Maligne Lake Road runs along the Maligne River between Medicine and Maligne lakes in Canada’s Jasper National Park. It’s a pretty river, especially where huge boulders unexpectedly sprout from the rapids.
I particularly like the splash of contrasting color provided by the fireweed, so I work my way through the marshy undergrowth in search of a better angle for my shot.
Once I reach the river’s edge, the ground becomes flatter and drier, with short grasses (like a mini-meadow) between the pines and the water. It’s easy walking and I’m tempted to just follow it and see how far it takes me. I’m especially tempted to continue on when I discover a large pile of very fresh scat. I’m not sure what critter left it, but I’m guessing a moose or an elk or, just maybe, one of the elusive woodland caribou I’ve wanted to see in this part of the park.
While I’m quite sure that what I’m seeing was not left by a bear, I don’t have bear spray with me. I’d really, really like to see a caribou (a moose would be ok too), but there certainly could be bears here. . .
I guess it is a good time to go back to the car.
(I later determined that the scat was left by a moose. I should have walked a little farther and seen if I could get a glimpse of it, since it couldn’t have been very far away.)