A Travellerspoint blog

July 2017

July 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 - Wood Buffalo National Park

Pelicans, Bison, Natural wonders.

July 9:

Both of us were road weary from the long run to get to Hay River, so today is a day of rest. A breakfast of poached eggs, bacon and toast, followed by a few hours of taking care of the blog entry and keeping our finances up to date. Jenny's job is to keep track of our spending, so we know where we are in relation to the budget we built to finance this trip. After 40 days we are just slightly over budget, but we should get ourselves back on track over the time at Wood Buffalo. There is very little on which to spend money out there in the wilds.

The license plates in the NWT are pretty cool:

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The town of Hay River has a fence where pictures of people who lived here but have passed on can be posted, kind of like an ongoing monument to those who came before:

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Hay River has a lovely museum, dedicated to the history of the area so we took that in for part of the day.

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Meal planning for 4 days with a small fridge also requires a bit of negotiation. What can we carry with us, what do we want to eat, etc? What easy meals do we have available in our larder of extra food? We got that sorted out and now have a meal plan in place and the food to fulfil it in our fridge.

The Hay River Campground is on the shores of Great Slave Lake, the 9th largest lake in the world and is a shipping centre for getting goods all the way across, around the lake and up the Mackenzie River to the Arctic Ocean. Massive barges are pushed upriver and lake by 150 powerful push boats. The CNR has a rail terminal here, the northernmost rail terminal in the country. All summer long goods are barged to the north, to communities and individuals along the shores of the lake and the river. Some of the older push boats are parked permanently on the shore.

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There is a public beach right at the mouth of the Hay River and it is teeming with locals on this hot summer day and we took a walk along the boardwalk for a bit of exercise. The temperature peaked at 30 degrees C this afternoon and is now cooling off nicely as the wind comes in off the lake. The cooler weather slows down the horse flies. Jenny got a couple of shots of them swarming alongside our car earlier today.

July 10:

We did the 270 kilometer drive from Hay River to our next campground, Queen Elizabeth Territorial Campground, at Fort Smith.

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The road was not easy, with a long gravel section, with active gravel trucks going back and forth as they built new roadbed. We made it without any damage to either Sully or TaJ, although both ended up pretty muddy by the time we finished the drive.

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The scenery gradually gave way from boreal forest to boreal prairie. The area is pockmarked with sinkholes:

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Because of all the construction activity, the animals have made themselves scarce on the road into the park. We went to the Visitor Centre to get updates on where we might find some good hiking as well as wildlife. We did some work on the blog at the local library and checked out the town. Fort Smith is surprisingly active for a town at the end of the road. About 2500 people live and work here. The town also has an awesome population of horse flies, and the heat drives them crazy.

July 11:

The campground is very quiet and we both slept very well. At this time of year it does not get dark at night. About 10:30 pm the sun finally sets, but twilight lasts until 1:00am. Between then and 3:00 am it is somewhat dark, but I could clearly see across the campground when I went out to take a look around. After 3:00 am dawn begins to break. The sun is up before 5:00am and the day starts again.

Today we got really active. We did 4 walks/hikes at various locations around Fort Smith and in the National Park. As you leave Fort Smith towards Fort Resolution, about 24 kilometers down the road, you cross back into Alberta. We have been back and forth from territory to province 6 times today.

Our first hike was to the Rapids of the Drowned, so named by Alexander Mackenzie, who discovered them (for the white race). At that time, one canoe was sent down the rapids to see if they were navigable. The man piloting this canoe was supposed to fire off one round if it was safe. While he was still working his way downriver, another member of the team shot a duck. The other canoes, thinking the way was safe left and 5 voyageurs were drowned in the un-navigable rapids. A sad tale!

Here you see White Pelicans, and this is their northernmost nesting place. Hundreds of them, plying the river rapids for fish. These are the same pelicans we will see when we get Texas this fall. They begin the migration south in late September. This hike was about 2.2 kilometers along the shores of the Slave River.

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Later in the morning we did our biggest hike of the day, about 4.8 kilometers, to the Cassette Rapids at Fort Resolution. Some lovely rapids. The hike was marred by the presence of thousands of mosquitoes. We were told there are about 100 varieties of them up here, and at least one of them will find you tasty. Bug spray keeps them from biting, but not from being annoying throughout the whole hike. It was also hot, about 28 C and humid. We were soaked with sweat when we finished that hike. The scenery, once again, was amazing.

