By the time we got to Jasper, we were ready for a change of pace. We received it in the form of getting together for the long weekend with some friends. Rachel, Mike, and their kids J and N made the 12-hour drive from their home to meet us in Jasper. When we met for a little hike at Horseshoe Lake, it was snowing!
Hanging with their family was a deep breath of fresh air. My kids were much more keen to hike with their friends. Rachel and Mike had done Jasper many times before, so they were super chill, and we just enjoyed ourselves.
The one thing on our must-do list was Miette Hot Springs. We drove through a snowstorm, navigating our RV on a winding mountain road, to arrive at the springs. It was a little harrowing, but gorgeous.
And, swimming in hot springs while it was snowing? Absolutely priceless.
Comparing the two hot springs we visited in the Rockies, Miette was by far our favorite. It had four pools, two hot and two cold. The kids tried the cold ones; the adults did not! There was much more room to spread out, and it was totally acceptable to bring your own food. The hardest part was getting out of the pool long enough to take pictures!
Back down the mountain, the snow was rain. We learned about a thing called the “snow line,” when rain turns to snow above a certain altitude. After a few days of this rain/snow mix, we finally got some sunshine.
One of our outings on a sunny day was to Maligne Canyon, which has a series of bridges from which to view the depths. It’s amazing what the power of water can do.
We drove the road up the river to Maligne Lake, another half an hour away. Later in the summer, this is a big place to go on a boat cruise, but in mid-May it was still frozen!
We stomped the snowy path for a while, to see what we could see, but then headed back. Thank God Rachel and Mike’s family stayed at a hotel with a pool; that was home base for these five waterbugs.
The town of Jasper itself was very sweet. It had some great playgrounds, an excellent library (for which we bear deep affection), and a dog park. It had some touristy stuff, but overall it felt more spread out, more like a middle-class town you might actually live in. We celebrated our last night there with a pizza dinner and ice cream.
As predicted, our kids hit it off and were thick as thieves by the end of the trip. Jared got to meet Rachel and Mike too. It was pretty enormously special getting to spend time with them. So, thanks Mike and Rachel for making the trip! And for the loan of extra gloves!