July 23rd found us headed to Jasper NP. We got off to a rough start because one of us had lost the camper keys. Finally left without them, using the spare set. We stopped in Hinton for a fuel and grocery break, and went into price shock when Charlie picked up a six-pack of beer and was charged $15.00 for it. That’s right, $2.50 a bottle!!!
Charlie found the missing keys while I was in the grocery store, so we were quite relieved. We entered Jasper at 2:30 pm and headed for Whistlers Campground in the park for the next 5 nights. Our site was private, wooded, and had resident momma and baby elk in it most afternoons.
Elk calf resting right outside our camper at Whistler Campground, Jasper NP.
Elk sleeping next to our campsite at Whistler in Jasper.
July 20th found us only 403 miles from Elk Island National Park, and our reservations were not until July 22nd. This meant we could take our time.
As an aside, we had hoped to visit a Provincial Park, but found that it was virtually impossible to find a vacant site on the weekends. It is for this reason that I have already made many of the National and Provincial campground reservations for our Maritime Provinces trip this August. I am not making any for after Labor Day, but prior to that I have booked just about every night in either a Provincial or a National Park.
We camped at David Laird City Park just south of North Battleford on the Yellowhead Highway ( Route 16) that evening for $17.00, no hookups. Our site was on a beautiful meadow, it was uncrowded, and we had two deer to watch first thing in the morning.
After a fuel and grocery stop in North Battleford the next morning, we arrived at Elk Island National Park at 1pm. Even though I had reserved the site months ago, our assigned site #35 was small, steeply sloped, and next to two fifth wheelers with at least 10 small children. While WB loved the site, and the children loved him, we chose to move the next day.
Buffalo in the brush on our hiking trail.
We saw hundreds of wood buffalo! We hiked several trails, but then realized that the buffalo were using the trails, too, and with the thick brush on either side of the narrow trail we thought it might be difficult moving the dog and us out of the way!
Buffalo were every where, even on the roadways. I was glad I was not sleeping in our tent!
Our campsite at Iron Lake.
The morning of July 18th, which was Day 6 of our vacation, we woke at our campsite on Iron Lake and watched a Bald Eagle soaring above the lake while we had breakfast and our coffee. We broke camp at 8:00 a.m. (central time) and entered Minnesota an hour later via the Bong Bridge (?). We laughed at the bridge’s name, but found it to be a very picturesque, s-curve bridge. No pictures, though.
We made a short stop at Cabela’s for binoculars, as Charlie had forgotten to bring his, then drove until 5 pm, when we stopped at Woodland Resort, Devil Lake in North Dakota.$ 31.00 for a site with electricity and shade, but no view of the lake. We were too tired of driving to care much, and WB definitely wanted out of the camper!!!
Day 7 we woke early and the View was headed down the road before 7:15 a.m. heading for Saskatchewan Province. We entered Canada at noon time, and easily went through Customs. We headed northwest on Route 39, and stayed in Regina at a rather unattractive campground as it was the only game in town. It was sort of like a parking lot, but was clean and quiet for the night.
Making Hay in Saskatchewan