A day off


Go no further!
Originally uploaded by StripeyAnne

Coming from a snowless, ski-free country, it's tempting to stay on the slopes from first to last lift every day. But while my head is so up for that, my legs protest and it ends in tears, or a yardsale.

So we took the day of yesterday to make use of our Ford Chieftan Tank which Alamo foisted on us. It's so big we can't put the skis on the rack and drive into the hotel's underground car park – not without taking the shutter doors with us. Just as well it is so big we can fit the skis inside. Sideways. Along with another seven people.And their families.

We headed for the 300k scenic tour through Jasper National Park where we gorged ourselves on the fantastic views. I ran out of 'wows' and had to make do with 'awwwws' or even speechlessness. Photostops were frequent and no two sights were the same, though the pull-ins were designed for summer and I had to scramble up snowbanks to get a good view.

The route heads north west from Banff through the Columbia Icefields where tourists can, in season, take a bus only slightly larger than our car out on the glacier. There were no buses this day – everywhere was shut. There was nothing – not even a vending machine. Now that IS wilderness.

When we got there three hours later. we found Jasper a real treat – a working town sittlng on a railway and road hub. It has a gem of a ski resort where Noel would dearly like to take the 11-week instructor course never to return to the world of project management and programming.

It is a one horse, or rather one elk town, with only about 5,000 residents. but it's unpretentious – and there's great coffee to be had.

On the way back, we decided to take the scenic route, which was lovely right up to the point it was closed. Still, we got to see the sights in the other direction…….

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