Whistler to Japser NP took us two full days. We played a bit more with the car since we added the unpaved road as an option for the drive and yes, it made us take some off-roads. But, nothing major as we had before in the US. We drove through very nice landscapes with the autumn color. We found good spots for the nights, and discovered as well how expensive two cappuccinos and two pieces of cake could be... It made us stop stoping for coffee and cake for the rest of our trip, almost ;-)
We spent the second night just before entering Jasper NP as the weather was pretty bad with snow coming. And anyway, it's better to spend one more free night outside the park. The next morning we rolled down into Jasper and saw what mother nature had created the day before with all those white trees everywhere, magical! But it also meant for us, that we wouldn't be able to go hiking anywhere as pretty much all the trails were covered with more than 10cm of snow the rangers told us and we don't have winter shoes.
We took the road to visit some of the lakes and enjoyed so much the scenery. Bears, deers, moose, elks, ... Canadian wildlife.
The second night in the park, as we were driving South towards Banff, we wanted to stay at another campground, even though it was below zero at night. All other accommodations are very expensive. But the brochure didn't tell us that the only campsite after the Glaciers was closed for maintenance work. We only saw a sign when we arrived at the entrance telling us that the information is not in the brochure because it had been decided after printing it. Thank you! But they couldn't even tell you where is the next one open, no? Guys, there's miles between each site, we're in the middle of the park! The hostel next door was charging more than we would pay for a dorm without much electricity and bathrooms in another building, meaning going out when it's freezing cold. So we used our imagination and decided to go for a good meal, well deserved, in the expensive lodge of Mono lake, to warm up for the night at the same time. There, we thought that no one would come to bother us if we hide and sleep somewhere on the lodge's parking. And it worked very well, except that it's was freezing cold at night and woke up with -10°C in the car before sunrise. Outside, it was even worse... But the scenery was worth the freezing toes to get those shots.
Then we passed by Lake Louise, which was surprisingly almost completely closed for the season. Only the big famous hotel was open for this lovely friday. What didn't I miss when I came there 3 years ago to bike the great divide! We should have taken one more day to visit those lakes with Simon.
Then we had our most cosy stay with Rob and Ingrid, with their wonderful hospitality in their bed and breakfast in Canmore, Cedar Springs. We spent one day in Banff, going back to the start of the great divide trail, visiting town, and buying good wine. We celebrated with Rob & Ingrid and their friends the Canadian thanksgiving.
On the Monday, we decided to leave, not because we didn't want to stay, but we had to get South to visit the rest of the American National Parks. Glaciers had already closed one pass and we couldn't drive through this one to get to Yellowstone, sadly, as it's a very scenic drive we heard. Plenty of miles to drive before getting to Yellowstone, so let's move on.
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