Improvement District No. 12

Here you’ll find travel reports about Improvement District No. 12. Discover travel destinations in Canada of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

24 travelers at this place:

  • Day284

    Wabasso, Canada

    July 28, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    We saw bears!!!!!

    My eyes are sore. They've been straining relentlessly for the last five days to spot wildlife, in particular the elusive bear. And we found him. Or her. On our way back from a delicious dinner in Jasper (I got the meat platter to really spoil my definitely-not-already-spoilt-self), in the dwindling twighlight we saw her. She was deep in the woods and I was so astounded that I'd a) seen a bear and b) seen it at such great distance with such poor eyes, that I screamed some what now seem very inappropriate words at Cat who was driving. Pandemonium ensued as we argued over stopping, reversing, turning around and how best not to get hit by a car or eaten by a bear.

    Luck was on our side that day. The black bear was with two tiny and playful cubs! She meandered right up to the roadside, within spitting distance of the car. We could hear her sniffing and grunting and watched the playful cubs jump around, climb trees and annoy each other. It was my Canadian dream come true. Too bad I stuffed up all the photos. We also saw an elk in the drive but who cares about her when you got a black bear! The sighting was also only two km from our campsite which made us a little nervous but we observed the number of tents between her and us and deemed ourselves safe. You don't have to outrun the bear, you only have to outrun the slowest human. In this part of the world where you can order soft drink by the gallon and eat fries for breakfast - I'd back myself. I'm also quite confident the bears would find the aforementioned stereotype tastier than the boney me (or Cat). What an evening!
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  • Day20

    Singing in the rain

    September 27, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 3 °C

    4 Bären, 1 Herde Rehe und ihr Macker, diverse Eichhörnchen und ein gewaltiges Moose (sowas wie ein Hirsch) - eine gute Ausbeutung für die kurze Zeit.

    Heute kam einer der schönsten Streckenabschnitte ... Kilometerlanges Nichts auf dem Weg zum Medizinsee und dem bösartigen See.

    Nur, dass ersterer nahezu versiegt war... Wenn das nix zu bedeuten hat.

    Interessanterweise versiegt zu Zeiten des Niedrigwassers also zum Ende des Sommers, alles Wasser in einem unterirdischen Höhlensystem, um dann zu Zeiten der Schneeschmelze wieder an die Oberfläche zu treten und einen gewaltigen See zu füllen.

    Weiteres Highlight des Tages : die heißen Quellen von Mietti, gleich hinter Pocahontas... Wingapo
    Endlich wieder sauber und schön heiß gekocht.... Und noch nie hat uns ein Bademeister zum Feierabend singend hinausgeworfen 😁

    "out, out, getting all ouuuut! These are the things I've been dreaming about, come ouuuut! I'm kicking youuuu all out!"
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  • Day29

    Bär gesichtet

    July 17, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Am Straßenrand im Jasper National Park saß auf einmal ein Schwarzbär. Wow, hätte ich nie gedacht, dass wir auf unseren Pfaden einem begegnen. Vor allen Dingen, wenn wir durch den Wald gehen, dann sind wir immer so laut, dass ich dachte, dass eh keiner sich uns nähern würde. Aber im Auto sitzend war es mir auch lieber als allein im Wald.
    Echt süß wie er an seinem Strauch knabberte.

    Auf dem Foto sieht man nichts und ist auf der anderen Kamera. Sorry!
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  • Day37

