Jasper Horseback Riding

Before going to bed we set my alarm to go off early the next morning. No one wants to wake up early on vacation but we had an appointment to go trail riding so it was worth it. We got ready drove into town and got a bite to eat at the local Tim Hortons which was packed. We then drove up towards Pyramid Lake and saw a small heard of elk. We hoped that was a good sign and we’d see lots of wildlife on our ride. We pulled into the stable parking lot and signed all our wavers, got helmets, and waited for the other riders to arrive. When they did we were taken over to the horses where the staff picked out mounts for us. The first one they brought out was a feisty tan horse (dun or buckskin bit rusty on my colours) and it was putting up a fight and backing into all the other horses tied to the rail. In my head I was hoping they wouldn’t give this horse to Chris but knew they would. The next horse they brought was a dark brown/black horse that was a bit bigger than the first and I knew that one’s mine and Chris gets the feisty one. I was right. We mounted and right away Chris’s horse Willy decided to be a pain. It started backing up at full speed right into my horse. I tried to get out of the way but one of the staff was holding my horse, Jack, and he wouldn’t move. The staff members told Chris not to pull back so hard and eventually got him under control. I really don’t think it was Chris’s fault. These horses are so dumb they wouldn’t listen even if he was telling it to back up.

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Anyway we got on our ride and for the first while Willy kept trying to turn around on Chris. They took photos of us, but at $15 a piece we didn’t buy them, Chris’s was hilarious. Willy had his neck straight out and looked so awkward. After Willy finally gave in to not turning around he then firmly planted his nose in Jack’s butt.  No matter how hard Chris tried he couldn’t get him to slow down and back off. Then at one point he walked over a small tree. I tried giving directions but these horses don’t listen and only know how to follow the leader really so it was no use. Other than that it was fun though. Had a few tender spots down low after but it didn’t hurt my back to much. Probably because we only trotted for 4 seconds when Jack got excited about seeing the barn. Think my butt would have been ok if my stirrups were shorter. Felt really weird having them crazy long. In English your knees are bent and it’s way more comfortable.

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Now for the awful blurry riding photos.

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After our ride we went up to Pyramid Lake and went on a short walk to Pyramid Island. We walked around took some photos and saw a few squirrels and chipmunks. Then we got back in the car and headed to Maligne Lake and Canyon. Our first stop was actually at Medicine Lake which is actually just a spot in the Maligne River that backs up as it disappears underground. This lake feeds many of the streams and lakes in the area even many kilometers away and has a vast network of caves. In the spring when the snow melts the lake is at full size but by the end of summer it’s just a fraction of its size.

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Our next stop was Maligne Lake. This lake was quite nice but honestly I think I liked Medicine lake better since it was less touristy. Malaigne lake was huge and reminded me of Harrison Lake back home. For almost $70 a person you could take a boat ride out to one of the islands in the lake. We passed on that and walked around and took pictures instead.

Maligne Lake

After Malaigne Lake we started the drive back to Malaigne Canyon. On the way we stopped along the side of the road to see a grizzly bear. The bear was in the trees and hard to see it was also on the other side of a creek about 100’ down from us so it was safe to stop and look. Once the bear was out of view we continued on our way to Malaigne Canyon where we walked along the paths and bridges and took photos.

When we returned back to the hotel there was an elk wandering around with Christmas lights in his antlers.

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