I still live by what I learned in 90's cartoons.

Jasper Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 32 › view all entries
In an old school episode of Bobby's World, Bobby, Howie Mandell and the gang went on a family vacation to a Canadian national park. As a child living in Vancouver, having rarely heard any references to Canada except on Sesame Street when Elmo would wear a parka and shiver, it was pretty exciting. When Bobby's family drove up to the park entrance, the most Canadian man you've ever seen greets them with a joke about how to spell 'Canada': C-eh-N-eh-D-eh. I used that joke for years, but no one ever seemed that impressed. I probably shouldn't have introduced myself to potential friends with that joke all through high school. In my education of Saturday morning cartoons, I soon had it programmed in my mind that all Parks Canada employees were "Park Rangers" and had to deal with troublesome bears like Yogi (let's face it, he and BooBoo were totally Canadian), they all had monstrous Canadian accents, and the walls of their "Park Ranger Stations" were lined with Canadian flags and maple-leafed paraphernalia. Upon arriving at the Park entrance to Jasper National Park in Alberta, I was understandably sorely disappointed.

Where the hell was Yogi and his pic-a-nic basket?

This was only day one, and I was obviously unprepared for what was to come. Even before this whole debaucal happened, we crossed the BC/Alberta border without seeing a single tumbleweed blow across the highway upon entering Alberta. We failed to be greeted by a welcome wagon of cowboys and cattle blocking the road. And someone please point me to the closest rodeo, because I'm getting antsy.

***

We drove from Vancouver to Jasper in about 8 hours, taking the scenic route off the Trans-Canada. It would prove to be the second longest drive we'd have to endure on our journey across the country. We made a quick stop in my birthplace of Merritt, BC, to have lunch and watch the classic and countless trucks-with-dogs-in-the-back drive by, before we got back in the car and kept going.

The "quiet, little mountain town" of Jasper is strangely reminiscent of South Park, a more recent cartoon I've accepted my education from. We stayed at the Athabasca Hotel, which was lovely, however, we cursed them for not having an elevator as we hauled our 50-pound suitcases and bags up the 2 and a half flights of steep stairs to our room. We called it quits as soon as our arms regained their feeling.

The moral of the story is: Let your children watch South Park, as it is more realistic than Yogi Bear or Bobby's World.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Jasper
photo by: marg_eric