    Rockin' through the Rockies - Jasper

    October 4, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 0 °C

    The following morning we drove to the car park where we boarded the shuttle bus to Lake Moraine, along with all the other hundreds of tourists. Upon arriving we were a little disappointed to see the lake was in shadow, meaning it did not look as spectacular as the postcards would have you believe and the lake appeared smaller than we thought. We walked on past the hoards of Chinese tourists at the top end of the lake and made our way to the shore further on. We chilled on some driftwood and waited for the sun to rise over the summits of the Ten Peaks that formed an impressive backdrop. Eventually the lake turned the anticipated shade of blue and we basked in the sunshine and awesome views. We then headed up to the lookout point to get a good photo, although I was too distracted by all the poses from the Asian tourists. As if one lake wasn’t enough, we then looped back and changed to another shuttle going to Lake Louise. We passed by the grand Fairmont Chateau and sat by the lake to have lunch with free lakeside views. After recharging, we set off up the mountain, zigzagging along the paths for more than 3km. An hour and a half later we reached the lookout and were met by the inviting Lake Agnes Teahouse, a wooden lodge offering homemade snacks and various teas. We took our seats and watched as the lady filled her kettle with water from the lake - freshly brewed alright! The teahouse is run by a single family and has been passed down through generations. The food is carried up the mountain almost each day by the staff - worthy of a tip! On the menu was apple crumble - sold! It tasted extra good in the mountain air with views over Lake Louise. Realising that the last bus was departing in less than an hour we shot off back down the mountain, making the descent in a third of the time it took to come up!

    Back in Lake Louise village we stopped by the HI hostel to get a much-needed free shower. We couldn’t resist the cheap food on offer in the hostel cafe, and stopped for burger and chilli. Back at our wilderness hostel we entered through the door and saw a similar-looking milk carton to our own. Upon checking the contents of the fridge we realised we had been the subject of a milk thief! With the departure of the relief manager Jamie, and the usual manager seeking solitude in his cabin, the other guests were less welcoming and so we decided to go and sit in the car in hope of spotting the northern lights. An hour or two later, and with nothing more than a few starry sky photos, we returned to our cabin and went to bed.

    The following morning we checked out and drove up the road to Bow Glacier Falls to start a 9km or so walk. This trail was much less crowded and followed the valley floor across from the Crowfoot Glacier. Shortly after starting we came across a pika (mouse) hiding in the rocks. There was also a very photogenic ground squirrel who patiently posed for selfies. We climbed the steep steps and crossed the rocky terrain to view the waterfall cascading from the lake atop the mountain. A good spot for a bite to eat!  After returning back down river, we carried on up the road to Peyto Lake. A short hike from the car park to a viewing deck provided a spectacular vista encompassing a glacier, gorgeous lake and mountains as far as the eye could see. On the way back down we passed a bride and groom heading up for a photoshoot. Final stop for the day was Howse River, once an important trading route for First Nations people. Our hostel for the night was HI Rampart Creek. We were greeted by Ken and his affectionately named dog, ‘Miss Cuteness’, whom he had trained to ‘poke’ people with her nose to gain their attention! We sat in the lounge area listening to an animated conversation between Ken and an American guy about guns. We were slightly alarmed by the photo of a bear up against the window in the exact spot we were standing! The American son made chicken soup which I commented smelt great. We later found out that he has no sense of smell, explaining the awkward response to my well-intended compliment. In came a small group of Chinese tourists and Ken did his best to show them around the kitchen. They proceeded to gesture as to where they could plug in their rice cooker. As the electricity on site was run solely from solar panels, Ken did his best to make them understand that while phones and laptops were ok, rice cookers were a no go. We couldn’t help but smirk. The two ladies then seemed to have an argument about making a phone call and Ken stood there, bewildered, as he offered for them to use his phone to no avail. The smell of burning rice drifted through the common area and we shared bemused glances with the other guests (except the American son of course) as the Chinese man happily prepared the rest of his meal. Hugo tried to communicate to him that his pan of rice was clearly in need of saving, only to be met with thumbs up - clearly the burnt taste was what he was going for, some kind of regional delicacy perhaps. After the commotion, Ken lit the campfire with expert technique and we sat around it sharing stories with a couple of architects. We roasted some corn with makeshift poles on the open fire - not the best way to cook corn but edible nonetheless, and amusing to the American son who was sat watching us.

