Sunday 23rd August 2015: Calgary to Jasper by Fraser Roche
The Cavell challenge was in aid of the Cavell Trust , who assist nurses and midwives in times of need. To support and help raise money for the Cavell Trust please donate via https://www.justgiving.com/Team-NHSP1/
I woke up early so that I could face-time the missus back home (free wifi!). Got into breakfast for 7am and ate quickly so that I could double check that I had packed everything (OCD much…). Everyone was to meet in the foyer before 9am and sure enough everyone was ready and boarding the coach by 9.
We were scheduled to make 2 stops along the way so it wasn’t all bad. But stops were not necessary- Canada has the most beautiful scenery and as soon as the mountains appeared I was sold. This is what I love. I must have taken a million pictures of the same mountain. There is no way to describe the view, pictures don’t even do justice. Safe to say I was in awe. The next hour or so flew by, Lexi was drawn into conversations about who NHSP are (which she had to do many times over the week) and Harry (nicknamed Spoons) kept everyone entertained with his antics.
Our first stop was Lake Louise. It was quite touristy and there were hundreds of people there. It is a picturesque glacier lake framed by mountains….and icy cold!!! Lexi and I dipped our feet in and regretted it. Luckily it was quite warm so we dried and warmed up quickly. Harry took a full dip, that guy is crazy. Lunched followed, provided for us and consisted of a variety of cookies, nuts, cheese and a sandwich- this became our staple lunch for the week. Off we went and for the next 2 hours I watched the mountains and lakes roll by, with intermittent interruptions from Harry causing mayhem.
We soon reached Colombia Icefields and a spectacular view if the Athabasca Glacier. Unaware that we could get to the glacier, Andy and I took in the gift shop. We soon realised that it was possible to get to the glacier, but not in the time we had. After a futile attempt to reach the glacier we trudged back to the visitor centre, cursing a missed opportunity (little did we know we’d get a close up later in the week). After my customary cup of tea we were off- but only a 5 minute journey to the Glacier Skywalk. Despite not having a fear of heights I found this a bit nervy, especially with so many people on the skywalk at once, rocking it slightly. After a few edgy photos and videos we moved on towards Jasper, which we reached at 6pm local time.
The whole Cavell group had dinner together and then we were free to explore Jasper. At dinner we met 4 guys who became know as 1 direction (or No Direction) and we went out to the local bar with them. It was great to get to know new people and we would spend a lot of time with these guys over the week. I left early to get to bed, ready for the next day as we were laying the ceremonial wreath at the foot of Mount Edith Cavell followed by white-water rafting, which I had been dubious about.