I’m writing to you from great, green North, where it is a scorcher today and only supposed to get hotter. Aren’t temperatures supposed to decrease as you travel north? Wowzers. Luckily, there’s a large body of wading and swimming water just out the front door—Charlie Lake. T’s even mentioned going in when we hit the mid to high thirties. Said something about needing swimming shoes. I told her paws work just fine. But the rocks are kind of big and slippery.
For T’s birthday earlier this month, we hitched up Simon and went camping for four days to a place called Tolman Bridge and Dry Island Buffalo Jump. It’s a little like Drumheller, a little like Dinosaur Provincial Park, but more oasis-like than either of those other badlands places. The Red Deer River flows through the park and there are more types of trees and shrubs than anywhere else in the Badlands we’ve been.
And we had the place nearly to ourselves. Just two other campers the days we were there. Which meant I could explore the whole place without intruding on anyone’s space, and I do like to check out the undersides of picnic tables. So many good things found there.
Mostly what we did was walk. We walked six times one day! But, before you start dialing the SPCA about an old dog being over-exercised, the walks were all short, fifteen or twenty minutes each, mostly around the campground. We also hiked in the surrounding badlands and across the Tolman Bridge to the park on the west side of the river. Truth be told, these days I like multiple short walks. I get plenty of exercise without ever getting tired.
There were a couple of rainy days on our trip, one afternoon and then the better part of a whole day. But I didn’t mind. We watched a movie, ate fresh-baked cinnamon buns under the awning, and drove to Drumheller for burgers via the Bleriot Ferry route. The rain didn’t dampen our spirits or chase us home (like the snowfall warning back in May).
We were home Friday afternoon and then, the following Thursday morning, T and I were on the road again, this time by car. (If you’re wondering about the significance of the banner image, that’s me waiting on my trip-starter Timbit in Airdrie.) We travelled to Whitecourt the first day, stopping on the way at Red Lodge Provincial Park for a drink from the Little Red Deer River, and again at Pembina River Provincial Park for a drink from, you can probably guess, the Pembina River.
Remember a couple of years ago when T and I travelled north to kick off a summer of twenty-six lakes? Well, this year I’m hitting flowing water—rivers and creeks. So far, I’ve dipped my toes in Ribbon Creek (in January…brrr), the Bow, the Red Deer, the Oldman, the Castle, the Little Red Deer, the Pembina, and Fish Creek in Fort St John. At least I think that’s all of them. Not sure I’ll make twenty-six rivers and creeks, but I’ll give it a go! Eight’s a good start. The trick with rivers is that you can go to multiple places and still be in the same river. I’ve been in the Little Red Deer at Water Valley and Red Lodge, and the Red Deer at Dinosaur Provincial Park, Dry Island Buffalo Jump, and Tolman Bridge. Can I count these as five rather than two? ;o)
We arrived here at Charlie Lake a week ago and will be hanging out for a few more days. From what I’ve heard about the forecast, I’ll be making a bunch more trips down to G-Ma’s little private beach and sticking to early morning walking.
This morning we drove to the provincial park for our walk, where the trails are shady, and I found a beach I had trouble leaving. I’m great at running down steep banks to water when I’m hot, but the getting back up is a challenge, especially when the footing is loose or slippery. I needed a push from behind!
Well, that’s about all the energy I’ve got on a fiery Fur-iday. I’m off to the lake for an evening dip. Until next week … stay cool!