Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spring Trip 2010 – Day 23 – Danielson Provincial Park

OK I think I know what happened yesterday that I couldn’t publish from Live Writer….I think, it was that when I was setting the categories I used an ‘and’ symbol and it didn’t like that.  I don’t know why it couldn’t have just said that!  I only surmise it after attempting the same ‘tag’ in the actual blog site and having a big red line come up saying I couldn’t use that symbol… and learn I guess…

On Saturday, May 15th we traveled down highway #4 to North Battleford, then on to the town of Bigger…

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This is ‘Bigger’ Saskatchewan….took this from the parking lot as Ernie went in to buy a bottle of wine at the liquor store…

‘Bigger’ was the home of Sandra Schmirler, the skip of the 1998 Olympic Gold medal curling team.  Apparently ‘Bigger’ is also famous for this….

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Continuing South along highway #4

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through pretty typical Saskatchewan countryside.  Everyone was very busy plowing and harrowing with massive machines…

Spring Trip 2010 1060 Just outside of the little town of ‘Rose town’ we found this nice little Regional Park – complete with campground, where we stopped to give the dogs a break…

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the only other living things in sight were these Thirteen Line Ground Squirrel that we’d first come across back by Battle River in Alberta.

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Here is another look at one of these little guys….

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On the road again….

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and the first Antelope of the trip – I always have trouble believing that these are a native North American animal….they look like they belong in Africa.

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By late afternoon we were nearing our destination of Danielson Provincial Park….the only problem was…where was it?  By this time I’d come to the conclusion that Saskatchewan intends their parks to be just for the use of their citizens.  There are NO signs for their parks anywhere until you get to within 1 kilometer of the actual park….If we didn’t have road maps and a G.P.S. we’d never know a park was anywhere in the vicinity!  This, by the way, is the power plant located on the Danielson Dam which forms the north end of the huge, man made Lake Diefenbaker.

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and this is approaching the dam itself…the road crosses the dam and continues on the other side.  There was a large Visitor Center located at this end of the dam….but it was closed (of course!)  You would think there would be a map or something outside giving some clue as to where the campground was…our maps weren’t much help there….the little green triangle actually ended up being on the wrong side of the lake.  Fortunately, being Saturday there were a number of people on the beach and after asking for directions, we were pointed in the right direction….over that dam and then to the right for several kilometers….

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So here we are….this campground wasn’t quite as large as the other’s we’d been to, although larger than this one section as the main part of the campground was still closed….a Self registration kiosk was in full view and this section of the campground was actually quite busy…most were concentrated down at the other end, which is why we chose here….the only ‘outsiders’ in the place!  Which brings up another subject….new this year, apparently, is a policy that anyone from outside the province pay an additional $4 - $6 fee for their campsite per night!  Now we never actually had to pay that….when we got to where there were people to talk to, they seemed as bewildered by the policy as us….most places go out of their way to encourage tourism, not penalize them for coming!!!  Another policy….again not one we ever actually were charged….was the fact that everyone, including ‘insiders’ were supposed to pay a $7 ‘user’ fee for ‘using the park – any park – per day’….this ON TOP of the camping fee!  We paid a very reasonable $16 (winter rate) for this powered site….but if you added $7 ‘user’ fee on top of that you’d be at $21 and then another $6 (outsider fee for powered site), you’d be at $27.  Not bad for this time of the year, but would bring and ‘in season’ nights camping up to about the $40 mark – that is getting a bit much!!!

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It was supper time by the time we finally found this place, so was getting well into evening before we got out for a bit of a walk to explore….  That is Lake Diefenbaker out there….just one very small part of it…

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You can just make out, there on the horizon, those 5 turbines or what ever they were at the power plant on the dam…

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Water levels appeared to be very low….

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This was a bit of an inlet that came in away…the campground is just to the right here and those trees down at the shoreline are where there was a boat launch parking lot….and a station for paying your $7 ‘user’ fee if you were launching a boat.

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Ernie and Shantz came across this White Tail Deer while they were out wandering…

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The hillside above that inlet was covered in these white ‘Prairie Onion’ flowers…

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Here is a close up of one of the flower heads…

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This just shows the general terrain in the area….the lake out there in the distance…

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When I was wandering back through the closed section of the campground I came across a number of American Goldfinch….first I’d seen on the trip…

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I’d been hearing Clay Coloured Sparrows with their ‘buzz buzz’ calls….

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There were a number of these trees just coming into flower….I’m not sure what they are, possibly a type of crab apple?

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This is showing part of the closed section of the campground…there wouldn’t be much privacy when the place was busy….but then these parks seem to be more for socializing than privacy….the sites were well spaced and some along the bottom row went into scrub and trees…..

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Here is an evening view of Lake Diefenbaker….

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and another….we’ll be spending more time here tomorrow as we’ve decided to take a day off from traveling….by the way the temperature had been 25 degrees today, with a forecast for hotter the next day…we’d also found several ticks on us… we had at the previous campground….they seemed to like me best although I worried about Shantz so we were really checking her over all the time….the thought of encountering ticks hadn’t crossed my mind so wasn’t prepared for that!

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