Protip: ALWAYS have confirmation codes and campsite (etc) numbers on hand, just in case. Campsites sometimes have glitches in their system, are understaffed, or you may just arrive too late to check in properly. That being said, also know the check-out time for the next morning.
Our check-out time was, of course, at 11am. We hurriedly broke down the tent (unpleasant with bare hands and frost coated tent poles) and threw things into the car. We made it to the campground kiosks moments before 11am, only to find that no one mans the "exit" booth. We looked at each other with confusion, and then cruised on by.
"Well. I guess that was a whole lot of panic for nothing. Let's make coffee," I said, always a
|Jasper National Park|
|Remnants of a colder time|
After our sunny morning, we hopped back in the car and began our drive south to Banff National Park, our destination for the day. As we left Jasper, we went through another set of park gates where we paid the entrance fee we had unintentionally shirked the night before. Leaving the park, we began what turned out to be one of the most spectacular driving experiences of our entire trip: the Icefields Parkway. This sensational bit of road is approximately 130 miles of gently twisting highway, unimaginably beautiful scenery, and the sort of nature that makes you sit up in your seat and say, "My, God." We covered the route in a little under three hours with many pauses for photos, to stretch our legs, and to simply stand and stare in amazement at our surroundings.
Protip: take time to stop and stare.