    After a good night’s sleep with a 6 berth dorm to ourselves, we memorised Ken’s directions to a waterfall he highly recommended - the lack of railings and some sketchy sections of path meant this was not signposted so it took some hunting to find the trailhead. After climbing over fallen trees, scrambling over rocky steps and clinging to rock faces on paths that were not far from treacherous, we made it to Panther Falls, and immediately appreciative of the tip-off. The rocky outcrop passed all but underneath the thundering waterfall and afforded heady views of the valley far below. We stood in awe for some minutes before two figures emerged from the corner. Having not seen a single person since we left our car at the roadside, it was quite a surprise to see James, the german cyclist from Mosquito Creek! He was joined by an Irish guy who had given him and his bike a lift in his van heading the opposite direction. As we marvelled at the unlikeliness of our meeting in such a remote place, we shared the amazing views for a while before heading back down the trail. We stood around in the layby and had a mars bar each courtesy of the Irish guy, chatted about our plans, shared our respective ‘Chinese tourist’ stories and headed our separate ways. Our hike for the day was Wilcox Pass, an alternative way to see the Columbia Icefield. We climbed through the forest to open meadows and caught a look up the glacier before the snow started to fall. Satisfied we had seen the Athabasca glacier, we turned back and drove to the car park at the Columbia Icefields Centre. Up at Sunwapta Falls we were a little tired and so reclined our seats for an hour’s nap! Feeling re-energised, we walked along the trail beside the falls. Our final wilderness hostel was HI Athabasca Falls. Here we were met by a less than enthusiastic manager and got talking to two Swiss sisters. We bonded over our shared meal choice of tinned soup. The night’s stay was largely uneventful and in the morning we leisurely made our way to Athabasca Falls across the road from the hostel. We followed the path of the water down to the river, passing by several benches in memory of unfortunate victims of the falls. We tutted as one guy ignored the obvious warnings not to climb the wooden fencing. Hugo photobombed a few tourist photos and then we made our way up to Jasper. Our last hope of seeing wildlife was the much recommended Maligne Lake road. This headed east towards Maligne lake, the longest lake in the Rockies. We soon came across a queue of cars abandoned on the roadside, a phenomenon known as a 'bear jam’. In this case, however, it was a 'moose jam’. People were standing by the side of the road pointing lenses towards a family of moose - a young bull, a female and a small baby. A tour guide raised his voice to explain to his group the foolishness of the Chinese tourists creeping dangerously close to the antler-adorned male. When we arrived at the lake there was a light covering of snow and the prospect of eating our cold leftover pasta was not filling us with excitement. After discovering that the lakeside cafeteria had some reasonably priced grub, it didn't take much persuasion before we were tucking in to some hot chili and chicken soup. We stopped on the way at another moose jam to discover a large bull and a female wandering very close to the road. We headed back to Jasper content with the day's wildlife encounters and dropped the car off at an extremely difficult to locate office. We checked in at ‘world travellers’ fraternity’, which despite the elaborate name was a small family run hostel in the basement. That evening we met Hannah and Tabea, two German girls. Hugo headed out to the liquor store with them to get some booze for the evening, although they discovered they do free beer delivery!

    Unprepared for the chilly morning temperature we followed a trail by the railway tracks in the hope of seeing some elk that reportedly can often be seen hanging around. The tracks certainly suggested they frequented the area, but no such sightings. We passed lake Annette and changed on to the woodpecker trail leading to the immaculate grounds of Jasper Lodge and golf course. Porters were standing outside the hotel and without even looking at the menu Hugo knew that he was not going to be able to afford a beer, but keen to feel fancy I ordered a hot chocolate. As we neared the end of the walk I spotted a long horned sheep by the river. As we were about to turn right on to the trail back in to town, we saw a sign across the path saying trail closed. Heeding the warning we continued up the hill on an alternative route before being stopped in our tracks by an almighty trumpet halfway between an elephant and a cow. It was the call of a rutting male elk! Needless to say we picked up our pace, as we had seen many signs warning of the dangers of bull elk during the mating season. Safely back at the hostel we skyped the parents before going out to explore the town. Jasper had a welcoming community feel to it and was less touristy than the other towns we had visited. Parked on the road was another RV, with a photo of a dog poking its head out of a non-existent window. In the evening we cooked yet more pasta and met two new hostel guests, Joost (rhymes with roast) from Holland and Jeremie from France. Together with the two German girls we decided it was too cold to head to a bar so we had drinks around the table and shared knowledge of music, including traditional songs from each country and Jeremie informed us of his experiences of Alaska and couch surfing.

