The Last Days of Summer

It has been noted that the drive from Lake Louise in Banff National Park up the Icefields Parkway north to Jasper National Park is the most beautiful drive in the world. I spend a couple of our remaining summer days driving that scenic route and immerse in the other-worldly environs of pristine Jasper National Park.

The cold rain and wet snow in sections of the road remind me that, yes, autumn is at hand. But once I reach the boundary of Jasper National Park, I throw away any seasonal distinction. Wether it’s summer or autumn is immaterial. What’s captivating is the present. Here are some glorious sights of Jasper National Park.

The mysterious, clouds shrouded Medicine Lake in the morning light:

Clourds Shrouded Medicine Lake.jpg

Hurricanes hit Texas and Florida, here we’ve been affected by the wild fires from B.C. all summer. At the shore of Medicine Lake I feel the effects:

Wild Fire effect

But the natural beauty remains. The charred remnants of trees along the edge of the lake would become rich organic matter spurring new growths.

burned trees.jpg

A short 30 mins. drive from Medicine Lake is the picturesque Maligne Lake, serene and reflective:


For those who must do something to seize the moment, there are canoes for rent and scenic cruises:


Before reaching the townsite of Jasper, the 93 Icefields Parkway leads to Athabasca Falls, where one can witness the power of Nature in an aesthetic mode. Who had turned the mighty torrents into Nature’s sculptors, carving quartzite and limestones into magnificent art installations?


Nature's Sculptor.jpg


Hardened Ripples.jpg




The Gorge.jpg


In the Jasper townsite, even the man-made locomotive matches the scenery in the evening light. Like a watercourse streaming through the landscape, The Rocky Mountaineer passenger train passes through Vancouver and across the Rocky Mountains into Alberta’s Banff and Jasper National Parks.




Even a cargo CN train exudes poetry. I credit it to the spirit of the environs:



Just like the animals preparing for winter, I’m gathering visual memories to feed the cold months ahead.



Other Travel Posts on Ripple Effects:

New England Foliage Road Trip

Day Trip to Cambridge

Establishing Shot: A Visit to Toronto






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If sheโ€™s not birding by the Pond, Artiโ€™s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

21 thoughts on “The Last Days of Summer”

  1. Arti, The photos of your road trip along the Icefields highway took my breath away. My husband and I have traveled along the same route and we agree it is the most beautiful site in the world to see. I remember taking a side trip to walk up into the glacier (Athabaskan glacier I believe). Often, like you, I need to immerse myself in the glory, beauty and power of nature — it is like going to a place of worship (temple or church) and remembering what is truly important. Thank you for sharing — I am inspired.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heather,

      Thank you for your supportive words. I live just an hour’s drive from Banff National Park but seldom drive all the way up to Jasper. This is not the first time of course, but every time I travel that route I’m revitalized. It’s a blessing to be so conveniently close to Nature, and be readily inspired.


  2. Have you traveled by train across Canada? Your train photos made my heart leap with the romance of travel!

    But my favorite pictures are all those with myriad blues of sky and water – “delicious” is the best word I can find for them. Thank you!!


    1. Gretchen,

      As a matter of fact, I haven’t travelled by train in Canada, not even that Rocky Mountain scenic tour. Canada is built for the automobile, I’m afraid. Yes, the blue sky is what I love to see. I miss the blues as our sky has been covered with haze and smoke all summer. So glad to be able to see a clear sky at last.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I too have done that drive, but only once. It’s a really beautiful part of the world, but I’d be hard-pressed to call any of the beautiful drives in the world “the best” anymore than I can say that any novel I’ve read is “the best” or even “my favourite”. There are some wonderful drives in North America, but there are stunning drives in so many parts of the world. How do you measure? That said, your photos are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WG,

      You’re absolutely right. Any kind of ratings, esp. of aesthetic nature, films, arts, photography, experiences, are basically subjective. Not only that, how one reacts to a particular sight depends a lot on one’s mood and internal circumstances at the moment. Check that I mentioned at the beginning of the post “It has been noted that…”, i.e. not my words, I’m just saying someone had said that. I read that on the Internet, and why they didn’t say ‘one of the most beautiful drives in the world’ is intriguing. And I’ll leave it at that.

      When I checked in to a hotel in Jasper, I met a whole family with many large luggages, parents and their two children, they told me they were from “Down Under.” Glad to hear that. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Denise,

      Certain wild fires have natural causes, such as lightnings. So I suppose it’s Nature’s way of renewal, despite the devastations affecting human communities.


  4. These are stunning, Arti. The sky is incredible and those waterfalls! Yikes! Such beautiful views — I can see why it’s one of the most wonderful in the world. I love the trains — both of them. (That first was hard to tell at first — talk about blending in with your environment!)

    What a gorgeous road trip. I hope you post more of these!


    1. Jeanie,

      I’m no train aficionado and never even bother to research on any info about them, even the passenger touring ones. But these trains really surprised me with their beauty and compatibility with the natural surroundings. Of course, the evening light is an added bonus when I took these pics. The Athabasca Falls is out of this world. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. The waterfalls are glorious, and of course I love the trains. I’ve read that Canadian trains are the best in the world at this point — both passenger and freight — and from these photos, I believe it. I prefer car travel for the ability to stop here, or poke around there, but if I were to try a train trip, I’d head to Canada.

    I just looked at the train photos again — they truly are marvelous.


    1. Linda,

      We’re not a nation of passenger train transport, unlike in Europe. I admit I haven’t been on a train in Canada. We’re a nation of automobiles and we drive long ways. I still remember driving to Vancouver frequently in the old days,13+ hours of driving. But when I saw these Rocky Mountaineer trains I was pleasantly surprised by their appeal and beauty in the landscape, esp. in the evening light.


  6. It’s been 9 years since I’ve visited the Canadian Rockies and yesterday’s trip reminds me that the Banff to Jasper trip remains the most spectacular drive I’ve ever had. I qualify by saying I’ve never been to Europe, S.America or Africa but for me it’s hard to beat the beauty the Canadian Rockies have to offer. and it is so easy to get to. Perhaps that’s why even on a Monday in September, spots like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are very crowded. But like Arti I took some side roads that took me to spots where I was practically alone, may be with a grizzly lurking in the woods waiting for a meal before hybernation.


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