Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Travel Blogging VII

Jasper, Alberta, Canada: We took a drive over into BC yesterday, in the direction of Mount Robson, on the Yellowhead Highway. It is named for a blond fur trader who ran the Jasper House trading post, back in the colonial days.

Doing so we traversed one of the lowest passes through the Canadian Rockies, deemed too far north by the men who built the Canadian Pacific RR which runs through Banff to Vancouver. Later a line - called the CN today - was put through Jasper to both Vancouver and to Prince Rupert on the coast just south of Alaska.

Incidentally, the passenger train from Jasper to Prince Rupert is one of the world's great train rides, fantastic scenery, much of it untouched by human endeavor. The DrsC have done that route as a roundtrip twice and recommend it highly. The train was once called "The Skeena" after the river it parallels on the westernmost 80-100 miles, perhaps it still carries that name.

I'd guess Jasper was a railroad town before it became a national park headquarters. It still has a semi-large and quite active railyard occupying much of the land south of the Yellowhead Highway opposite Jasper townsite on the north side.

Freight cars coming from the east are here divided into trains bound for Vancouver and those headed for Prince Rupert. Prince Rupert has the advantage of being closer to Asia than is Vancouver.

That afternoon we found the very modern, nice library and spent an hour or two online, sitting in a couple of easy chairs. It was a fast, excellent connection. Libraries are a good choice for free Internet while traveling.

We saw elk yesterday, both a big bull in velvet and a sleek cow, and we saw a black bear the day before. The animal watch is fun and we hope to see even more this evening.