August 26: Day off in Jasper - The Great North American Sticky Bun Hunt - CycleBlaze

August 26: Day off in Jasper

Heart 0 Comment 0

JASPER EXISTS to cater for tourists. Summer and winter, too. And yet it has kept an airy dignity and there's no denying the glory of the setting. It survives on tourists, nevertheless, and the streets of houses offering a room to rent are reminiscent of Cuba.

Jasper: it exists for tourists but in a tasteful way.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Jasper was born when the area was named as Canada's first national park. Nobody had decided what was appropriate in nature conservation and merely naming the region as worthy of preserving brought flocks of people to live here. The town had a spurt when the railway arrived in 1912. After the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway came the Canadian Northern. The station, which

The railway created Jasper and the town was originally named after a favoured train man.
Heart 0 Comment 0

burned down in its first years, was rebuilt in the style of a Cotswold cottage in western England. Until the 1950s, half the population worked on the railway.

The town was originally Fitzhugh, a bit of kow-towing to the president of the Grand Trunk Pacific. Fitzhugh was the boss's favourite and nobody dared a word against him. Secretly, though, they thought he was a jumped-up squirt and as soon as their boss died on the Titanic, the locals renamed their town Jasper after a nearby trading post.

Jasper makes the most of its history and we followed a walking trail offered by the tourist office. But history is relative and Jasper has to make what it can of a hundred years.

We strolled about, happily acting as tourists in a town which expects nothing else. I learned from a local paper read as distraction from watching our dirty clothes in a laundrette that Lance Armstrong was to ride through town. Some charity do, it seems, with those joining him asked for a lot of money to be pictured beside him. Nobody from Jasper had jumped at the chance, the paper said.

Mysteriously, the great one's route had to be secret. Given that there are only two roads through the place, it seemed pointless. Anyway, no crowds lined either road in the morning and in the afternoon it sloshed down with rain.

Did we do a lot with our day off? Not really. Just the round of the laundrette and the library and a visit to a charity shop to exchange paperbacks. We try to be careful on days off. There is too much risk of spending the day walking and visiting, getting more tired by evening that you were in the morning.

Sloth, that's what needed. And coffee with sticky buns.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 0
Comment on this entry Comment 0