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We came upon this farm garden. A real rarity around here. These people can really get things to grow:

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We stopped for lunch at Anna's, a small local restaurant. After lunch we decided to head out to the Salt Lake Day Use area, where we did a short hike around the garter snake hibernaculum. This is the most northern place in all of Canada where garter snakes live. They spent 7 months a year hibernating in the cave system is this one particular area of the park. They mate, then disperse for summer hunting of frogs and other tasty meals before returning in the fall to join their thousands of mates in a quivering mass of snakes. We did not see any snakes on this portion of our day. This hike was another kilometer or so.

We then drove almost 70 kilometers to pick up the Salt Plains Lookout, on the road back towards Hay River. Much of this area of the park is salt flats. We hiked downhill (which means we had to climb back up) in 30 C heat and full sunlight. This area used to be a vast ocean eons ago and underneath lies thick layers of salt. Fresh water from rains and run off liquifies the salt and brings it to the surface where it dries into cakes of salt on the surface. While there we spotted 4 Sandhill cranes walking just a 100 meters or so away from us.

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We were exhausted by the time we climbed back up to the car. Thank goodness for air conditioning, which cooled us off nicely on the drive back to Fort Smith.

We had a quiet evening back at the campground. One thing irks us a bit. You can not rely on hot water in the showers. You get started in nice warmth, then it turns, and stays, icy cold. At least it was a bit refreshing today after all our exertions. Other than that one tiny thing, this is a prime place to stay, big spacious sites, 30 amp power and just a short jaunt into the town of Fort Smith for supplies. The town has amazing services for a place so remote and off the beaten track.

July 12:

We decided to do an early morning walk back down to the Rapids of the Drowned, to see if we could catch better pictures of pelicans. Unfortunately, our efforts (again a downhill, followed by an uphill return) were not rewarded. Yesterday's photos of pelicans will have to suffice. We did get in 2 kilometers of hiking before breakfast however, so all was not a waste. We will do one more hike to see pelicans tomorrow, at a different location, closer to where they nest on the river.

After breakfast (french toast & bacon) we headed out towards the Pine Lake Day Use area, about 60 kilometers away down a gravel road. We'd stopped yesterday after 24 kilometers without seeing a single bison, and hoped to see some today.

Our initial stop was at the Salt Lake Day Use area, where we hiked in to Grosbeak Lake, another salt marsh area. The full hike is a 9 kilometer loop that ends back at the day use area. We decided to hike in to the lake and then return to our car. After all we have already done 2 kilometers this morning before breakfast and it is going to be another scorcher, with temperatures in the low 30's. There is no wind on this hike and we are sweat soaked by the time we reach out turnaround point. Beautiful scenery once again.

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Our total hike was just over 4 kilometers, strenuous enough for today's heat. We were done by noon and then continued on to Pine Lake, where we came across this monster, our only bison sighting for the day.

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The road out and back is good gravel, with very little traffic. Any approaching vehicle can be seen from miles away by their rooster tail of dust. All drivers slow down to about 30 kph when approaching another vehicle to reduce the chance of stone damage. In any event we only saw two other vehicles on this entire stretch of road in the three hours we were out there.

We stopped at the Wood Buffalo visitor centre once back in town. There we were told that the buffalo have moved deeper into the park at the moment, so the big male we saw at Pine Lake may be our only sighting on this leg of our trip. This might be the biggest buffalo either of us have ever seen.

We took the rest of the afternoon off, reading and doing a bit of laundry. The campground here has laundry so that helps, especially when it is so hot that we sweat though our hiking clothes each day. Wood Buffalo is a wonderful park to visit and this will be a highlight of our trip.

July 13:

This morning we went for one last visit to the Pelicans. This time at their nesting site along the river, at the mountain rapids. The hike down was very steep.

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No pelicans were not feeding when we got there, but they were flying around, and sitting on their nesting island. The young are now near fully grown and are working on their flight and fishing skills. Jenny got to use her tele-photo lens for a bit in an attempt to get some decent pictures.

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After this excursion, we gassed up to be ready for tomorrow's departure back towards civilization. Gas here is about $1.08 a litre, much lower than we were expecting. The local native band operates a gas bar/Tim Hortons franchise. This raven seems to like hanging out here:

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We toured the local museum where we learned about the history of the area. The area has a rich Metis heritage and even today, the Metis are putting forward claims for ancestral rights on the lands in the area.

