July 24 – 26 Jasper, Alberta
Off to Jasper! A day full of sightseeing brought us to Peyto Lake and the Athabasca glacier. A pleasant drive away and possible a quick nap, we arrive at our first stop of the day. We stopped off at the gorgeous Peyto lake that can’t be done justice with words. The brisk air woke everyone up off the bus as we gazed off into a panoramic view of the mountains and the lake. The boys thrilled in the unreal view of something many have only seen in pictures. It was a short stop, but an absolutely breathtaking one at that.
Our next view was the Athabasca glacier. It is one of five glaciers that hang off of the Athabasca ice fields. There are buses that take groups onto the base of it where, in the summer and spring, have streams trickling down with fresh glacier water. You can fill up your water bottle and quench your thirst while you look around at a completely different world of ice and stone. Today is a life changing day, one where you see parts of the world that change your perspective and fuel a desire to see more of the world. The boys fulfilled a long tradition of laying on the ice bare skin and enduring the intense cold for a few seconds before returning to the warm “monster truck” bus. The buses are equipped for travelling on the slick ice with huge, gripped tires. Needless to say, today was special and one we will all remember for years to come. After a long day of seeing the beauty of jasper, we turned in for the night to prepare for our concert the next day.
To our pleasant surprise, on arriving in the city of Jasper for the concert, our fliers were posted all around on buildings and message boards. People were expecting us and they eagerly asked us questions while we walked around the town. The boys enjoyed it because it made them feel more professional that they could engage with an audience even before they had performed. It was a beautiful day, and the Lady of Lourdes church we performed in had a pitched roof and wide halls. After a bit of walking around town and shopping, we collected in the church for a potluck style dinner. The boys’ voices resonated deep into the wooden walls and into Jasper. The audience was animated and received our music so well, they were eager to meet with the boys and ask them all about their travels and time in Jasper. When an audience is as excited to meet the boys as they are to perform for them, it really brings a new level of emotion and interaction between the two parties. Everyone enjoyed their time, sharing pleasant words and good wishes among each other.
July 25 – White water rafting!
Something the boys can look forward to each Canada tour is getting in a huge raft with their friends and getting splashed with frigid glacier water. Luckily today was in the mid 90’s so the water was cooling and refreshing. Everyone had their share of rowing and getting wet, because if the river didn’t get you, the guides were sure to line each boat next to each other and have a splash contest with the paddles. After a pleasant ride down the river, we convened at the bus for a sandwich picnic. We all found a spot to dry off on and enjoyed the company of everyone for lunch. Each boat had their own stories and new memories to share, and each one will be remembered a little differently. Some say the wave that hit them was 5 feet tall, others say they saw the elusive “fresh water sharks.” Tour is not just a time to perform and sight see, it’s a time where you can let the experiences you have develop you and connect you with others. It’s a time where you can make new friends and learn a thing or two about yourself and the people around you. After lunch we headed back to Banff to prepare for some final sight seeing days before our last two concerts concluding the tour.