Ever heard of Jasper? No, it’s not a friendly ghost. It’s a location. Could you place it on a map?
Jasper is located in the Canadian Rockies in the province of Alberta. Ok – I must confess – like most Americans I used to be horrible at my Canada geography. I had no idea what the provinces were or where they were located – but notice I used the phrase “used to be”. That’s right – Canada is no longer just that country north of the US any longer – 2013 marked my year to finally get to know Canada beyond my little knowledge of beer and Whistler ski area. I went to Toronto (Ontario), Vancouver (British Columbia), Halifax (Nova Scotia), and Golden (British Columbia).
Jasper is my first stop on my 2014 travels and it’s going to be an adventurous kick in the ass to the new year! Actually – it will most likely have me falling on my ass a lot. Jasper in January means snow – and lots of it. This means skating, sledding, snow shoeing, and skiing at Marmot Basin. I do none of these things well – which is why much of the time I may be on my ass, but the cool part is that I love all of them – despite my inability. It’s ok to like things you suck at – as long as you can laugh at yourself. It’s humbling – BUT it gives you more of a reason to go drink beer afterwards to laugh at all of your flubs and sore ass.
Why should you care about Jasper in Alberta?
Because it’s a unique place to go experience winter that is authentic, local, international, and adventurous. And that my friends is what I’m all about. Oh – and there’s beer and poutine – I’m also about that stuff! In addition, much like Golden BC, Japser lives in the shadow of the well known Bannf to the south. And that’s exactly why I want to go there. I did Golden in the summer and excited to do Jasper in the winter.
What is Jasper in January?
It’s a celebration of all things winter. And this year it happens to be the 25th Anniversary of Jasper in January – so they have some special things planned. I’m heading there on the weekend of January 17th with my good friend and past travel partner Lisa Lubin – her presence there will make this already fun weekend even better! After all, I said I was going to make an effort to see more friends and stay in better touch in 2014, so this is a great way to start.
Here’s a few of the things I’m hoping to do while in Jasper in January festival:
Star gazing and night photography in the Dark Sky Preserve
Skiing (I’m a novice and haven’t been on skis for 12 years!)
Attend a drag queen show (yes – you read that right)
Plus – there are even rumored to be a few things you get to decide for me on a Jasper’s Facebook Page by voting. Letting others choose my itinerary has me slightly nervous – so let me just give you some help – if one of the options is to go on a sleigh ride with Brad Pitt – choose that one please. Please.
For the occasion I bought myself a little Christmas gift, a GoPro camera. I figured if I was going to try skiing again– I better get some decent footage of me falling on my ass. After all, you can only watch those beautiful helicopter dare devil skiing videos for so long; beginner videos – that’s where it’s at.
Jasper in January kicks off my 2014 travels and from there it just gets better and better. Trust me, I’m really excited about my 2014 plans so far – Jasper, Oahu, Kauai, India in a Rickshaw, Australia, Tasmania, and the next Niece Project (destination TBD). There’s no shortage of challenge and adventure in my future – and there will be no shortage of me falling on my ass either.
Disclosure: I will be a guest of Tourism Jasper for this trip. However all of the opinions expressed here are my own. I had been wanting to see the Canadian Rockies in the winter for a long time and getting to the lesser known town of Jasper is the perfect destination for my style of travel.