    On our last day in Jasper we decided to do a short walk to Cottonwood Creek. Shortly after beginning the climb up the hill behind the hostel, we came to an abrupt halt when we spotted a group of elk, including a huge bull, lounging in the clearing up the path. We were more surprised to suddenly notice a juvenile bull less than 50m away behind a bush looking equally as surprised to see us. We stood stock still as Hugo slowly retrieved the camera from his bag. After carefully taking some snaps, we decided to head back and find another path up. Further up, Hugo jumped out of his skin when a pinecone plummeted to the ground, narrowly missing him. Looking up, we saw a crafty squirrel launching pinecone projectiles down at unsuspecting hikers. Eager to avoid serious injury we carried on. As the path crossed the road and we stopped to admire the view, a Chinese man pulling a large suitcase appeared and began taking photos. He struck up conversation with limited English by showing me some of his photos and repeating the word ‘beautiful’ before making his excuses to catch his bus. As quickly as he appeared he was marching down the middle of the road, seemingly unconcerned by oncoming cars, into what was essentially the middle of nowhere. Post-walk, we piled into the whistlestop pub for a super cheap burger and chips before our train.

    We arrived at Jasper station for our 14:30 train to Vancouver to discover it was running 5 hours late - apparently a common occurrence. As one must, we decided to pass the time in the pub. Hugo opted for a paddle of beer made on site at the Jasper Brewing Company. Back at the station I sat amongst all the Asian travellers, admiring one lady as she improvised using two straws to make chopsticks to eat her yoghurt! Hugo went to KFC and Subway to get us some tea for on the train. Finally we were invited to board and found our seats in our economy carriage. The train was more luxurious than the ‘Ocean’ we had ridden on the east coast. We had two attendants for our carriage, one of whom would blow what seemed to be a toy whistle to attract our attention and make announcements. All very entertaining! Sadly the sun had now set so we missed passing by the scenery of the Rockies. We reclined our seats and I donned my eye mask and drifted off to sleep. We were up early the next morning to view the Fraser valley speeding past outside the window. Hugo went to sit up in the Skyline carriage, complete with a panoramic window, although mainly exposing more of the sky than anything else! He did however spot a Coyote! At around 8.30am we came to a stop before an announcement was made informing us that unfortunately, a piece of rail a few kilometres ahead had gone missing and that we would have to wait for canrail to come out to fix it - time to wait: unknown. Without questioning how a piece of rail can just go missing, we decided to ride it out in the skyline carriage. It was here that an old man engaged us in conversation, asking us where we were from etc. Before we knew it, he had begun a long and animated monologue that covered his entire career, stopping every so often to wipe a stray tear from his eye when it all got too emotional. We found out that he had been aboard since Toronto - 4 days straight on the same carriage, with another day ahead of him. This probably goes some way to explaining his unstable state. The staff were handing out free meal vouchers due to the delay so we took up the offer and sat down for a ham and cheese croissant and a tuna apple wrap. We found ourselves in a carriage populated by Yorkshire folk, a couple from Wakefield, and a guy from near Selby - a small world. Updates came over the tannoy announcing ironically that we were 1 and a half hours away from 'Hope’ - the next town along the line. After 4 hours stationary, we departed ‘Hell's gate’ (a slightly disappointing river gorge) and pulled into Vancouver at half 5, 22 hours after boarding. What an ordeal!
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  • Day1


