Monday, January 4, 2010

N.W.T. Trip 2005 – Salt Plains

In reality it is now 2010….we took a quick and snowy trip up to Okanagan Falls….but I’m now back and did a quick look see at the pictures so I’d remember where I was before the break….the last posting I had done before we left and posted when we got back…..

So back to the past….waking up in Fort Smith….this day we left the RV’s in the campground and drove back to the turn off to the Salt Plains. 


part way down the narrow gravel road, this mother Ruffed Grouse crossed in front of us with her little herd of chicks… the time we got stopped and the camera ready, the chicks were well hidden in the bush…

13 km from the turn off we came to the Salt Plains interpretive center

3bSalt Plains

I must say that after the narrow winding gravel road it came as quit a shock to see this elaborate viewing area and the fancy washroom building….which I didn’t get a picture of.  The Salt Plains, were I think, the most impressive item we saw on this trip….well maybe apart from the Pelicans on the Slave River!  The following series is an attempt to show the vast scope of these plains….

3bSalt Plains2

3bSalt Plains3

3bSalt Plains4


The last in this series being a telephoto view to attempt to give a bit more detail.  You’ll notice that these pictures have all been taken from a fairly high elevation….however there were a series of stairs and platforms leading down to the plains themselves….and an invitation to ‘go for a walk’… we did…


The weather was still damp and showery….that is Dave ahead of me as we descended the long flights of stairs….and those are mosquitoes on his vest…..we were all covered with them.


now here we are at ‘ground’ level.  Normally the plains are bone dry with a coating of salt on the surface, and you can walk forever on them, but due to the wet weather, the surface was sticky, gumbo like mud and it wasn’t possible to walk anywhere…


This was one of the signs located down on the plains themselves….

3eBuffalo Tracks

There were Buffalo tracks….


and Crane tracks….the crane tracks more recent since the mud was disturbed, while the Buffalo must have been there when it was a bit firmer….it ‘looks’ dry in this picture….but it wasn’t.  Since we couldn’t wander very far, there was nothing to do but head back up….


back at the top, when we stopped to catch our breath and looked back…there was this herd of Buffalo out on the plains….one of those ‘magical’ moments as we watched them.

Another ‘magical’ moment occurred later when we were back at the campsite having a late lunch….

3hRed Fox

when this Red Fox walked down the road and then proceeded to poke about our campsite.  I guess if you live in the north, Fox are a common occurrence…but not for people like us…..

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