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Jasper to Valemount

Big excitement in Whistler Campground last night. First, there were some kids CHASING a bear around behind my campsite. I heard something out there rustling around, then I heard these kids come flying after it. It sounded like a stampede back there. Are those kids stupid or what? Where were their parents? Do they have parents? No doubt they were Americans. Then about midnight, some people came through yelling for their dog, that, I assume, ran away. That made me sad. I'd be frantic if Hoover was out wandering around with wild animals in a strange place. And when I woke up in the morning, there was a herd of elk in my campsite.

I didn't drive far today, just from Jasper to Valemount, where I got a hotel room. I was fried and totally out of clean clothes. And I hadn't had a real shower for days and days. I did my laundry, drove around and checked out the town, went to a small restaurant and had lunch, and then crashed.

I have gotten some really bad service in restaurants on this trip, and I can only assume that it's because I'm a single woman eating alone. Lunch today was almost as bad as when the restaurant in Cody lost my order. They just kind of ignored me today, and served 3 different groups of men before me (who had been seated after me). I was too tired to complain that I had had to ask 3 times for my drink, or wait until after they had served every single person in the place before I got my food. And I tipped appropriately, like 10%. I'm usually a VERY generous tipper, since I tried waiting tables once as a teenager and found it to be a miserable job, but I'm getting really tired of this. And, unfortunately, since I didn't say anything, I just further perpetuated the myth that single women are bad tippers. And it is a myth.

It's pretty strange that I ended up spending less time at my original destinations than anywhere else. When I planned the trip, it was mainly to see Jasper/Lake Louise/Banff. I was not prepared to deal with the crowds in any of them after all the leisurely touring that I'd been doing. Now I just want to get to the coast and head north. I miss the water. Since Cheryl's not going to be in Seattle when I get there, I have about three extra weeks to fill. I may go on up into Alaska.

And I'm kind of getting the hang of the metric system. At least the driving/gassing part; I don't have to search all over the speedometer anymore to see how fast I'm going. And I love using Canadian money. Dollar and two dollar coins are so practical.