Shades of Green
After hanging out at the Whistler Campground in the morning, we set for a short hike in the Valley of Five Lakes, a little outside of Jasper.
Its pristine lakes with amazingly different shades of green came into view one after another. We sat there and simply admired the view. After the last largest lake of all we somehow got into a mosquito-infested side-track again! After narrowly escaping from many mosquito bites and potential encounter with bears, we were relieved to get back to the official trail.
Changing from simple, mostly vegetarian meals in our camping car or sandwiches on the hiking trails, Philippe proposed dinner in town. Philippe had meat crave and was happy with his big steak dinner.
We joined Jasper evening walk tour with Sarah from Friends of Jasper, an association which organizes hiking tours and children’s nature activities etc.
She explained about Jasper´s history and shared some interesting points:
- Jasper´s summer population of 21,000 inhabitants dwindles to only 4,000 in winter; in the meantime 2 million visitors pass Jasper every year.
- Jasper is a rather sleepy, but extremely safe town (we noticed!): The police has only one holding cell – very low crime rate
- It takes 3.5 years to get a driver’s license! Well that’s not just in Jasper but in all of Canada.
- Jasper implemented a new totem “technology”. Rather than having a whole tree trunk buried 5 meters into the ground, the improved version standing in the middle of town is mounted on a metal plate slightly above ground to avoid rotting. The metal plate has a hinge to allow to bring down the totem should there be need.
- Quite impressive: Jasper’s Dark Night Preserve policy. The town has decided to produce as little disturbing light as possible to have the sky and stars shining as clearly as possible. The traffic signals at the town’s busiest crossroads have been removed. Some historical building were allowed to keep their neon advertising lights. But they are not allowed to lit them…
We became to like the small, friendly atmosphere of Jasper more after this tour, compared to Banff which is too busy for my taste.