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The campground has it's own version of chairs for tourists to take pictures in...these are camp chairs:

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Following the museum we shopped for supplies for our outward journey and settled in to write the blog entry and download and sort pictures. The blog is being sent from the Fort Simpson Library. We expect to be in Grande Prairie in 3 days.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 14:36 Archived in Canada Tagged pelicans wood bison Comments (2)

July 6, 7, 8 - Moose Jaw to Hay River, NWT

2000 kilometers in 3 days, Moose Jaw, Vegreville, Edmonton, Peace River, High Level, and Hay River

sunny 35 °C

July 6

We said goodbye to Moose Jaw, but not before getting TaJ's picture taken with two more roadside icons: The Moose and a Canadian Snowbird. Canada's military precision air team, the Snowbirds, are based here in Moose Jaw. They travel coast-to-coast each year, entertaining at air shows and other events. We've seen them practising in the skies over the city twice this week.
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Next up is the TaJ wash. We got the filth of the road off our beloved R-pod before heading onward. $6 and some scrubbing later and we are on the road.

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We were going to attempt much of the day's drive on secondary roads, but a 22 kilometer long stretch of gravel (road under repair) quickly changed our minds, so on to Highway 16 we went. Highway 16 is the portion of the Trans Canada Highway that heads towards Edmonton. The scenery of the prairies is much the same, whether on the main road or back roads. Saskatchewan is noted for less than good secondary roads. We cruised along the Trans Canada at 95 kph and ratcheted up our destination from Lloydminster to Edmonton, a total of almost 800 kilometers.

On our last night at Peanut Hills we had booked campgrounds in both Hay River (2 nights, July 8, 9 and Fort Smith, 4 nights, July 10, 11, 12, 13) so our destination for Saturday was set. Hay River is 2000 kilometers away from Moose Jaw. Fort Smith is the location of Wood Buffalo National Park, which is our real destination for this leg of the journey. The largest National Park in North America, it is home to a Wood Bison herd of 4,000, plus the nesting place of the whooping crane, as well as Pelicans. The park is the most remote accessible by road in all the country, so this will be a real treat, and a big check mark on the bucket list.

Along the way, we scooted into Vegreville, for a picture with the Pysanka (giant egg). A good friend of mine, Jim Stephenson (hi Jim, he reads the blog) at one time lived in Vegreville.

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We arrived at the Walmart on Stoney Plain Road, in Edmonton about 6:00pm, bought a pre-cooked chicken for supper, as well as sandwiches on the road for a day or two ahead and settled in for the night. Very good stop, very quiet, once the store closed at 11:00pm. There were 14 r/v's in the lot overnight.

July 7

Since we are on a re-positioning run, we planned two consecutive nights in Walmart parking lots. The destination for today is Peace River, another 600 kilometers towards our target destination of Hay River, in the North West Territories. The roads were remarkably good on this run, although we were expecting worsening road conditions.

We stopped briefly in Slave Lake, which we visited last in 2014. The town had been devastated by a wild fire in 2011 and was in the process of rebuilding when we were here. It was great to note that the rebuild is pretty well complete and the only evidence of the fire is the blackened trees on the approaches to town.

We arrived in Peace River about 4:00pm and had the decision to make as to move farther on down the road, or stop for the night early. We opted to stay and do a bit of shopping for necessary supplies. We needed a new anode for our water heater, not that we have pulled the old one to see how much it has deteriorated, but wanted one on hand in case we needed it. Where we are headed there is not likely to be a R/V dealer. We also picked up back up fuses and a second 30/15 adaptor, as a couple of campgrounds will only have 15 amp service

Peace River is a great little town of about 5000 people, with full services.

We tucked TaJ up against a retaining wall in the Walmart parking lot.

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It was hot, about 35 C and we were looking for early shade as the sun goes down. Actually, the sun doesn't set here until almost 10:30pm this time of year, so we weren't gaining much shade. However, later in the evening we would be happy that we chose this spot.

Supper was a salad with left over chicken and we spent the evening reading and planning.

We turned in for the night about 10:30, with only two other r/v's in the lot. At midnight, a massive thunderstorm blew through. Rain and wind for an hour. Our location tucked in by the retaining wall protected us for the worst of the storm. There was a fair bit of wind damage which we saw in the morning as we departed on our final run north.

July 8:

Our last day's run coming up, another 600 kilometers. We headed out at 7:00am and our Garmin said our arrival time should be about 2:30pm.
Once again, the roads were much better than expected. Actually, really good. We stopped for gas and a snack in High Level, another town of about 1500 which has decent services as well. Gas stations up here are about 300 kilometers apart, and the general rule is: Gas up all the time even if you still have more than half a tank. You do not want to see that low gas warning light come on out here, miles from the next town.

There were crops being grown well past High Level, so the prairies really do stretch for thousands of kilometers. Fields fo canola and wheat all over the place. The roads finally settled into infinite boreal forest on both sides of the road. We crossed into the North West Territories about 1:30pm and arrived in Hay River about 2:30pm. We found the town abuzz with an airshow, right at the river mouth and on the beach right next to our campground.

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As we were on the last couple of kilometers before reaching our destination we passed the Hay River Airport. We thought TaJ had been damaged as everything began to shake and rumble. It quickly became apparent that an f-18 fighter, as part of the airshow had just taken off exactly as we passed the end of the runway. Wow, what a rush that was.

We got set up at the campground as the airshow ended. Locals had used the campground roads to park for the airshow, which was taking place not 200 meters from our campsite. As a consequence, the campground roads were packed with air show visitors. They quickly cleared out and by 4:30 we were off into town to get our laundry done. It seems we are going through lots of clothes, but it has been so hot the past week that we are changing clothes often. The last week, every day has been over 30 degrees C, and sunny. Very hot. The nights have settled back to pretty moderate temperatures.

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One unpleasant thing though. In the heat here in Hay River, the horseflies go crazy. More annoying that anything, they swarm to the heat generated by the cars. The front of the cars are awash with the bodies of the ones killed in traffic, and the live ones are eating the remains of their brothers. They don't bite people very often, but when they do, you know you've been bitten!

In the last three days we have travelled 2000 kilometers, and Jenny and I have pretty well equally shared the driving. Jenny is rapidly becoming pretty adept at handling TaJ. She is yet to back her into a campsite but that is coming in the near future. Both TaJ and Sully are doing well and we have settled into a pretty good routine, after almost 40 days on the road. There is still another 140 days to go on this adventure.

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Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 10:45 Archived in Canada Tagged nwt hay_river Comments (1)

July 2, 3, 4, 5 - Grasslands to Moose Jaw, SK

Give me a home, where the buffalo roam, HIgh heat on the prairies, Moose Jaw Tunnels, Sully and TaJ get a bath, Sully gets serviced. Planning the road ahead.

sunny 30 °C

July 2:

Our last day at Grasslands begins with Cowboy Coffee. Every Sunday, the staff at the park put on a 90 minute cowboy coffee talk, where they make boiled coffee, over a campfire and tell stories of how things were back on the days of massive ranches. A fun event, attended by most of the adults in the campground. We learned a lot about the Larson Ranch, the land from which formed the backbone of the park. About 287 square miles of land.

The Larson Ranch dates back to the 1870's and was in operation in various forms until the 1950's. The Larson homestead is just a kilometer from the campground and our final activity of the day will be to hike over and take a look. The temperature is going to soar today, up into the high 30's (mid 90's f) and there is no shade, except for that you can find next to your trailer.

We hiked about 4.5 kilometers as the day heated up, We followed the Frenchman River for the first part of the walk, but came back along the road from the homestead.

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I tried lassoing a steer:

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After 4 days in the park, we are really starting to understand the draw of the open skies of the prairie and the words of "Home on the Range" are so much easier to see when there are no trees to obstruct your vision. The sky here is massive, it dominates. We only got a look at the stars on our first night; since then the moon has been brighter each night, blurring out the Milky Way.

Our afternoon was spent sitting and reading in the shade beside TaJ. Almost all campers were hunkered down in the afternoon heat. In the evening it cooled quickly and most people strolled the hills around the camp. The staff here are great, mostly young university students working for the summer, or locals supplementing their ranching income with summer jobs. We will put this place on our bucket list for a September visit in future years, to see a different season. This has been a peak experience coming here.

July 3

We pulled out of Grasslands early, with the intent to get to Moose Jaw by early afternoon, which is exactly how things went. We got to Peanut Hills R/V Park early afternoon. Both of us had showers right away, as Grasslands does not have them. Cleaned up, we then set out to get to our planned chores while in Moose Jaw.

Both the Honda Pilot (Sully) and the r-pod (TaJ) are gross, covered in road dust from the last 2 weeks in southern Saskatchewan. We need to clean both of them, so finding a wand wash for Thursday morning so we can scrub TaJ is on the list. We need to rotate the tires on the Honda, get an oil change and generally check things out under the hood. We also have a stone chip on the windshield, from an unfortunate encounter with a massive semi truck doing 100 kph + on a back highway, flinging stones in all directions.

So, appointments booked for the 4th, at Canadian Tire for the car servicing and Speedy Auto Glass for the windshield chip. We check out the liquor store for some beer. We went to the Superstore for some groceries. Jenny lived in Moose Jaw, back in 1986, so we went to find her old house,

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We've been eating all our meals at the trailer, so we splurged and went out to a brew pub for supper. A couple of appies, and a pint of beer each, and our food budget for the day was more than spent...$47 including tip. But it was nice to do for a change.

July 4

Peanut Hills R/V park is in an unfortunate spot. The eastbound Trans Canada Highway rises above the campground. As a result the road noise is pretty awe inspiring at times. Transport trucks laboring up the hill, plus incessant traffic make it pretty noisy. We slept OK

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Jenny hung out at the campground and I headed off to get car serviced at Canadian Tire. Before heading there I found the local wand wash and gave Sully a thorough cleaning, at least enough so that the mechanic would be able to see what he was doing as he rotated the tires. Thick dust underneath. $5 later and Sully was pretty clean. We'll finish the job on Thursday morning as we depart

About 90 minutes and $150 later the car was ready for the next segment of this trip. The stone chip repair was $67 at Speedy. Bonus...Speedy vacuumed Sully out for us. There was a lot of grit and debris on the floor mats! All work done in no time. I know you folks in the US don't have anything like Canadian Tire. Massive stores with auto service centers and they are pretty well everywhere. If you get work done at one store and it need attention down the road, they have a great warranty...over 3000 of them from coast to coast.

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In the afternoon, we took in the Tunnels of Moose Jaw. There are two themes here, Gangsters and Chinese Immigrants. We did the Gangster tunnels. Back in the days of prohibition, Al Capone used Moose Jaw as his escape when things got too hot for him in Chicago. There was a train line that went directly between the two cities. Moose Jaw had a population of 15,000 back then and it was good place for him to hide out. There were tunnels under the street that were used here for illegal alcohol. Moose Jaw is using them as a tourist draw. Actors take you through the tunnels, in costume and act gangsterish. Very fun thing to do and a great way to connect with the history of the place.

Supper back at the trailer. As you can see from the photo, we are living in reduced circumstances on the road...NOT! Steak and Caesar Salad and a lovely Malbec to wash it down.

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In the evening, we planned our next phase, booking campgrounds in the North West Territories for 6 nights beginning on Saturday. When we leave here on Thursday, we will do Walmart stops, first in Lloydminster, SK and another in Peace River, AB. In total we will do 1900 kilometers, over three days to get to our first destination of Hay River, on the shores of Great Slave Lake. This is our jumping off point for Wood Buffalo National Park.

July 5

A lazy morning start. Breakfast and a bit of internet time. This is the first campground with Wi-fi at our site and we are taking advantage of it.

The rest of the morning is taken up with checking TaJ out. Bolts will be tightened, and seams checked prior to our northern jaunt. We also need to refill our propane tank while we are here. We are looking at going to a two tank setup for the Yukon/Alaska leg of the trip. We will be in a lot of un-serviced campsite there and will be more propane used to operate the fridge. We didn't like the two tank unit being sold at the r/v dealer here, so will look for options at other dealers on the way up north.

The afternoon we did the second tunnel. The Chinese Immigrant experience. This one was pretty extensive and covered the systemic abuse of Chinese immigrants in the 18 and 1900's. Very well done, and the tunnels are pretty impressive and extensive. Most of the Chinese immigrants at the time lived and worked, in pretty poor conditions, down in these tunnels.

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There is also a lot of old cars from the gangster era, up on posts as part of the tourism industry promotions here.

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In the evening, there was a music in the park event at Crescent Park, in downtown Moose Jaw. We took in an hour of it before settling down for our last night. Jenny got danced.

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On the road early tomorrow, headed north.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 19:36 Archived in Canada Tagged grasslands moose_jaw al_capone_tunnels canadian_tire speedy_glass Comments (1)

June 29, 30, July 1. Grasslands National Park, Canada Day

HIking, Canada Day in a National Park,

sunny 30 °C

June 29:

After getting up-to-date with our laundry in Assinaboia, and having lunch at the Cruz-in Restaurant we headed on our way for Frenchmen Valley Camp ground in the west block of Grasslands National Park. The laudromat was part of a auto glass repair place...strange.

