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Crossing Canada Day #7: The Healing Lake

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

We continue our Chronicles of Crossing Canada. Welcome back!

Photo credit: Jaime Lee Lightle

Jaime Lee writing ~

We woke up from our slumber in the truck-house parked at the end of Jim’s cousins’ laneway hearing the neighbours leaving for work. We used the toilet, had some hot, fresh coffee and we rolled off – destination: Jasper National Park.

The drive got interesting in Edson Alberta because at this point, we started to see the Rocky Mountains ahead of us.

We got to Jasper National Park at around 1:30 PM (central). We didn’t drive far before seeing our first Elk. She was eating grass near the highway at an interpretive sign. Cars and trucks were stopped to take pictures.

Photo credit: Jaime Lee Lightle

As we continued to drive, we started seeing the blue-turquoise glacier fed rivers along our route. They were flowing north. Jim pulled over so I could capture this magical setting with truck-house in the frame.

The Pyramid Mountain and Sirdar Mountain at 2,763 m and 2,804 m respectively hugged our route to camp. Our site was booked at Whistler Campground. While checking in at the office, the face mask wearing Park employee reminded us that no fires were allowed. When we arrived at our site, there was not a soul around and we were disappointed to see that our site was beside the bear-proof garbage receptacle.

The bathroom station was brand new looking and immaculate. Grey, clean and institutional is what I call the aesthetic.

Photo credit: Jaime Lee Lightle

We stopped only to stretch, then we headed into Jasper proper.

Some history about Jasper:

The present-day Municipality of Jasper is located on Treaty 6 and 8 Territories. Since time immemorial, a diversity of Indigenous Peoples utilized this land as a meeting ground, gathering place, travelling route and home. Over 26 Indigenous Partners remain connected to this area presently. When Jasper Park Forest Reserve was created in 1907, Indigenous Peoples were forcibly removed and excluded from this part of their Traditional Territories. Through the colonial worldview, the landscape was understood as a backdrop for European settler recreation and a promise of economic prosperity through tourism. Following the removal of Indigenous Peoples, mountains, rivers, and other parts of the landscape were renamed with settler colonial names. (source:

We parked the truck-house on Connaught Drive which ran parallel to the train line. We walked up long the main thoroughfare, then we turned up a block and then down a secondary road. We grabbed some Subway and sat outside at the picnic table to eat our dinner. On our way back to the truck we passed many souvenir shops, but one caught my eye. Maybe it was the big, funny, bear mascot that was standing outside the front door. I remarked to Jim: “I think I’ve seen this place before”. As it turns out, I was hit with a childhood memory. My mom took me to this souvenir store over 35 years ago. She bought me a hide and fur purse that I coveted for many years.

Photo credit: Jaime Lee Lightle

On our way to the truck, we took a quick detour to see the Jasper Train Station. The Jasper station was built to an unusual design that adapted the Arts and Crafts style and the related national parks "style" to the specific functional requirements of a first-class facility for rail travel (source:

As we approached this unique stone structure my eye caught the sight of the bright sunflowers that stood tall and straight in their window planters happily soaking up the September afternoon sun.