Tuesday, February 19

another canadian adventure - jasper national park: day 5 (astrophotography)

Each night, both of us would wakeup and look out the windows around the bungalow.  We were hoping to see the northern lights.  Northern lights can be tracked via different websites.  You can also signup for alerts to be sent to your phone, but with no cell service that wasn't an option for us.  Apparently, the lights will come and go at a moments notice.  Our entire stay (via northern light tracking websites) the northern light activity were sadly quite low.

However, that didn't stop us from getting up at 4am to photograph the milky way.  We packed up all of the 'stuff' and headed out to the dock at Patricia Lake.  It wasn't QUITE as dark as when we did astrophotography in Sequoia National Park, but still incredibly beautiful.

As we sat and gazed at the stars in the wee hours of the morning we could hear the owls and the elk call.  After a bit of hearing all the commotion of wildlife I was starting to freak out a little in the pitch black (when the head lamps would go off to make a picture).  The kind of black sky when you can't see your hand 5 inches in front of your face.  It's quite eerie when it's so dark out!  I was ready to go back inside to safety.  Joe DEFINITELY kept the bear spray out as we walked back to our place.

Pslams 8:3 - When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place.

GOD is one AH-MAZING creator!!


One of my favorite photos was near sunrise.  You could see the sun reflect on the low clouds.  With our naked eye, we didn't notice it as much as when we made the photo.  The slow shutter speed let everything in that we couldn't see.

24mm - f/1.8  (set to infinity), 25 seconds ss, ISO1250

The Milky Way

A little fun with a headlamp

Previous Jasper National Park posts:

Tuesday, February 12

another canadian adventure - jasper national park: day 4

Our first stop was Patricia Lake and on this day we could see the mountains!  While at the lake we could hear a male elk that seemed rather close.  As we were heading back to our bungalow to grab our packs we decided to drive through the grounds to see if we could spot the elk.

Patricia Lake

Pano of Patricia Lake

PS - Joe really, really, really wanted to jump off the dock.  I advised against it...

The female and young were in the road.  
All photos were taken from the safety of our car (FYI).

The male, he was rather large...

It was rather cold so you could see his breath, but what you can't see in this photo is the people in that particular bungalow looking out the screen door at the elk in there 'yard'.

He stomped and snorted at them and they shut the main door rather quickly.

Medicine Lake

It reminded me of The Lord of the Rings movies for some reason...  It was very ominous (while it was the entire day) and many burnt trees in the area.

Malign Lake

Our first hike for the day was around Moose Lake.

We were told there was a moose somewhere in the water...

Next trail was Bald hills Trail (13k or ~ 8 miles).  The beginning of the hike, I thought - hey this isn't too bad.  Then it took a turn into steep climb.  The sign at the bottom of the trail said 4-6 hours.  However, we had to be on a cruise in a few short hours, so Joe said let's power through as fast as we can.  We made it to the top in 1.5 hours.  My knees let me know that on the way down...  As you will read later, we apparently didn't need to rush the hike like we did.  sigh...

We didn't make many photos up...  Steep hikes give me a new appreciating for hiking poles.  I always thought they were sort of dumb, but now I get it.  PLUS it helps with my hand swelling that I seem to get from hiking or walking (anything that keeps my hands low for long periods of time).

Breath taking views of the mountain ranges and Maligne Lake

Pano of Maligne Lake & Ranges

Here is where we took a quick break to have lunch.

I will say the view down was much more enjoyable than the view up.  Neither of us realized what was behind us!

Maligne Lake Cruise

When we arrived for the Maligne Lake cruise we made a quick stop in the lodge and Joe said, meet me outside RIGHT HERE.  So I come out and waited and waited and waited.  This was the second time I felt like he abandoned me on this trip (with no cell phone service).  I kept thinking we are going to miss the cruise.  I even went down to the gates and asked them to wait as I was waiting for my husband...  We needed to leave 3 minutes ago!  I kid you not it was like a half an hour later and Joe comes waltzing out with a donut in hand.  Yep our cruise tickets were for the day prior.  However, they kindly exchanged our tickets for 30 minutes later.  (shaking my head)

Random facts about Maligne Lake:

22km long ~ 13.67 miles
largest lake in Canada
90% glacier water
deepest part is 300 meters deep
the range is the longest continuous peaks without valleys
Portion of the range is called the "Queen Elizabeth Ranges", the giant rock was a gift to the Queen.

The central white area are glaciers

Here we were venturing ON spirit island.  It's very small and really a peninsula.  

One of the most famous photographed places in the Canadian Rockies.  

Panoramic of Spirit Island

The return trip...

As we were getting close to shore there was a moose spotting!  Of course I was like UGH 85mm lens is useless here.  It's like a dot!

However, he was still there munching when we got off the boat, so we made a quick run to the moose.  A park ranger was there to guide us as to where we were allowed to be.  He wanted to make sure the the moose had enough space when he was ready to get out of the water.

Bird friend as we were leaving


Previous Jasper National Park posts: