Snow came just before we left, making it hard to get Luka to come.
But he knew damn well where we were going and would never let me leave without him. We were on the road before too late, retracing at least half of my old work route. Had to wonder if anybody I knew was up there.
There was a half day to be worked and at least half a dozen last minute chores to be done before leaving, though, so we did travel into the night.
Sweet, sweet, catless sleep.
That right there was pretty much everything I wanted to do too, but I wouldn’t go to Jasper without a stop by one of my favourite restaurants, which I have loved for years as much for the pizza and canopy of interlocking trees as for the staff, who take great delight in entertaining their very youngest customers and encouraging them to run around.
I do always try to get up to Medicine Lake, too, so up up up up up we went, up the frozen Maligne Road.
Up to the burn line of a recent year’s fires.
Medicine Lake always looks different. I’ve seen the water to the tree line in a particularly turbulent spring, but this time of year it has drained fully away. The fires certainly changed it’s landscape as well.
The descent proved to be a very bad combination with sinus pressure so it was later the next day before we got out again. Met a very unfortunately habituated local at Athabasca Falls.
Luka and I found a quiet trail that led directly to the moon.
Back in town, having somebody else drive for a change made for an opportunity to pull over and get a shot of the man in the mountain from an angle I’ve always liked, and under a beautiful soft evening light.
Obligatory photo of a Jasper elk, except I’m not photoshopping out all the wires. That’s what our wild spaces look like now.
And unfortunately increasingly like this. We just don’t get the cold weather we need to stop the spread of mountain pine beetle anymore.
Stopped by the Sixth Bridge of Maligne Canyon for a final leg stretch. Very frosty.
And then the road back.
And ultimately into more frost.
Not too far into that we saw the belching smoke of home.
Hard to get too lost with neighbours making that big a cloud system.
The only danger would be heading to the wrong one, since there are a considerable number of them visible for quite a distance out here.
And then back, I was informed, where I was supposed to be.
I missed you too, Diggity. Don’t worry, this mama didn’t leave you to the ravens. This one came back.