On our third day there, we decided to go check out the hiking opportunities, and while we weren't all too intent on seeking out anything epic like last year's Glacier National Park 6 hour hike (remember, I was dealing with gall bladder issues and not feeling all too well this year), we were curious about the path that lead to the "source of the hot springs." It was paved and then a boardwalk surface, not wheelchair friendly after the pavement ends, and not steep at all. An easy, short and enjoyable walk. First you happen upon the original remnants of the Miette Aquacourt. It was build in 1938 and stayed open until 1984, when it was finally closed due to unstable rocks and concrete, wear and tear, overcrowding and poor access. What's left is almost ghostly to observe. It was really cool. Still a unique space. You can smell the sulphur in the air and you know the source is close by.
The source of the Miette hotsprings is just across a little bridge. There are a few things to read to understand how it is formed, where it comes from. Stick your hand in this water, it's very hot. It's almost difficult to stand the sulphur smell here, far worse than even the natural Lussier Hot Springs in Kootenay National Parks, and I thought those ones were smelly! But hot springs water is said to be uber healthy for your skin to soak in, so any chance you can, you should touch it!
This happy little bumble bee was just sleeping/resting/sunning itself on a clover leaf. It's funny because in my yard this plant would be my enemy, but out here in nature, where it tickles the sides of the stream with it's pops of pinky purple pedals, it's beautiful. it's so wonderful to see all the colors in bloom. There were yellows, striking oranges, whites, pinks, purples and reds. So pretty, all the wild flowers.
On the way back down to the motel, Thor and I noticed these crazy awesome little trickles of hot springs water that left this white hair-like mineral deposit stuff behind wherever it flows. It's very slimey, go ahead, touch it! It's hot as well and sulphur smelling. But it's really fun to photograph and really interesting to look at.
Whatever you do when you're in Jasper National Park, or at Miette Hot Springs, try and find someone to enjoy the experience with, or go with someone you love. It's really a unique space and it's a thrill to be able to say that this is so close to home, right here in Alberta's Rocky Mountains. If you go there via the QE2 hwy/Anthony Henday ring road around Edmonton and over to Edson/Hinton, the route takes about 4.5 hours. That's an easy drive to make. And when you're travelling with the one you love, or with friends, there's never a dull moment, and always something to talk about.
We decided to get a day pass on our last day at the hot springs resort. It's a couple of dollars more at $8.55 for the whole day instead of a single entry which is $6.05, but you can go in and out as many times as you want to. So we soaked after our exploration of the source, then ate supper early, then went back to the hot springs to soak again. Miette Hot Springs has 4 pools. One at about 38C, another at 41C, and two that are glacier fed and ice cold (with one cold pool being slightly warmer than the other). The whole thing is awesome because you can overheat in the hottest pool. Heat up, jump into the cold ones to cool down then go heat up again and repeat for as long as you want! It's really special there. There are mountains all around you, you're quite high in elevation here. The Hot Springs has a little cafe and a gift shop, adequate change room space and lots of showers. It never really felt over crowded and it's a world tourist attraction. English is not the most happening language here, as there are people from literally all over the planet that come to soak. Striking up conversation can be difficult because not everyone will know your language. Still, that adds to the atmosphere and mysticism of it all. I've found that this is the case at all of Alberta/BC's National Park's Hot Springs. I love that.
The next day was our day of departure. We drove home via Hinton/Edmonton, stopping at a flea market and an antique store along the way, finding some mid-century lampshades/lamp for the cabin in Montana as we went. Thor was stoked about that, and the lamp really grew on me. I sort of wanted to keep it at my place, but I knew it would look great at the cabin.
The rest of our vacation was spent in Red Deer. I had my surgery, Thor taught Thanan to ride his bike (finally after we've been trying for many years!) which was a seriously proud 2 days. The rest of the holiday was really low key, but still special because we were together.
Looking so forward to next year's vacation!
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