Friday, May 8, 2009

Alberta Trip 2008 - Crimson Lake - June 10

June 10th we resumed our journey, heading due west on highway 12 until we came to the town of Rocky Mountain House. I'm not sure what I expected there, a place that looked sort of like Jasper I guess, what I didn't expect was a modern strip mall type place. I guess there was some history there somewhere, but certainly not on the main thoroughfare.

I think we had lunch there at a fast food outlet and then headed to Crimson Lake Provincial Park. Now on every trip you don't expect to be enchanted by every place you stop at - especially when traveling in new territory. We had been lucky this trip but from the moment we turned towards the park entrance I got 'bad vibes'. I don't know if it was the weather, dull and rainy, or the fact that it was another place where they told you where you would stay, or the fact we had to negotiate huge mud puddles to get into the appointed site, or the fact that we had been staying in wonderful open country, and this was dense, wet, closed in forest.....what ever it was I had the distinct impression they really rather wished we hadn't bothered to stop and if it wasn't for the fact that we'd already paid and it was getting on...we probably wouldn't have.

I would post a picture of the lake...I assume there was a lake....but I never saw it. You certainly couldn't see it from the campground. We walked to one area but there were just a bunch of private cabins....another area presumably led to a beach but dogs weren't allowed - so scratch that idea!

I know people who say Crimson Lake is one of their very favorite places to stay - to each their own I guess! We did find some trails in the woods, one of which led to this boardwalk through a muskeg sort of habitat.
These Shooting Stars were in flower along side the boardwalk.

and this was a rather interesting habitat of all Aspen trees. Sort of like a surreal painting.
The only really saving grace for the whole episode was the spotting of this Sandhill Crane family in a marshy field just before you came to the park entrance.

The only other Sandhill Crane family I'd seen, up to this point, was at Chan Lake in the N.W.T. These ones seemed quite unperturbed by us and this was obviously their home as they were there when we arrived, and also the next morning when we left.

One more look at the Sandhill Cranes.

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