Our next tour was the wildlife tour. After not having time to eat all day. we found a nearby sandwich shop and got a quick bite before the next tour. Lee, our new found friend was also on that tour. His wife still not feeling well. I liked the tour guide. His name was Dave and he was very knowledgeable about the area and the places to find wildlife. We started down one of the main roads and before we got that far, we could see there were a number of parked cars along the road. We saw about 4 sheep eating their way down the mountain and some really baby sheep up high trying to come down. The sheep were all scraggly looking but we were able to get relatively close and take some photos.
We went on to the enchanting Medicine Lake. It was a beautiful. We had made a quick stop there the day before with Chad. It was a lovely area and we enjoyed taking photos.
We continued down the road – it was the one you take to Lake Louise. A big line of cars were standing still in front of us. We waited for a while but realized we were going no where, so the driver turned around. Dave took us on a different route and we discovered deer, a huge bull elk, eating along side the road. He stayed hidden behind a bush so it was hard to get pictures. Dave said we were not allowed to get out to take photos. If the animals become use to humans, they end up being destroyed. We did see a lot of people getting out regardless of the danger. We heard that the elk are the most dangerous and kills or hurts more people than any other animal.
We did see several bear groups. One mama bear had triplets. The people in their cars were so relentless in pursuing them that when we saw them later – she had sent her cubs climbing high into the trees. They looked in precarious positions. We hoped none would fall out of the tree. Dave got into a few altercations with the people out of their cars. Some listened others disregarded whatever he said.
It was about 9pm – it stayed light until about 10pm, so we started back toward the town. When we crossed the main road we saw cars as far as the eye could see on the side of the road. We stopped and ask a policeman what was going on. He said there was an accident but that he couldn’t tell us anything else.
We found out later that there had been a head-on collision and two people had died. They closed the road for 8 hrs and that was the main road out of town. When we got back to our lodge – the office was three-deep in people wanting rooms for the night. Shawn and I decided to go out and eat. We went to a restaurant recommended by Chad – Mr. Taxi. When we returned to the lodge we discovered that he had left us a message and said he went to look for us there. I returned his call and left him a message. I didn’t realize we were going to be eating dinner at 9:30 pm. Anyways, we just had hot sandwiches. We walked back to the hotel and turned on the news so we could learn about the flooding. The roads were still closed to Lake Louise and Banff so we knew we would be staying until Sunday.
The next day we decided to take the tram tour so we walked into town to get the tour bus to go up to the entrance. The tour took you there – got your ticket and then picked you up later whenever you were done. It was a crowded tram ride but enjoyable. We got out at the top. Shawn was anxious to look around but I wanted a cup of coffee. There was a kind of cafeteria restaurant so I got my coffee and sat down. After a while, Shawn arrived and he had been out on the rocks taking photos. There was a good view and you could see all the mountains and the town of Jasper down below plus a lot of the area lakes.
We stayed for about an hour and then took the tram down again. We got our bus and ended up back in town. We decided we needed to eat lunch. We found a Korean restaurant that was having lunch specials that looked good. Shawn’s lunch was good – mine was a soup with tofu but there was so much tofu – you could hardly find the soup.
We returned to the lodge and decided we wanted to go to this nearby lake called Maligne. We didn’t take the tour because it included a ride to a little island on the lake but was very pricey. We decided to see if Chad could take us to the lake. I gave him a call and he said he could but it would cost $90 because it was 30 miles outside of town. Well, it was cheaper than the tour and we knew he would stop at a bunch of places for us to take photos. We decided on a 2 pm pick-up.
Chad picked us up on time and we started out. He brought his camera on his tripod. We stopped at a lot of places and whenever we said we saw a nice view – he stopped. Although, it was a lot of fun – we had to take every photo very quickly – sometimes out of the window. He regaled us with at least 3 stories about how he almost died. He talked continually and kept us laughing.
We finally got to the lake but it looked like rain any second. There was a restaurant and Chad said he was hungry so he would meet us there later. Shawn and I were on our own but not for long as it started to rain.
We met Chad at the restaurant. He was very nice and bought us tea. We were going to the gift shop but it was closing time. We drove back stopping again along the way. Whenever you come upon a bunch of cars you know they are watching some kind of wild life. Chad was fearless and always jumped out of the car to take animal photos. We came upon several bears with cubs, several bull moose, female elk in a meadow. Shawn and I always stayed in the car to take photos but Chad always got out. Sometimes he would take my camera to get shots. One time I handed him my camera and it wasn’t turned on. He was very close to a bear taking photos with my camera but got upset when he figured out my camera hadn’t been turned on. As I said, he was always in a hurry to do everything. We did get some neat animal photos.
We finally made our way back. Chad had an appointment with our friend, Lee who wanted to take sunset pictures at Pyramid Lake. As much as we enjoyed Chad, I wasn’t sure how he and Lee would get on. By the time we arrived back at the lodge it was 8pm. He had taken us out for 6 hours. It was well worth the money. We saw a lot of the National Park and lots of places ordinary tourists probably didn’t see. We did make arrangements to send him our photos so he could use them in his advertisements or on his Facebook page.
The next day we talked to Lee and had a good laugh. He said that Chad acted like he was on steroids and that he wasn’t able to get a sunset photo. Chad had told him that in the mountains you don’t get many sunset photos. I guess Lee did get some photos but wasn’t able to take his time doing it!
I do so enjoy your postings of your trips. Chad sounded like quite a character! On to Part 4!