A Quick Getaway to Jasper

This isn’t really a food-related post. I just felt like sharing a bit of our life again with you all. I think it’s a fun one but you can skip it if you really don’t feel like seeing random photos and anecdotes about our little getaway motorcycle trip to Jasper. There’ll be a recipe tomorrow, I promise.

It’s our annual motorcycle road trip extravaganza. Wait, can you call it annual if it’s only the second year you’ve done such a thing? Sure, why not? Hopefully we’ll always have the opportunity to take a motorcycle trip each summer with our good friends. Last year we did a pretty spectacular trip through three provinces and three states in just six days. I didn’t really share much about that trip I don’t think.

This year since we were all on tighter schedules and timelines we decided to do a quick weekend trip away a bit closer to home. We travelled from Saskatoon to Edmonton, then to Jasper and back. It was just a three day trip but we packed in as much fun as we could. I just wanted to share with you some of my favorite moments in photos. I left my big camera at home – kind of bulky on a motorbike – and snapped some pretty decent ones with my iPhone.

Pyramid Lake from Pyramid Island

Pyramid Lake was one of our first little stops. It’s a beautiful lake at the base of many mountains, one being shaped like … well, a pyramid. Oddly enough the mountain is actually unnamed. There’s a little island that you cross a sturdy walking bridge to get to. It’s really quite lovely. The water isn’t super warm but I could still see myself spending a whole day laying on a floatie in the sun on that lake.

We got to see some wildlife in the park too. These are some mountain goats I took a quick pic of as we were driving by.

Mountain Goats in Jasper National Park

Megan at Jasper Brewing Co.

We had dinner in Jasper’s townsite that same night at Jasper Brewing Company Brew Pub where they have this big horned sheep statue I decided to hop on to. I would recommend this place for those with special diets as they did an excellent job accommodating the special dietary requests of both Levi and myself. They have lots of clearly labelled menu items for gluten-free and vegetarian. They were willing and able to make plenty of substitution options to make the dish I ordered (Spicy Buddha Noodles but served on rice because there was egg in the noodles and added some tofu) completely vegan. It tasted really great. Levi had a gluten-free Jambalaya dish (not vegan) which he said was fine. They had a gluten-free beer (though not brewed locally) available for order.

The next day we saw two different waterfalls – Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls – and stopped at my all-time-favorite spot on this trip – Horseshoe Lake. Horsehoe Lake is not a big lake and while it’s marked as one of the Points of Interest on the map, there’s no signage to get to the lake. There’s a roadside pull-out with washrooms but if you follow the trail behind the parking lot just 5 minutes you’ll get to one end of the lake. A quick hike up some rocks and trails takes you to various spots along the cliffs varying in heights (up to something like 80 feet!) where you can sunbathe and jump off of into the ice-cold glacier-fed lake water. Just breathtaking. The photos just don’t do it justice.

Sunwapta Falls - Jasper National Park

Sunwapta Falls – Jasper National Park

Athabasca Falls - Jasper National Park

Athabasca Falls – Jasper National Park

Horseshoe Lake - Jasper National Park

Horseshoe Lake – Jasper National Park

Speaking of jumping off cliffs, I did jump off of a little piddly one but wasn’t into the larger ones. Mostly because the water was cold and I had already swam across the (narrow) lake to that sort-of cave you can see in the picture above. I was cold and more interested in soaking up the warmth of the sun. Also in the picture above you’ll see the highest point of the cliff. I’m not totally sure how high it is – somewhere between 50 and 80 feet probably. Levi jumped off that one. One of our friends got that on video but I haven’t seen the footage yet. Too high for me but Levi is a bit more adventurous than I.

We had supper late that night back in Edmonton at a Japanese restaurant called Mikado. I think our waitress was confused by our requests though she was very knowledgable about the menu. I think she thought I was the one who couldn’t have gluten and Levi was the one who didn’t want animal products like the  fish broth in the miso soup. In any case we finally got it all sorted out and ordered our food. It was a fairly pricy restaurant ($94 for the two of us!!!) and I wasn’t totally thrilled with my bento box that I had to substitute half of (at an upcharge) for somewhat bland stuff – cold, flavorless tofu and plain grilled veggies without any seasoning at all. The veggie sushi rolls we shared (Avocado Roll without mayo) and that came in the bento box (small avocado roll and cucumber roll, both without mayo) were awesome though. I think I was also just tired and ready for bed at that point so as hungry as I was, I just wasn’t in the mood for food. Shocking, I know.

We had a lot of fun with our good friends and can’t wait to do something even more fun next summer!

Have you been to Jasper National Park before? What beautiful sights did you see and enjoy?

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One Response to “A Quick Getaway to Jasper”

  1. Lauren C.
    September 5, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    I was looking on your website for recipe ideas and came across this posting– I used to live in Jasper! It is such a beautiful place!! I went to visit last month and had a great time. Thanks for having such a great site, It’s not always easy being vegan and gf so I appreciate the help!

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