We were not even out of the Jasper town limits on Pyramid Lake Road when we spotted this Mule Deer Buck along the road. His antlers were still in velvet. After a bit, he finally looked up so Laurie could take this photo.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with Mule Deer, their most obvious differences from a White-Tailed Deer are the size of the Mule Deer’s ears, the color of their tails, and the configuration of their antlers. Mule Deer are usually larger as well. Mule Deer's tails are black-tipped. A Mule Deer’s antlers are bifurcated, i.e., they "fork" as they grow, rather than branching from a single main beam, as is the case with Whitetails. For more information, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mule_deer.
The road north from Jasper to Pyramid Lake and the Pyramid Lake Resort isn’t very long but it provides many scenic vistas as well as a chance to view some wildlife. The Pyramid Lake Resort is owned by Mountain Park Lodges which has 5 properties in the Jasper area. To learn about this resort and others in the group, just go to http://www.mpljasper.com/hotels/pyramid_lake/.
Laurie loves Loons! They bring back memories of her childhood and loons on the lake her family used to vacation at in northern Wisconsin. Much to our delight, mama and papa loon were swimming around the dock at the Pyramid Lake Resort, apparently teaching their 2 offspring how to dive and hunt for fish. These are Great Northern or Common Loons. In Eurasia they are known as Great Northern Divers…
These loons were hard to photograph in the water… The babies are the ones with the brown feathers on their backs. The striped pattern of the adults had yet to develop. The neatest sight of all was watching the birds swimming underwater in pursuit of small fish! Unfortunately, it was impossible to capture with our camera.
Loons are excellent swimmers. They use their feet to propel themselves above and under water while their wings provide assistance. Because their feet are so far back on their bodies, loons are poorly adapted to moving on land. They usually avoid going onto land, except when nesting. Only one species of loon can take off from land…the rest require water for takeoff! The larger species have some difficulty taking off, even from a lake, and they need to swim into the wind to pick up enough lift to become airborne. For more information regarding loons, you can go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loon. To see a great photo of a Common Loon swimming along with her baby on her back, just go to http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/common-loon/.
This is the view across Pyramid Lake in Jasper National Park on a cloudy day… The lake is kidney-shaped and it lies at the foot of Pyramid Mountain, a natural landmark that overlooks the town of Jasper. The lake is small, only roughly ½ of a square mile but it is very pretty.
To see a photo of the lake and mountain on a sunny day, just go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pyramid_Mountain_and_Lake.jpg. FYI, Pyramid Mountain rises to 9,075 feet above sea level and about 2,500 feet above the lake. You are well over a mile high while visiting this area near the base of the mountain.
We really liked this cloudy drizzly day photo of a road branching off Pyramid Lake Road near Jasper…
This is a photo from the other side of Pyramid Lake showing the Pyramid Lake Resort with its 62 guest rooms… This would be a very laid back place to stay.
This is a photo of another small lake that we saw on our drive along Pyramid Lake Road…
This is a view of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. It sits on the shore of yet another small lake, Lac Beauvert. This lake and 5 others border the Athabasca River on the south east side of the town of Jasper. The area around 2 of the larger lakes, Lake Annette and Lake Edith, is a park with trails and picnic facilities.
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge was first been established in 1915 as a "Tent City," in association with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, but by the 1920s the property was under the management of Canadian National Hotels. Eight bungalows were constructed in 1921, and work began on additional cabins and a main lodge building two years later. The main building, reputed to be the largest single-level log structure in the world, was destroyed by fire in 1952.
The current lodge appears small as compared to other Fairmont properties in the Canadian Rockies, but with cabins and other outbuildings, it offers 446 rooms! It is Jasper's only year-round full-service resort. To learn more, go to http://www.fairmont.com/jasper/.
The next morning as we prepared for a day long adventure to Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park, we opted for a high carb ‘sweet’ breakfast at Bear’s Paw Bakery in the town of Jasper. It was on my list of possible places to grab a bite to eat and on Trip Advisor it’s currently rated as the #3 place to eat in Jasper. Check it out at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g154918-d1146855-Reviews-The_Bear_s_Paw-Jasper_Jasper_National_Park_Alberta.html.
This is a very popular place in the morning! Lots of baked goods…both for breakfast and lunch…and a flock of people lined up for something good to eat!
We ordered coffee, a croissant, a chocolate cinnamon roll and a cheddar cheese bun…I’m not sure what they actually called it. For some terrific and mouthwatering photos of the baked goods and sandwiches offered by the Bear’s Paw Bakery and additional information, go to http://www.bearspawbakery.com/. The Bear’s Paw Bakery is located at 4 Pyramid Road in Jasper. Phone: 780-852-3233.
We spotted this bat clinging to a wall in a narrow passageway in downtown Jasper. From what I’ve read, this is probably a Little Brown Bat. You can check out my assumption at: http://srd.alberta.ca/FishWildlife/WildSpecies/Mammals/Bats/LittleBrownBat.aspx.
Laurie really liked this idea…mulching the plantings with small pine cones! It’s attractive and this mulch is easy to come by in the Canadian Rockies…
These flowers were on display just down the street from the Bear’s Paw Bakery. Jasper was loaded with floral displays. We spent a couple of hours walking up and down the main streets of town, checking out the plethora of stores beckoning to passing tourists…
There wasn’t much sunshine in the pictures for this edition of my blog. So, I decided to end this posting with a nice sunny overview of Jasper and the surrounding mountains as pictured on a postcard! The town itself is only at an altitude of 3,480 feet. The population approximates 4,400 residents.
We actually liked Jasper more than we liked Banff… The town was easy to walk or drive through and the crowds were smaller. There was still plenty to do and see as well as places to eat. An upcoming post will feature some very fine dining indeed!
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a cloudy and drizzly day of exploring Jasper and the immediate area!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave