Explore Alberta: Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park

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Maligne Lake is located deep in the heart of Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. Lesser known and trafficked than it's Banff National Park counterparts —  Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, it is every bit as stunning and perhaps more serene.

After learning that Jasper National Park is the world's second largest Dark Sky Preserve, we decided to add an early morning stargazing adventure to the next day's kayaking trip to see if we could catch a glimpse of the Milky Way. So... we set our alarms for 0200, layer up, grab the coffee pot so we can enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee as the sun rises over Maligne Lake... I can already picture the postcard perfect moment... and then what happens, you ask?

We hopped out of the travel trailer... and could see... the Jeep, the trees around us, the campsite. We'd paid no mind to the lunar calendar and inadvertently planned our stargazing adventure during a near full moon... Cue letting the air out of our figurative balloons.

Already awake and ready to go, we decided to head to the lake anyway, take a nap in the parking lot, and wake up in time to watch the sunrise. If you're anything like us, you may be thinking 'Good plan, guys... Way to turn lemons into lemonade'... but both of us would be wrong. Did you know that the 12V outlet in our Jeep Grand Cherokee won't power a coffee pot, and just how cold it is before the sun comes up in Jasper National Park even at the end of June? It's cold, bitter cold — Hence the husband all bundled up, looking like the old hag from Snow White.😂
The coffee deprivation and cold was all worth it, though, once the sun started to rise, revealing the Canadian Rockies surrounding us...
We waited and enjoyed the view until it had warmed up enough to get out on the water. 

— and then we were off!
A few miles in, we paddled up on Table Rock, and I just had to scale it and see the view from the top.
It didn't disappoint.

... and I decided to embrace its wildness.
"She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water... Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water." – Roman Payne
Maligne Lake, a string lake about 22½ kilometers long, is the largest glacially fed lake in the Canadian Rockies. The size was news to us, and we quickly realized we wouldn't have the time to make it all the way to Spirit Island at the opposite end of the lake.
We were bummed, but we're already talking about returning for a three day kayaking trip. We have a lot more we want to see in the area. All too often we wind up with a list longer than we started with of things we still want to do in the places we loved the most.
The drive back to our campsite proved eventful, with several black bears holding up traffic.🐻
... and I suppose the scenery was okay.😌
If I'd had my morning coffee, I'd call it a perfect day.
Until next time, JNP...

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