’, AARP members, lodging discount”, which the nice people at the lodge generously gave us. It was starting to rain by then and I was glad to have a room motel room with a bedroom, kitchen, and living room, where I could lay out all my wet camping gear from the previous night’s camp out at Mosquito Creek.
We would spend all day Friday roaming the area around Jasper, but by then the weather had turned and we would see nothing but rain and low clouds, most of the time we were in Jasper National Park.
The story: Canada eh? Canadian Rocky Mountain Road Trip October 2011.
A one week road trip and a couple short day hikes in Kootenay; Banff; and Jasper National Parks and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Kananaski country.
The success of a road trip (or hike, or backpacking trip), many times is directly proportional to the amount of planning you put into before the trip. Deciding on what you want to see is best done before the trip when you have the time and tools such as maps, guide books, internet, plus the valuable photos and information you can access on flickr- to research the trip properly.
No doubt about it, with a road trip you can have fun by just “winging it” and even with a plan, a good road trip demands that you be willing to alter the plan at any time due to weather and what you find, once the road trip begins.
I have taken a fair number of road trips solo; many with my wife; and some with friends. Solo allows you total freedom to go where you like, stay as long as you like, and see the sights that are highest on you list. Freedom and independence.
The trouble then with a solo trip is you are limited by your own research, planning, and predilections - no consultation, collaboration, or collective pooling of ideas and possibilities. By default, you are restricted by the boundaries of your own knowledge and research.
On this road trip I “joined in” on a road trip my long time friend J.J. had planned. For those of you who may follow some of my photographs and trips on flickr, he was one of three who joined me on a backpacking trip into the Wind River Range of Wyoming, not all that long ago.
J.J. approached the trip to the Canadian Rockies as a “photography” trip primarily and as a reconnaissance trip for future trips he might want to take, especially with his wife, who is also an accomplished photographer. He had never been there.
I took this as an opportunity to “see once again” some of the sights of Jasper and Banff, where I had traveled with my wife almost 40 years ago; and travel to some places I had never been before; take a hike or two; and enjoy the mountain landscapes of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.
Looking back on this road trip already, I benefited greatly by J.J.’s research and many of the sites he had selected as being “high value” places, from a photographer’s viewpoint (or should I say “viewfinder”). I wouldn’t have seen my favorite places on this trip without J.J.’s diligent “in advance” research.
In addition to seeing
Highline Diversion Dam
Processing w/ Lightroom & Photomatrix
Best viewed large.
So, I have been doing some tweaking and I think I may have figured this HDR thing out...what say you?
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