Thanks Boss! Needless to say, we were outta here just after 9:00am!
We wanted to go up to Prince Albert National Park and see the sights and hike some trails. The park entrance gate is only about 32 kms (20 miles) north of here on a decent dirt road and then the park village of Waskesui is another 44 kms (28 miles) north of the gate on a decent paved road.
One of the many little lakes dotting the landscape on the way to Prince Albert National Park.
Entering the park.
So we get to the gate and it's a few minutes after 10:00am. We knew it was expensive to get a day pass, but we handed over our $15.60 for the two of us. As she's going to get us our change, she says "sorry, I'm only just opening up".
So I said "Does that mean that if we showed up at 9:55am instead of 10:05am we wouldn't have to pay"?
All she responded with was "Well, you're supposed to have a pass"...which didn't really answer my question. Turns out that we could easily have not bought a pass and nobody would have checked. My guess is they only enforce it when it's busier in July and August.
Talking to the lady a bit more, she said it's her 38th summer running that little entry booth!
A big beaver lodge along the way.
So we're driving along and here's these two Canada Geese going for a walk along the road with their little one. Yep, only one little one. They won't get off the road, yet every time I try and pass them the two adults get ready to fly and the little one scrambles to keep up. Eventually, I make a run for it and sure enough the adults took flight...and literally flew away leaving the little one behind! Maybe that's what happened to the rest of the family! We'll never know if they were reunited.
Oh well. As much as the photo is kind of cute, Canada Geese are mostly pests. "Rats with wings" as our friend Kent in Colorado once said!
Mom, Dad, and the little one.
We stopped at a couple of the campgrounds in the park, just to check them out. They are unserviced campsites that cost $12.50 right now, but increase to $15.50 on June 15th. Add on your $15.60 per couple per day day use fee and that's a pretty expensive fee for an unserviced campsite. Of course if you're going to use the parks, you are better off buying an annual pass thats valid for all National Parks in Canada. Oh, and don't forget your $9.00 nightly fee for a campfire permit. Although that does include a supply of wood.
The little blue car, enjoying a day out!
More wildlife. We actually spotted five deer along the way. Apparently there are also a lot of elk, but we didn't see any.
We stopped for two different short hikes. Both of them led to lookout towers. The first one was only about 2 kms (1.3 miles) and the second about 4 kms (2.5 miles).
Ruth, hiking through the birch trees.
Kevin at the top of the first lookout tower.
Stormy looking skies ahead. We did get a few showers, but nothing that stopped us from enjoying the day.
Namekus Lake and campground has a nice beach!
At the base of the second tower, there was a lot of indication of bear activities. Here's Kevin showing where a bear had recently used his claws to scratch off a chunk of wood!
At the top of the second tower.
Made it to the village of Waskesui. (pronounced Wask-eh-soo). There are a couple of lodges and a conference facility, a bunch of expensive cottages, and a golf course among overpriced cafes and touristy shops. Not really our thing, and it's probably a real zoo in July and August.
Ruth, relaxing on the dock, with the Waskesui beach in the background.
Then, we drove back through the city of Prince Albert and did our grocery shopping as part of the trip. We drove a total of 225 kms (140 miles) and had a great day off! Thanks Boss!
Yesterday's drive, 225 kms (140 miles).
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