Happy Tuesday! Apologies for the delay in new content. I had a few posts planned while we were away, but slow/no internet made uploading photo files near impossible. I stressed about it for a few before realizing all the incredible beauty I was surrounded with and embraced it as an opportunity to instead be present, live in the moment, go with the flow and practice patience.
After packing our bags last Wednesday, we flew into Calgary Thursday night, stayed overnight and then explored the city for a bit, taking in the skyline, the unseasonably warm weather, some poutine (a must in Canada) and other yummy food at this restaurant and a stop at what has been deemed one of the best coffee shops in the world. As dusk settled in, we hit the road for Jasper. The drive was beyond stunning and, because there's no service for much of it, you can truly unplug and focus on the beauty around you.
We got in a little after 10pm, checked into our Airbnb and then crossed our fingers that this small town of Jasper would have a late night bite available somewhere. Come to find out, there were actually several late night bite options available, but we were tired so we grabbed slices of pizza (so New York of us) and hot chocolate at the 24 hour convenient mart and then went back home.
We headed out bright and early (by which I mean 10:30am...in our defense, though, the sun didn't rise until 9am, sooooo.....) the next morning, grabbing breakfast at Coco's Cafe. It wasn't my favorite meal of the trip (The elk sausage roll sounded so good but was so disappointingly dry.), but the groomer's breakfast was pretty delicious and very hearty and filling. In retrospect it was probably a better place to grab soup and a sandwich than breakfast, but hindsight is 2020, right?
After fueling up, we set out on our first hike. We settled on a trail at Old Fort Point as we heard you could get some great views from there. And people weren't kidding. Not only did we see the town, the mountains, the train, a pretty blue lake and the crystal clear river, we also had our first (and best) wildlife siting- bighorn sheep. We were just hiking along and then we climbed over a mountain ridge, and bam! There they were. They acted totally natural and chill (accept for the one that was most definitely watching me...I'm convinced he had marked me as his victim to ram off the mountainside, but luckily we got out of there before I could find out!) despite being only a few feet away from us. We snapped all kinds of photos and video before one stuck its tongue out at us, making us realize we had more than overstayed our welcome.
We continued our hike, encountering the sheep once again, before heading a few minutes down the road to check out Lake Beauvert (the lake that the Fairmont is on) and then stumbling upon one of our favorite (but for some reason not as popular) lakes of the trip, Lake Annette. We always managed to spot some elk grabbing supper along the side of the highway.
It gets dark pretty early in the day, so by this point we were fighting the light. We packed it in, headed back into to town to go to church and then finished with dinner at the local brewery (the pretzel and fried chicken sandwich were both amazing and the blueberry vanilla beer is delicious, so good in fact, that they frequently run out of it, so get it if you can). I insisted on leaving the brewery rather early so I could stop for another cup of hot chocolate (Yup, I'm the girl who hangs out at a brewery, drinking beers then leaves to get hot cocoa at 10:30 at night! #noshame) on the way home. I'd like to think we went home early because we were tired from all the hiking we did, but let's be honest, it's probably just because we're getting old....