As soon as you start doing evening activities my daily writing goes in to whack. Then trying to recall everything later because as a challenge as my mind goes fuzzy but I’ll do my best.
The morning started as it always does, with coffee. We however went and met a friend at the Pelican Inn for breakfast. This is apparent the place to get breakfast in Fort Smith, but I don’t know much about any other establishments.
The Pelican is your typical small town dinner spot. Food is mediocre, service is mediocre, but you can always count on a meal.
After breakfast, which ended at around 12 noon, so i guess it was more like brunch, we retreated back to the campground and lounged for the afternoon. Road trips are wonderful, relaxing and fulfilling but you have to know when to slow down and just hang out for a day. That was yesterday afternoon.
We meandered around the grounds, washed, for a change, did a small load of laundry, talked with Toni for a while and just relaxed at camp. One of us even had a nap but I won’t name names.
The evening was when we planned on exploring the area again. After eating a couple hotdogs we headed towards Salt River, where we were told we might be able to catch some pickerel but after several casts we retreated empty handed. There was one of place we could have tried fishing, at the Thebacha Campground where the Salt Rive and Slave River meet.
We carried on down the highway heading west. Last year we had visited the Salt Plains during the day, the sun was high the temperature hot. Our plan was to visit the plains again while it was cooler and during a sun set.
Arriving at the Salt Plain’s lookout we found our camp managers Toni and Peanuts also enjoying the view. They told us how they had just seen a giant bear retreat into the bushes down below and before than saw a giant bull moose run across the plains. As they left we geared up to head down the steep hill to the plains. It is about a 5 minute hike down, 10 minutes to come back up.
At the lookout there was plenty of wind but we still loaded up with bug spray and I had my bug jacket on. On the hike down things changed fast. The wind died almost instantly and with that came the millions of bugs. Our jeans went from faded blue to a sandy colour as sandflys coated us. Our bug spray didn’t seem to be of any effect on these creatures as more and more showed up as we walked. By the time we were out in the middle of an open area it was just too much to handle and if walking wasn’t bearable, taking photos was most definitely out of the question.
We retreated, rather quickly, back up the hill. Out of breath, dehydrated and discouraged we rejoiced as the feeling of wind touched our faces again. At the top of the hill we sat for sometime working on regaining our sanity.
We saw no animals of significants.
As we started our drive out of the Salt Plains we ventured down another road called Fox Hole Road, which whooping cranes were said to have been nesting.
The fascinating part about both these roads is the burn areas of forest fires past. The trees, while still standing, are starting to peel making them look as those they are naked.
As we drove, and drove, we soon realized that Fox Hole road apparently goes forever and is reasonably well maintained. After going through immense forest you come out to the a giant flat swamp area where the cranes were suppose to be. No cranes.
Although on our drive through the never ending forest we did encounter one black bear, one lynx, one great grey owl and a hawk or falcon. Well worth the drive.
As for photos, well I haven’t gotten to them yet.