Finishing up my tour of duty in the Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is a beautiful park. Maybe THE park in Saskatchewan.
The plan is to explore and document some of the hiking trails and lookout towers located in the south end of the park. I was up and out of the campground by 7 AM as my day was to be a long one as I planned on meeting up with Bro in Prince Albert later in the day. He is camped out in a Walmart parking lot as there are no quality campsites available.
My first experience in a Saskatchewan campground was spent shaking my head in disbelief. Now I know all campsites are not like this in Saskatchewan but it was ridiculous. I was glad to have spent the time in the park but I was also glad to leave the campground behind me and move on. I prefer to support campgrounds with friendly staff and one that takes care of itself. This one did not.
It was a government campground, no doubt, and it had the most irritating “Campground Cops” who leave notes and then go run and hide. One night I came back from work at about 8 PM and there was a note on my door about a cooler being left out. Ok.. I can understand if there was food in it. But my cooler is for storing pots and pans… never food. Do they think I would leave a cooler of food out in the open in the wilderness. I guess so.
Another night I came back from work – this is after a few nights in the campground and money was getting low – and there was another “Campground Cop” note. (I am shaking my head) I have yet to see a “Campground Cop” .. but they are leaving me these nasty little notes. This note instructs me to pay for another night? This park, unlike Alberta and BC, does not take credit cards – only cash. I had to pick up more cash during the day so I could pay for a few more nights. I left my trailer and my equipment in the campground so they would clue in I was coming back to pay. I guess not.. duh. In all the other provinces and territories we have never had these events. It just makes you laugh. Welcome to Saskatchewan.
Anywho.. I was on the trails before meeting Bro by 8 AM. I wanted to do a section of the Freight Trail (old wagon road used for transportation in the pioneer days – maybe in the same steps as Grey Owl, who knows), the Height of Land Trail and the Spruce River Highlands Trail.. and whatever else caught my eye.
Being first on the trails in the morning has many pluses. The sunshine feels great. The path is raw and the views are all mine. I am a view hog too.. so I like my morning hikes with the views to myself. A good hike in the morning is a great way to wake up too. This is good since I am not a morning person.
The down side of the morning hike is I break through every cobweb, swallow mosquitoes and the big bugs are out in numbers while the ground is still moist and there is still shade. But, this time I was prepared. I added another coat of OFF (like body paint now) and the bugs just swarmed outside my bubble most of the hike.
The first tower hike was a disappointment. Not because it was only a 60 metre trail – I knew that allready – but it was because the tower was huge, but with no view as the trees were higher than the tower. (Scratch your head here) So after I climbed 6 -8 flights of stairs to the top viewing deck I was rewarded with a view of more trees. Hmm.. could of enjoyed that view from the ground. But, there was one plus. There were no bugs up in the trees – nope – just a whole bunch of bugs waiting for me to come back down. I could see them drooling.
The second tower was by far better. The Spruce River Highlands Trail tower had a fantastic view of the whole valley. Plus it involves a hike in order to get to it. this is always good! Once at the tower I could see Anglin Lake and the river far below me. I was on an edge of a cliff so there were no trees in the view. No one was around. Just me, the wind and the morning sun heating up my face. Sometimes I get lost in my thoughts when I am in “view” mode.
The rest of my day was spent driving the back roads into Prince Rupert to hook up with Bro. There we embraced. We shared stories. We departed with a Timmys in hand and quickly fell a sleep in our trailers. Today is NEW DAY with a new plan.