    September 18, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 1 °C

    Gestern sind wir in Jasper angekommen, nachdem wir den wunderschönen Icefields Parkway von Banff hier her gefahren sind.
    Nach einem kurzen Einkauf ging’s dann auf den Campingplatz. Mit Lagerfeuer, Fleisch, und Veggiewürstchen für Annika, konnte der Abend eigentlich nur gut werden...doch als unsere Kartoffeln in Aluminiumfolie verbrannt sind und meine Würstchen zum kotzen gescheckten, hatten wir dann nur noch unsere Lagerfeuer. Auch nicht schlecht🤷🏽‍♀️
    Nach einer angenehmen Nacht, Frühstück un Campingdusche ging’s dann zum Maligne Lake. Wir haben uns eine Tageswanderung ausgesucht bei der wir über die „Bald Lands“ sehen konnten.
    Kalt und anstrengend waren die 600 Höhenmeter, doch der Weg hat sich gelohnt. Oben gab es seltsame Tierchen und auf dem Heimweg Elche und 2 Moose. Momentan sitze ich in der Touriinfo und plane die nächsten Tage...
    Gleich gehts dann wieder auf den Campingplatz, auf dem sich ich dann bei erneutem Lagerfeuer erst mal ausgeruht wird. Dann gehts bei kuscheligen -2C zurück in den Camper zum schlafen☝🏼
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  • Day9

    Hike de "bald hill"

    August 26, 2016 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    Vandaag een hike gedaan naar de top van een berg. De hike begon met een redelijk stijl pad omhoog de berg op tot ongeveer halverwege. Vanuit hier was het al een mooi uitzicht. Echter daarna werd het uitzicht alleen maar beter. Via een smal pad kwamen vlakbij de top, we dachten dat dit het eind was vandaag de hike, dit bleek niet zo te zijn. De hike ging nog door naar de top van de berg. Het was wel even flink klimmen maar het uitzicht daarna was super, je kon 360 graden om je heen kijken met overal zicht op bergen.Read more

  • Day10


    August 27, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Après avoir mangé les bonnes pancakes au bleuets de la mère de Jenn, on fait nos adieux et quittons le chalet pour prendre la route de Jasper. Nous sommes plutôt chanceux car ce matin, on a droit au soleil! Ça nous permet de faire de la route et d'apprécier le spectacle. On entre dans les grosses montagnes et on a vraiment droit à de beaux paysages. Les photos ne rendent pas justice car c'est autrement plus impressionnant en vrai!

    Jessie n'avait jamais vu les Rocheuses et est plutôt impressionnée. Nicolas aussi car ça reste toujours très impressionnant! On fait quelques arrêts photo en chemin donc un lac très peu profond et vu la température c'est parfait. Les montagnes se réfléchissent dans l'eau et on peut marcher plutôt loin, en fait on pourrait même traverser le lac si on voulait. Un peu plus loin sur la route, on aperçoit aussi des chèvres de montagne! Wow!

    On fait ensuite un arrêt pour une courte marche au Canyon Maligne. C'est un bel endroit où on longe un étroit canyon au fond duquel on aperçoit une petite rivière à l'eau claire et sans aucun doute glacée! C'est une belle marche qu'on l'on fait en moins d'une heure avant de reprendre la route vers Jasper, un gros 10 minutes environ! Une belle petite ville dans les montagnes passablement touristique mais tout de même charmante. On ne s'y attarde pas trop car la journée est déjà avancée et on veut se rendre à notre camping pour s'installer et souper. Le camping est situé tout près de là et on ne met donc pas de temps à s'y rendre. On se fait une beau petit souper près du feu de camp. Toujours pas d'étoiles ce soir, ça ira à un autre jour semble-t-il!

    Le lendemain, c'est une journée lavage alors on se trouve une buanderie à Jasper où on prend un café en attendant la laveuse puis on va dîner dans un resto juste au dessus pendant le cycle de séchage! En après-midi, on prend la route pour aller vers Banff et on fait plusieurs arrêts en chemin, et notre arrêt principal est aux chutes Arthabaska, d'une hauteur de 23 mètres. Le canyon y est réellement impressionnant avec sa roche en strates et l'eau de couleur bleu turquoise. On y marche quelques minutes, pour ensuite reprendre notre chemin.

    La journée se termine à mi-chemin de Banff dans un camping plutôt tranquille et juste avant la tombée de la nuit, nous allons faire une balade près de la rivière. Le paysage était grandiose avec les montagnes en arrière-plan et son eau turquoise, évidemment dû à la fonte des glaciers. Toute qu'un spectacle! Après quoi, nous terminons la soirée autour d'un feu de camp avant d'aller au lit.
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Improvement District No. 12

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