When weedos takes a train to Jasper, merriment and rolls of film follow.
Canada is really big. You may have heard that before but it’s true. We judge distances by time not by, er well, distance. We say “Toronto is only a four-and-a-half-hour flight” or “You can be on the coast in an hour”. From where I live, Toronto is 3465.8km or 2153.548 miles away. In the process of writing this article, I did a quick search and here’s the result:
“But John”, I hear you say; “this article is called Jasper by Train. What does the distance from Edmonton to Toronto have to do with this?”
To which I reply, “Shut up, I’m typing. Don’t make me lose my train of thought”. See what I did there?
Where was I? Oh yes, I recently had the opportunity to travel from Edmonton to Jasper by Train. You can drive to Jasper and it only takes about four and a half hours or the time it takes to fly to Toronto. I found out the train takes the same time and is a little more relaxing than the white knuckle drive you can experience in the middle of a Canadian winter, so I thought ‘why not?’
Traveling by train is quite civilized. You can have a beer or wine while on the train (something they discourage while driving), sit back and enjoy the view from the window or go up to the observation deck and watch the country roll by.
*Jasper *is located in the picturesque Canadian Rockies. In January, it is a quiet little town with a few skiers and snowboarders in for an unbelievable experience. I do not participate in either sport so I don’t have any pictures of that to show you. Please use a search engine for that purpose.
The locals are a friendly sort who are fiercely proud of their beautiful little town. Every January they have a festival creatively called Jasper In January. There are live bands in the clubs and outdoor activities for families. I was excited as the Saturday night I was in town, there was a street party and fireworks scheduled. Unfortunately, a freak wind storm hit the town and the fireworks were cancelled. So I went and got drunk instead. WARNING: The following photos have nothing to do with me getting drunk. Sorry to disappoint.
I stayed in the Jasper Park Lodge for the weekend. A beautiful but pricey cabin experience about ten minutes from the Jasper townsite (there I go again). The lodge fronts onto beautiful Beauvert Lake…
…and is walking distance to the Athabasca River; famous for it’s falls several kilometers away.
On the other side of the Lodge is Mildred Lake where you can ice skate in the winter.
The weather was a balmy -5 degrees Celsius the days I was there and allowed for ample walks in around this beautiful area. After two short days, I took the bus home as the train only runs on certain days throughout the week. As everyone knows, bus trips aren’t all that great and can be slightly uncomfortable so I didn’t take any pictures on the way home.
Overall, I would recommend the train as a way to travel across Canada and strongly suggest visiting the Canadian Rockies at any time of year.