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We took the route in through Mankata, which is also our last chance to get gas before heading into the park. Gassed up, at 90 cents a litre, it took almost another full hour to go 70 kilometers to the campground.
The last 20 k was on gravel roads, through the Ecotour section of the Park. Buffalo, and black-tailed prairie dogs abound along this section.

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We had booked site 20 online from Assinaboia, and it was a good thing we had, otherwise we would have been in the unserviced overflow for the night. The park is small, with just 20 electric sites in all, plus 4 Otentniks. This camp ground is very similar to one in the South Dakota Badlands, where we met up with our travel buddies, George and Karmen Reid, back in 2014. We got a cute shot of our shadows on TaJ.

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We partially set-up camp, as tomorrow we move to site 3, which we had previously booked for 3 nights, beginning on the 30th. A beautiful sunlight day, with mild temperatures.

The staff here are great, with Emma being our favourites. This photo is from Canada Day Our first evening was a quiet, as road weariness set in after a couple of beers and supper.

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We met Clarence and Susan Hoote, from Chilliwack, on their own journey. They are headed East to Labrador as part of their travels and we hooked them up with out 2013 blog of our adventures on that amazing stretch of road. We hope they have as much fun as we did up there.

June 30:

We awoke to a sparkling morning, full sunshine. After breakfast, we did the Tipi Ridge trail hike immediately beside the camp ground while we impatiently waited for the people in site 3 to get out and get going, so we could move TaJ and set up for the full weekend. The Canadian government puts red chairs at various points in the National Parks and we took a picture of Jenny in the ones here. While the Tipi Ridge trail says it is 2 k long, we ended up doing almost 3.5 k after getting lost and wandering a bit in the grasslands.

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In the afternoon we took a drive around the 70 kilometer long Back Country Loop, looking for wildlife and scenic views. While the drive was great, the roads were single land dirt roads. If it rains, these roads are impassible. There are several still active ranches along this route. Both of us were tired, not to mention hot as the temperatures soared into the high 20's and we crashed for an afternoon nap.

In the evening we took in a presentation on archaeology in Grasslands. This are has been inhabited by the Indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Their life here was based on following the massive herds of buffalo back and forth across the plains. There are about 12,000 Teepee rings in this general area. The natives used local stones to hold down the sides of their teepees, and simply rolled them off when ready to depart for their next location, leaving rings all over the place to re-use when they returned.

June Summary:

We have finished our first month on the road. Just 5 more to go to complete this journey. We travelled 6,750 kilometers and our average gas mileage was 16L/100 K, or about 14 miles per US gallon. Both the car and the R-pod have performed well, on some really crappy roads. The worst road by far on this trip was the 125 kilometer stretch from Miramichi to Plaster Rock, in New Brunswick. The highways of Saskatchewan are much better than the stretch of road in NB that we travelled on day 1. Even the gravel roads around Grasslands National Park, and the gravel roads near Castle Butte were better.

July will see us heading onto Wood Buffalo National Park, near Hay River, NWT, and then on to the Yukon and Alaska. The next segment of our journey should test both vehicle and trailer. We look forward to the adventure ahead.

July 1

Canada Day. We wore our Canada T-shirts. We hiked the 70 mile Butte trail, a 5 kilometer, to the top of 70 mile Butte. It can be seen from a long way off and was used as a guide for people travelling back in the days before roads. This was a killer hike, virtually all up hill until we reached the top. Spectacular views in all directions.

Unfortunately, we were alone up there so we had to take individual pictures to post in the blog.

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After the hike we went into Val Marie, oddly enough home of NHL great Brian Trottier, one of the top 10 players in league history. In the winter he skated on the Frenchman River. We had an ice cream cone at the local hotel, and a shower a the Val Marie Town Campground.

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On our way we came upon an abandoned farm house and took a couple of pictures. The furniture was still inside this place.

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There was a section of fence, where each post had a cowboy boot on it. Quaint.

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We took the rest of the afternoon off, but did an evening hike with one of the staff on the walk above the camp ground.

Tomorrow, July 2, is going to be hot, with highs in the 30's, so after a morning hike near the campground we plan to lay low and take a day of rest from doing very much at all. We are on to Moose Jaw, and a planned three day stay to get our car and trailer cleaned up, get the car serviced, and add mud flaps for our upcoming time in Wood Buffalo National Park.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 19:55 Archived in Canada Tagged buffalo canada_day prairie_dogs Comments (2)

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