This morning Jason had to run to the truck to grab the nail clippers. While sitting outside clipping the aforementioned nails, the dogs in the campgrounds started barking. Jason looked up to see what all the commotion was, and there was a large buck elk chasing two female elk. The elk went right between our campsite and our neighbors, so we got a good photo opportunity. Then from behind us we heard a voice, “How are you doing this morning?” Jason and I were so engrossed in the elk that we didn’t realize that it was a male elk, chasing female elk, being chased by a SWAT team of park rangers with big flags and pellet gun rifles!!
We had breakfast, tidied up the trailer, and made reservations with www.whitewaterraftingjasper.com. We went into town and had lunch at Villa Caruso, a restaurant my brother had introduced us to a few years ago. This was our third time back and it was excellent as usual. We did a little shopping in Jasper. Kara got herself some awesome, stay dry, North Face pants.
We met the whitewater rafting team at the designed pick up spot in Jasper at 3:45 and drove out to our drop spot. We were rafting on the Athabasca River a total of 9 km from our drop off to pick up site. The water level is low this time of year so the rapids were rated 1-2 according to the international white water rafting scale. Just to give you perspective a 6 is rated as probable death! Niagara fall is rated at a 5.5!
Once we reached our destination everyone was outfitted with wet suits, neoprene boots, splash jackets and pants; and of course life jackets. We got a walk through on the things to do and things to don’t in rafting. Our guide Andre was very good and I felt quite confident after a little instruction.
So off we went into the mighty Athabasca! Andre told us that the water melts off of the Colombia Icefields only about 15 hours before it gets to us. The water, surprisingly, maintains a cool 5-7 degrees year around, as we would soon experience.
Not too long after a little river floating we met our first rapids. The ride was awesome!! What an experience to be completely engulfed in a wall of water. Jason pushed for us to get the front seat and that was a very good decision. It was it best seat in the house, however definitely the seat where you get really wet! Not such a big deal with the wet suits and rain gear.
The rapids flew by all too quickly and soon we were back in Jasper! The scenery was so beautiful, at least what I got to see between screaming through the rapids. We loved the experience and definitely want to try a more challenging run. The staff rated this run as a low 2 due to the time of year so perhaps a 3 or 4 next time.
We got back to the bus really excited. The staff were great at organizing all the wet suits and gear, so within no time we were back at our vehicles in Jasper. Our rafting team members, from Edmonton, were a real blast and our instructor Andre was great. We were able to purchase these cool pics, well worth the price considering the rafting cost for both of us was so reasonable.
We returned to our campsite for dry clothes and had to finish our perfect day with bul-gal-bi (not to be confused with bulgogi) at Kimchi House. What an excellent meal. I think this might be my favorite restaurant!! It is so nice to see a family run, classy restaurant such as this. Hopefully we can come back one more time in our trip.
Tonight is another beautiful night around the fire. We have enjoyed Jasper but plan on trying to get a spot somewhere along the parkway tomorrow. We will see! Jasper has proved to still be extremely busy so perhaps next week will be much quieter.