Our last full day in Jasper all the parent volunteers were up early again, cooking breakfast and setting up the “pack it yourself” lunch station. By 8:30, students were tucking into scrambled eggs, chicken & apple sausages and hashbrowns, with sliced oranges and bananas on the side. After clearing and washing the breakfast dishes, they made their own sandwiches and stowed them into their daypacks (along with a few snacks). I loaded a big jug of water and a box of apples and oranges into the back of my vehicle (for midday replenishments) and then Sears Tower and I left camp before the students boarded the charter bus.
We stopped twice along the road to Pyramid Mountain, to search (successfully) for two geocaches before joining the rest of our group and volunteers from Friends of Jasper National Park to do a little trail maintenance along Pyramid Lake Trail 2B – probably the only time I will ever cut down shrubs and small trees in a National Park!
We enjoyed our packed lunches on Pyramid Island, where Sears Tower and I broke away for about 10 minutes to find a well-camouflaged traditional cache and collect the information needed to log the Pyramid Island earthcache. Then our group headed to Jasper to explore the historic town centre. The students were divided into groups of five and each group was challenged to come up with a theme for a walking tour of Jasper with 7 to 10 stops. Sears Tower and I shepherded five boys around the town as they identified locations for their “Ye Olde Buildings” tour. We also took the opportunity to find several traditional geocaches and one Brass Cap in the heart of Jasper.
During a quick stop at the Jasper National Park visitors’ centre, we learned that park staff were running a geocaching challenge. So after seeing our group of 5 students safely on to the bus at the end of the afternoon, Sears Tower and I hustled to find four of the five geocaches in the well-executed series – enough to earn each of us a commemorative non-trackable geocoin.
Back at camp we joined in to help with supper preparations already underway. Everyone enjoyed the “build your own soft taco” line and many students came back for seconds. The highlight of the evening was the Talent Show, which included a wide range of acts. K played his ocarina. He had a little help from his friends…one friend held his songbook and another held a flashlight to illuminate the music.
We got lucky with the weather. Despite heavy cloud cover all of Day 3, there were only a few light showers late in the afternoon. We all went climbed into our tents (me with my bear spray) hoping any heavy rain would hold off until after the bus started back to Calgary the next morning.