The first thing we noticed in Jasper was the vast swaths of dead pine trees on the mountainsides. We are boondocking at a Parks Canada Overflow campground. No services except pit toilets and fairly level gravel back-in lots with picnic tables. It’s been raining off and on quite a bit, so the solar had been slow to charge the batteries. The first afternoon there, we drove into the town and found the visitor center for a map of places to see. It’s a nice small town built on the side of a small hill with a railroad station and track bordering the southern edge, and just south of that is Highway 16. We drove up to Pyramid Lake, not sure why it’s called that as it’s not shaped like one. After having a snack there for lunch, we drove back down to the town where I thought we would walk around; but the rain really started coming down hard, so that was sort of a bust. So we headed down the parkway to Athabasca Falls by way of 93A, which is the old highway.
We drove probably 30 km to the falls, and they were utterly spectacular! There was so much water trying to get thru, it was like watching chaos, or what one would imagine chaos to look like! The pictures don’t do it justice. I tried to take some short videos of it. I will attempt to post them here. It started raining on us again, so we headed back toward the car and drove north back to Jasper.
We ended up driving back to the campground around 5 pm; and when I got there, I noticed the batteries were only back to 88% of full. I brought out the solar suitcase I built and hooked it up to see if we could get them back to at least 95% before the sun went behind the mountains. Maybe 45 minutes after I set them up, it got windy and started to rain hard. I figured we were done with the battery charging; but when I went over to the door to make sure the panel tie-downs were working, I noticed a small patch of blue sky over the mountaintop. To my surprise, the rain stopped a few minutes later and the sun again started shining very bright. A couple hours later our batteries were back to 100%. That was way better than expected. After the sun went behind the mountain to our west, I went outside and stored the suitcase back on the shelf I built just for them in the basement.
It’s been really cold since we left Lake Louise a couple days ago, and as I mentioned, this campground only allows two-day stays. We are leaving in the morning to drive up to Grande Cache.