Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park

This weekend I decided not to go to The Rockies and to check a new place in Central Alberta, a provincial park in almost central part of the province called Dry Island Buffalo Jump. It is located east of Olds in Red Deer River valley. Although I started very early when I got on Township Road 344, the sun was right in my eyes! I wasted my time on the way. Stopped two times for coffee and gasoline and the third time for restroom and a froth time or more for photography. It was almost 07:45 when I got there.I parked on the top and walked down the packed gravel road. There was only one car and later when I saw two Kayakers I assume that was theirs. 
At first I followed a trail parallel to the river but soon I realized that I had made a mistake. There was barely any trail. It was probably made by animals going to the rive to drink water as I saw several hoof prints. It was muddy and wet in a way that my socks got soaked. The height of grass or whatever it's called was as tall as me at spots and it got so tense at others that I had to go around! 
I then went back to the designated day use area and headed east and northeast. A trail has been shaped after mammals and hikers have walked through it. This is such a beautiful place and reminded me of two similar locations that I had previously visited Dinosaur Provincial Park and Horseshoe Canyon. Dinosaur Provincial Park is not as green as what Dry Island is or maybe it was because we never were able to work our way out toward the river which is the same river, Red Deer River
The unique shape of hills and mountains in Dry Island Buffalo Jump 
As I indicated earlier I saw many hoof prints on the trail, beside the river and close to streams but unfortunately was not lucky enough to see any wildlife. I heard animals howling though. I don't know whether they were dogs, wolves or anything else because I never saw them but I also heard barking from distance which could proof they were dogs. They were responding to each other but it stopped only after a few minutes. I had never experienced that anywhere else. The weather was nice and I guess I got tired soon although it was not a challenging hike. I guess going further north would be a good idea but I left it for another time to do that and after taking a few photos I headed back toward the upper parking lot. It is said that the park is the residence of more than 150 species of bird. I saw a few ones but I barely got close! As well I heard different singing and noises but I needed a good binoculars to spot them. One of the other good things about this park is that there's no damn campground! So all those drunks and dope smokers whom you might see around the parks and don't let you to sleep soundly, there are not there!
(Photo, top: View of part of Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park)

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