Wood Buffalo National Park
Jun 30, 2016
|We got up at 3.30a and drove back over construction to the turnoff from highway 6 to highway 5. We saw several snowshoe hares--dark brown with white outlining along their undersides. We saw lots of ravens. We saw a small grey owl.
We stopped at the fire tower to see the large sinkhole. It is deep with steep sides. Poplars surround it.
I laid down while Gord continued to drive. He saw a black bear cross the road. I slept for an hour. When I woke he was arriving at Fort Smith. We found the Pelican Inn and went for breakfast--basic but good.
After we went to Tourist Information to see what we should see. We went through the small museum. Interesting.
From here we went to hike down the banks of the Slave River to see Drowning Man Rapids. We went out on the pink granite rocky outcrops. Pelicans were fishing on this side of the river....huge white pelicans. We watched and took lots of pics.
From here we went to the Queens Territorial Park...checked in and went.we
We drove along #5 to Fort Fitzgerald....another native village. We had lunch at the boat dock. After we drove through town and hiked down to the Cassette Rapids. Because of high water, the rapids were ruffles only. We hiked back along the mosquito-infested poorly marked trail.
Once back we drove back towards Fort Smith. We hoped to see Pelican and Mountain Rapids. However the trails in are unmarked. We did stop along the Slave River and see rapids way off through the trees. We did find the road to Mountain Rapids but it proved to be too muddy to travel. We were afraid of getting stuck.
Back in town we picked up some milk and went back to the campground.
The next morning We DROVE into the park. It appears flat. That is deceiving. The park is on gypsum. Water erodes the gypsum leaving sinkholes when the ground above collapses. Drunken trees stand guard along the edges of these sinkholes. We hiked a well-marked 800m trail past a winter red garter snake pit. We saw a uvala--a series of interconnected sinkholeso.
Further along we went into green colored Pine Lake. It is summer cabin lined. We stopped at the campsite and walked to the lake. It is clear with a sandy beach. We were swarmed by voracious blond mosquitoes. Gord skipped his swim. We quickly left. Mosquito repellent did not work!
We drove on to Peace Point. This is a small mostly deserted native village. It is high on the bank of the Peace River. Here a treaty was signed. There is no evidence of this happening. As this is the end of the road, we turned around during.
Just back down the road we turned onto the winter road to Carlson's Landing. We went 27 of the 50k and turned around. The only thing we saw was a dead parmigian. We had lunch in the center of the road.
Back out on the main road we suddenly spotted a brown moving area. It had to be a buffalo! As we approached it went into the forest. It had stopped just in the trees. It was a young bull lighter in color than the other. We got lots of pics.
We drove back to town. It is a bright hot sunny day--31 degrees or so. Even the mosquitoes are hiding.
We stopped to see the local museum with its excellent displays of early life.
Tomorrow we will do some chores and head back to Hay River.