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 Mary Lou and Ralph Feldt are full-timers originally from Michigan. They love adventure, RVing, volunteering at state and national parks, and are excellent writers.
Spring in Canada
By Mary Lou Feldt
We crossed the border almost without a problem.  We were asked the usual questions and when asked if we had guns, mace, etc., Ralph owned up to having two small cans of dog repellent that he uses when biking.  With that we were asked to pull over & bring them inside, which we did.  The agent was super. He closely examined the cans to see if they had a Canadian sticker.  He couldn't find one so he had to take them from us.  Absolutely no vehicle search.

We're now in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.  It's beautiful, PLUS the sun is shining!  I know it's hard for you to believe but we have had crummy weather since leaving AZ in March, except for 107 degrees in Death Valley, not a surprise.  We've never been to the Canadian Rockies and are enjoying them immensely.  We just began too early in the season.  Fall would be much better.  We're finding many campgrounds closed, along with trails, from the lingering snow.  However, we're finding enough open trails to meander on and had a nice soak in the hot springs pool at Radium in Kootenay N.P..  Banff was good, although there were many, many tour buses.  Lake Louise was a disappointment, probably because of cold and rain and the lake was still frozen.  Also, it's basically two resorts with a small shopping plaza. Not much to do.  We then traveled the Icefields Parkway in heavy fog, rain and snow flurries to the highest point at Columbia Icefields Glacier.  As we began 
traveling down towards Jasper, the sun came out and we've been catching its rays the past three days.  It feels so good.  Jasper doesn't seem as touristy as Banff & Lake Louise.  This small community is beautiful kept.  We're seeing lots of wildlife, including grizzlies and moose, and today on a hike, saw three Bighorn sheep within a few feet of us.  The trail was something else!  After we got to the top of  the lookout point, Ralph led me, on what he  thought, was the trail back down.  As it turned out, it was a game trail, probably sheep or goats, because we found ourselves coming down a extremely steep cliff, holding on tree roots and shrubs whenever we could.  When we reached the bottom we were on an old fire road, grass filled, so it hadn't been used in years.  Not knowing what direction to head, we chose one, and began walking.  I'm normally very brave but the park has out many bear and elk warnings and trail closures because of their young.  I was forever clapping my hands & blowing my whistle to alert the critters.  Finally, we felt we were heading in the wrong direction & backtracked.  Lo and behold, we came upon the "real" trail & a pair of hikers who directed us back to our truck.  Next time, the GPS comes with us!!

That happened only five days after we hiked a steep trail at Lake Louise in thigh-high deep snow.  Reaching the top we decided that instead of going down the same way we'd finish out the loop trail.  Bad Choice.  It was steeper, deeper in snow, we walked across an avalanche, and our pants and feet were soaked and cold when we finished.  It was so dumb that it ranked up there with the time we crossed Lake Michigan from the mainland to Beaver Island in a 17 foot boat in a wicked storm.  But that's another story.

We had our mail sent over a week ago to Jasper & we're still waiting.  I guess we should have known it would take much longer.  But that's O.K.  We really like Jasper and the hiking is great.  We've been staying in all the N.P. campgrounds and we even choose to get hookups.  This area doesn't lend itself to boondocking very well.  The distances are too great to do things & there are very few places where it's allowed.  Besides, it's not boondocking weather.  The solar needs sun.

From Jasper we'll begin cutting east across Canada to Michigan.