Jasper in January

Jasper is one of the coolest little towns I’ve ever seen, nestled amongst some of the most amazing winter scenery I came across in my northern adventure.  I followed around some docile elk for an afternoon, hiked around a frozen canyon with a river rushing beneath the ice, amazing aurora shows over imposing peaks.  Truly a wonder place to visit in winter, I can’t recommend it enough.

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A lovely frozen scene as Maligne River exits the canyon.
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Roosevelt Elk, casually grazing and fortunately not mating season, they were super docile and relaxed and I trailed them for hours without them ever giving a care.
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Auroras over Pyramid Island.
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Pyramid Mountain rises high over Jasper town.
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5th bridge over Maligne Canyon, off to the wilderness!
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A world famous ice climber’s playground in Maligne Canyon, with dozens of frozen waterfalls dotting the route.
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Nature putting on quite a show.
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Another of Maligne’s frozen falls.
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I love that little slice of light before the sun has taken over.
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The impressive range running north of Jasper town, as seen from Indian Peak.
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I could spend weeks watching the light and clouds play in these ranges.
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A big bull takes a break from sweeping snow to get to the grasses, I can only presume to take in the scenery as I was.

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Ice Sculptures

Some awesome rewards for braving the cold of the Alaskan winter, I found all sorts of interesting ice formations in the form of frozen falls, glacial caves and lakes locked in 6′ of ice.  Granted it took about 6 months for me to regain feeling in my toes again, but at the time it seemed like a small price to pay for such wonderful and unique views.

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A cave cut into a thin glacier turns the whole world blue.
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Bubbles from lake bottom collect and get frozen in layers of ice at Abraham’s Lake.
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A small frozen falls in Maligne Canyon, Jasper, which I illuminated with some flashlights.

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A section of Wapta Falls, frozen solid.
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The view from behind the frozen falls pictured below.

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The falls frozen over in Johnston Canyon, Banff
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Falls in Maligne Canyon make a perfect playground for ice climbers.
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The Mendenhall glacier in Juneau cuts its way around the cliffside in its slow descent.

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A small falls was encased in a giant bell of ice, with a hole just big enough for me to fit a lens in.

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A wall of ice shows a bit of the Athabasca glacier under a winter’s worth of snowfall.

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Hatcher Pass, AK in Autumn

Amazing how much a few months can change a place.  This is the same mountain pass from the previous post.  Definitely a different feel from when its not encased in 10 feet of snow, and made for a much more enjoyable hiking.

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Not sure where the pooch came from, but it was nice to have some company for bit til she trotted off down the mountain.

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I found her people but she went off exploring the mountain on her own.  I need a mountain dog…

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This guy’s got alpine travel figured out.  I think when my knee finally goes I’m gonna go this route.

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Sketchy crossings,  no problem for the slow and steady…

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Autumn found in pockets amongst the pine.  There were also entire mountainsides which were a blanket of yellow birch and spruce.

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I’d been on the road for a week at this point, and hadn’t found a shower in awhile.  This is me, debating whether to brave the cold and take a bath in this lovely little alpine lake… Frigid but completely worth it.

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Nice little ptarmigan, funny little birds and not in the least bit shy.

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Cathedral Gorge, Nevada

I never knew this gem was only an hour or two north of Vegas.  Such a cool spot with little caves and slot canyons that wind their way in a maze of passages into the eroded cliffs.  The walls narrow to inches wide at places, but extend vertically for 100’s of feet.  I even found a little owl that had burrowed a nest into the soft walls.  If you’re ever not doing so hot at the tables, change your luck and visit this spot!

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The Flyover States

Normally when doing the cross country thing, I like to do those 2000 miles in the middle as fast as my truck will take me, a blurred coffee binged stretch that couldn’t end soon enough.  But on this last pass, I took some time, and found some fun things when I actually got off the interstate…

Death Valley and Desert Adventures

A view from Dante’s Peak overlooking Death Valley

Cloud shadows move across the Alvord Playa

Cracked earth in the Badwater Basin

Dawn breaking on the horizon

Lone grove of fan palms in Joshua Tree

A line in the sand

Route 190 as it heads up the mountain pass

Soft light paints dunes in the Badwater Basin

Wildrose charcoal kilns

Moonlight creeping into the kiln

Where the salt meets earth

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A trail in the salt flat