A Visit to Jasper National Park

The Athabasca River painting, Patricia Lake painting

We were finally approaching Jasper National Park. On the way, we stopped at some parks with nice rivers and trails, such as Athabasca Falls and others. There, some people looked at my sketchbook while I was sketching.

We arrived at the town of Jasper in the evening. We drove up and down the main street for a while trying to decide which hotel we wanted to stay in. Then, we found a nice hotel a little inside the town. They gave us a beautiful large room with a Jacuzzi for half the price. The hotel was called The Jasper Inn & Suite.

Their breakfast was buffet style and it was served in a large bright restaurant where natural sunlight came through very large windows. The waitress who served us every day was a Malaysian woman. She said that she had been to Japan recently and she said, “It was very expensive in Tokyo. We just ordered a coffee and cake and it was $80.” She also said that she had visited Tokyo Disneyland. There was a nice large vertical painting hung inside the restaurant. It was a colourful painting of waterfalls.

 

Maligne Canyon

The first place we went to in Jasper was Maligne Canyon. It had hilly trails and a nice creek running through it. The view was spectacular. It was sunny and quite warm that day.

Maligne Canyon

 

Maligne Lake

The Athabasca River was a beautiful deep blue and it reflected the sunlight. After that, we drove to Maligne Lake. There were not many people visiting the lake. It was a quiet lake and the water in the lake was very calm. We walked the trail around the lake. Wayne bought me a jacket that had a logo of Maligne Lake on it in the gift store. It was half price.

 

Deer

On the way back to the town, we saw several deer eating grass along the small road. One of them was a male deer and the rest were female. We got out of the car and went closer to them. I drew sketches of the deer. Some people also stopped their cars and came out and they were taking photos of them. But later, the male deer noticed us and came closer to us, so we got back into the car in a hurry and left. It was because we had heard from one of the men who was watching the deer that a deer had recently charged one of the tourist cars.

Male deer

We stopped at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and decided to look around and sit in the lobby. There was someone playing the piano in the lobby. It was crowded in the hotel. Wayne took photos of me with a large stuffed bear that was in the lobby.

On the way back to our hotel, there were some cars parked by the side of the main road. There were many deer in a large field eating grass. We stopped and I made sketches of them for a while. Other cars came by and stopped, so there were more cars parked and people watching them from the cars.

Suddenly, a baby deer came running and crossed the road, and disappeared into the woods. Then a male deer followed it and ran into the woods also. It was the first time I had seen a deer run. They were fast and I noticed how tall they were when I saw them up close. They almost ran like they were jumping. Probably, the baby deer got nervous because of the people who were watching them. We left the spot and went back to our hotel. That evening, we ate dinner in another restaurant, which was also in our hotel.

 

Mountain Park

The next day, we walked up to a mountain park near the town. There, we could see a nice view of the town and surrounding areas for 360 degrees. I walked all over and made many sketches. I saw some animals that sounded like horses running on the path below where I was standing.

On the mountain, Wayne was talking to an older couple and then some bighorn sheep came and ate grass near them. Wayne said that that couple had been traveling from Banff just like us and they said that they didn’t remember Wayne but they remembered seeing me. It was when I was sketching at Moraine Lake. Wayne really enjoyed the hike in the mountain.

The view from there was stunning. It was a beautiful day. I saw other animals resting at the edge of the mountain. I made sketches at the Athabasca River nearby and after that, we walked on some trails along a riverbed, but there was no water in the river.

 

Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake

That afternoon, we drove to Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake. It was about a half-hour drive from the town of Jasper. As we went a little outside the town, I noticed that the trees and soil were different than in town. We walked along the wooden path over the lake and walked to a small island which was beside Pyramid Mountain. From there, I made a sketch of Pyramid Mountain. After that, we went to Patricia Lake and I made more sketches.

The painting of Patricia Lake

Patricia Lake by Chiho Yoshikawa, 2010

We came back to the town of Jasper and I made a sketch of The Athabasca River. It shone with the reflection from the sunlight and it was a deep blue colour. There were beautiful mountains as a backdrop.

The painting of Athabasca River

Athabasca River by Chiho Yoshikawa, 2010

The next day was the last day in Jasper. I walked around the small courtyard in the hotel in the morning. At breakfast, that Asian waitress came and said to us with relief and a smile, “I thought you’d left the hotel because I didn’t see you.”. We talked to her again and said goodbye before we left.

 

British Columbia

We drove towards BC. We were aiming for Mt. Robson Provincial Park. We stopped at a smaller lake and then we passed the blue-green coloured Moose Lake. It was cloudy and drizzling a little, so we couldn’t see the peak of Mount Robson. We went into the visitor centre to ask for information and get a map of Mt. Robson Park. However, it turned out that the Mt. Robson Park trail was not open to the public that day due to the rainy weather. So, we decided to go somewhere nearby instead.

I remembered I had seen a sign on the way to Mt. Robson Park on the other side of the road. I thought that we could go there to see if there was something interesting. So we went there. It looked like it was a small nature park with an unpaved trail. There were many aspen trees with colourful autumn leaves and beautiful forests all along the trails. When we went further inside, there was a river and waterfalls. It was called Overlander Falls and the river was The Fraser River. I made a sketch of The Fraser River, which had a backdrop of mountains that were covered with mist.

The painting of Fraser River

Fraser River by Chiho Yoshikawa, 2010

That evening, we went to another nice restaurant for dinner and Wayne recommended that I should have sirloin steak. So I ordered it. However, when it was served, Wayne said it was not nicely done. I also had chocolate cake as a dessert. It was delicious. We were celebrating the end of our trip.

There were many large paintings by the same artist all over the walls in the restaurant. The waitress told us the artist painted all of them in a week. They were abstract landscapes that looked similar to my paintings.

 

Mountain Goats

The next day, we were to leave Jasper. We stopped at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge again and looked around a mall with some art galleries and gift shops. They had some nice paintings by Canadian artists. I also strolled around the small lake outside the hotel and then we headed for Edmonton.

On the way, just outside Jasper, there were a group of mountain goats that came running down the mountain and stopped in the middle of the road. They were looking down at the ground, probably looking for food. There were so many of them. I was able to see them very close. They had nice solid feet and ran steadily. The road to Edmonton was flat and the views were not so very interesting, but there were nice mountain views near the city of Edmonton.

Mountain goats