Monday, August 11, 2008

Reunion Journey, Days 13-17 Stewart BC to Jasper AB

Departing Stewart, we drove back up through a canyon, then turned right back onto the Cassier Highway. We continued to see spectacular mountain views on southern portion of Cassier, until we turned left onto Yellowhead Highway, which travels east-west from Prince Rupert, on the Pacific Ocean, to Edmonton, AB and points east.

Typical Mountain Scenery at the
Southern End of the Cassier Highway

Part of Trans-Canada system, the Yellowhead is an excellent two-lane highway. Immediately on leaving the Cassier, the scenery changed from rugged mountain views to much more pastoral scenes. It felt like rolling through western Pennsylvania, with broad, tilled valleys set between low, rounded mountains.

Rolling East on the Yellowhead Highway

The evening of our arrival in Prince George we celebrated our “official” post caravan farewell dinner at Earls, a somewhat eclectic restaurant on the outskirts of town. It came highly recommended by our campground owner,who gets a small kickback from each customer he sends their way. It really was very good. The menu was varied, with a few Asian dishes, as well as numerous western entrees. Keith had a Thai green curry (3COWs), while Kathy enjoyed a Caesar salad with chicken (also 3 COWS). Kathy couldn’t help remarking on the stylish dress of all the young female wait staff; Keith was to busy looking to comment.

The next night, our last night together as a group, we shared a picnic in the rain under Norm and Hal’s awning. It was an enjoyable meal, but it was sad to realize that our time together was almost over.

Our Post-Caravan Farewell Picnic. Left to Right are
Kathy, Rick, Carol, Mary Ann, Joe, John, Julie, Hal, and Norma

The next day we said good-by to John & Julie, Rick & Carol, and Hal & Norma, all of whom headed south toward Vancouver. We then did a few errands (groceries, Kathy hairdresser, etc.,) after which we enjoyed a pleasant lunch with Joe and Mary Ann at the Camelot restaurant (2-1/2 COWs).

The next morning we departed for Jasper, traveling with Joe and Mary Ann. This part of Yellowhead travels through the Frasier River Valley, southeast to the foot of the Rocky Mountains. We continued to see pastoral scenes, interspersed with views of Rocky Mountains to northeast. It rained most of our trip through the valley. Looking up, it was clear that the precipitation was falling as snow at higher elevations.

Following the Yellowhead Highway Through the
Fraiser River Valley, East of Prince George

More Agriculture Allong the Yellowhead

New Snow in the Rocky Mountains

A Comfort Break in the Shadow of the Misty Mountains

We enjoyed a late breakfast in McBride, with Joe & Mary Ann. Past McBride, the road begins an easy ascent up to the Yellowhead Pass, where we entered Jasper National Park and the Province of Alberta, crossed the continental divide, and set our watches ahead an hour as we passed into the Mountain time zone.

Yellowhead Lake

Climbing East Toward Yellowhead Pass

There are numerous impressive mountain views as road climbs and descends from the pass.

Typical Mountain Scenery In Jasper National Park

Descending Into Jasper Town

On arriving in Jasper, we drove into town for gas, while Joe and Mary Ann registered at campground. On our way into campground, we spotted this interesting pair. Note the passenger on the back of the Wapiti.

Wapiti and Friend

For dinner, Kathy prepared meat loaf, which we shared with Joe and Mary Ann, as they prepared to depart for points south. Tomorrow we will tour Jasper, while they drive south to Calgary, on their way to meet their children in Yellowstone NP. We shall miss them, and all our other old and new WIT friends, from past and present caravans.

Kathy, Joe, and Mary Ann Enjoy Meatloaf, Corn,
and Baked Potato, Served Under the Awning

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