Our friends had to leave for home this morning so we had a large breakfast of bacon, eggs and hash-browns. It was a bit of a challenge to cook for 12 on a two burner camp stove. Everyone got fed but we ate each item as it was ready.
Just before they left we made a shadow totem pole. Everyone lines up so the shadows make one really tall shadow and then we put our arms out.
With our rather steep climb yesterday we decided to do a flatter trail. Unfortunately we hit stopped traffic. After ten minutes of not moving, no oncoming traffic and no way of knowing what the cause was we pulled a U-turn. That meant that we had to find another trail to do. We ended up with a trail that had 130 meter elevation gain. We started at the river below.
We ended up doing a trail called Old Fort Point. The name is a little misleading as there is no fort. It is a loop trail. We did the elevation gain all at the beginning and then had a gentle down the rest of the way. It is not a good sign when the trail starts with stairs up a cliff.
There was a great view of Jasper and the Athabasca River from the top. We were not anywhere near as high as we were on Saturday but then we didn’t take a gondola up most of the way.
Again I took pictures of the rocks for our plate tectonic lessons this year. While I took more of the layers that have been uplifted the more interesting was the one that I thought was fossils of some kind. They turned out to be limestone embedded in mudstone. They believe that they ended up in an underwater landslide. The article that I read on it is here. (Note it is a PDF)
The walk back down was easier but longer. We did come up upon the leaf above and wondered what creature caused such a precise pattern. It turns out the general term is leaf miner and are larvae of various bugs. Apparently with the right knowledge you can identify the bug by the type of plant they are in and the pattern that they make.
At the end of the hike we ended up back on the shores of the Athabasca River. The kids dipped their toes into it. It is glacier fed as we will see in a couple of days and near ice cold. The color of the river is from ‘Rock Flour’ ground by the glacier.
Everyone was hot and hungry so we went into town for ice cream. I tend to find real ice cream parlours when I am vacations, it is such a nice treat. We did tinfoil dinner for dinner as per my wife’s family traditions.
After dinner there was a photo scavenger hunt. It was a little too hard and favoured those that were more familiar with the campground. You had to exactly match the photos they had. Competitive Margaret didn’t let the camera turn off and killed the battery. I recharged it in the bathroom. The winners finished in under 10 minutes. After half an hour Margaret and Ian only had 3 of the dozen photos.