2002 Canada Trip

Thursday, September 12


We re-calculated the hour required to photograph sunrise at Pyramid Lake to get an extra forty-five minutes of sleep, but even that time soon passed. We forced ourselves out of bed and started off for Pyramid Lake. Just a mile from our cabin and right beside the sign welcoming visitors to Jasper, we saw three bull elk. Two were mature bulls, but it soon became very evident who the dominant bull was. The "boss" bugled loudly as he approached the other two. They both looked anxiously at him. He charged one of them and drove them both to the other side of the highway before he returned to his feeding. Although it was quite early and the light was a bit low, I think we will have some excellent shots of the two biggest bulls. Carol even got a shot of the two smaller elk right next to the welcome to Jasper sign.

Pyramid Lake Even with the delay to photograph the elk, we arrived at Pyramid Lake just in time to see the first light on Pyramid Mountain. To our surprise, we also saw a collar of lake fog above the surface of the lake. As we watched, more fog poured into the lake basin from a higher valley above the lake. As this burned off, we had some very interesting shots of Pyramid Mountain with lake fog. The lake was still, the sun shining on the mountain, and the fog added interest to our shots. We were off to a very good start of a new day.

We tried another location on Pyramid Lake before we drove the short distance to Patricia Lake. It was also very calm with wonderful reflections. The surface was polished glass.

We drove over to the Goodyear store to check on the status of our poor little trailer. They were done so the bad news came in the $500+ bill. Ouch! (Carol needed to remind Gene that the $500+ was Canadian dollars. Thus, the bite was bad, but not as awful as if we were dealing with American currency. Gene says that is a matter of opinion).

We got cleaned up and drove into Jasper to eat lunch and make our reservations for the scenic cruise on Maligne (Ma-leen) Lake. One of our top priorities for Jasper was to get the famous photograph of Spirit Island at the far end of Maligne Lake. We decided today was the day.

Maligne LakeWe boarded the Samson Beaver at 4:00 and toured the portion of Maligne Lake open to powered water craft. The farther away from the dock we went, the more dramatic was the scenery and the number of glaciers on the mountains. The mountains on the east side of the lake were uplifted limestone from an inland sea that included fossils of ancient fish.

As we neared Spirit Island, we couldn't believe our luck. We had perfect clouds for shooting the island and surrounding peaks. It was an incredible sight. We couldn't have had better conditions for taking our photographs. The only catch was that the boat would dock for only 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes isn't much time for a group to converge on an area and get all the photos that are wanted. We had to hustle, but I think we should have some excellent photos. All week Carol had been fretting about choosing the right day to shoot Spirit Island. As it turned out, we couldn't have chosen a better day.

Maligne Lake Spirit Island Maligne Lake
Maligne Lake Spririt Island Maligne Lake