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Birthday celebrations at Maligne Lake

Birthday celebrations at Maligne Lake

Like already pointed out in the previous report Mira’s birthday was coming up and I had a great surprise trip planned. This trip started the evening before her birthday in Jasper, where we went to an outdoor rental shop and got us two a kayak each. Once mounted to our van the journey started. The destination was Maligne Lake, undisputed one of the biggest highlights in Jasper National Park. But also the road leading up to the lake is a true gem, one of the most beautiful ones in the Rockies.

One of the views from the Maligne Road.

Sharp rock walls rising towards the sky and the picturesque Medizin Lake could be found along the way.

The Medicine Lake in Jasper National Park.

Approximately two hours before the sun would set we arrived at the Maligne Lake and prepared for a little sunset paddle.

Arriving at Maligne Lake.

A little later we launched the boats and gazed at the breathtaking scenery in the warm light of the evening sun.

Paddling during sunset, one of the highlights of our trip.

For this evening only a small trip was planned so we could save our resources for the next day. Yet only a small tour we still collected tons of great impressions. Once the sun disappeared behind the summits around us we started to head back to the shore.

Time to head back to the shore.

There we decided that we would not wait till midnight to celebrate into the birthday but rather get a few hours of sleep and then do an early start in the morning. As planned we woke up to our alarm at 6:00 in the morning, at 6:30 we were already ready to launch the boats. Again a very moody light welcomed us once we were on the lake.

Early morning atmosphere on the lake.

In my head, a picture from Spirit Island spooked around, which would be about 15 Kilometers one way to reach. This would be a hell of a long trip but we were out here early and did not struggle with any winds. Quickly we reached the fog bank, blocking the entire valley ahead of us.

Mira approaching the fog bank.

We kept going into the thick clouds and stayed close to the shore to keep our orientation.

Disappearing into the clouds.
Always staying close to the shore.

After a while, in the whiteout, the fog slowly started to rise around us and we could finally see the valley around us again.

The fog rose and we could see the valley again.

Having spent about two and a half hours continuously paddling over the lake it started to get busier on the water. That’s because at 10:00 o’clock the commercial tour boats start to bring guests over the lake to Spirit Island. Kindly, those always slowed down once the approached us so it was easier for all kayakers on the lake to handle the waves coming from the boat’s engines. We also received a lot of waving hands from the guests. Another thirty minutes later we came pretty close to our goal and decided to first have a break on one of the islands to enjoy the sun. We also brought our small coffee maker and shortly after landing on the island enjoyed a hot brewed coffee. What a luxury! And obviously, some of the guests on the tour boats that went past us were quite jealous.

Coffee break on one of the islands in the middle of the lake.

Then we decided that it was time for the last pitch to Spirit Island. Because all the tour boats went there two, the place was quite busy, still, it was this postcard-like place and we were proud that we made it there with our own body strength.

Arriving at the famous Spirit Island.
Our boats at the shore.
Me at the island.

Tons of photos and great impressions later it was time to start our journey back. Again, there were still 15 kilometers ahead of us to get back, at least we could count on some light wind helping us out a little bit. About an hour after we started we made another quick lunch break and, strengthened by this meal, continued our paddle to the boat launch. We really fought to be as quick as possible as there were rainstorms approaching from pretty much every direction. Our efforts paid off and we got out of the water with only a few drops of rain on our jackets. By this time of the trip we were true experts in escaping the rain I guess? Still, this was by far the most exhausting run from the rain. Obviously we were super tired after that, however, our joy about this great trip overwhelmed all the pain from our muscles. This is really not what you experience every day and you can not imagine how happy I was that everything worked out so well and my present was a full success. 

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