Campground cleared out today. By the time we got out of the tent at 7am 1/2 of last nights guests had packed and left. By noon we were the only ones in our end. Seems like Wednesday is the crossover day because tomorrow people will come so they don’t miss out on a spot for the weekend.

Big day for us. We hike all the trails this place has to offer before noon. It is possible to take a car and drive from trailhead to trailhead but we tough it out on foot. The temp is hot and we are in a canyon but it is still an OK walk, maybe 6 km in total. I’m glad it isn’t any farther because I am tagged by the time we get back to camp.

Each trail has it own theme. The topic of the first one we walk is the ecosystem of the river valley. How the predominant tree, the cottonwood, (I think they are poplar trees) takes root and lives on the flood plains near the river. The info boards tell how the vegetation changes the father from the river one gets and explains ‘the badlands’ that are prevalent before the land rises up and levels off into endless prairie.

The signs posted along the second trail tell stories of the expeditions that spent copious amounts of time traversing the Red Deer river valley in search of dinosaur bones. They seemed to be quite successful in their quest.

The final trail is into the badlands. A short trip around and few hummocks and hoo doos. Before we started I thought this would be the most interesting of the three but found it the least informative.

Hot, sweaty, and tired we returned to camp.

An addendum to yesterdays hypothesis’ regarding the comparison between the ocean and the forest. Bugs are a sequel to plankton. They float around in great numbers in aimless patterns, are attracted to light and are consumed by birds, similarly fish live off plankton. The numerous birds here are happy because there are a lot of trees to roost in and there are tons of bugs to live off.

When we travel to far flung places we are always warned of the how many bugs there are in the tropics. How malaria is present 12 months of the year and 24/7. When we arrive there are a few bugs and different bugs, like cockroaches, and we do get a few mosquito bites but there are never as many bugs as we have here in our temperate climate where the winters get cold enough no self respecting bug would survive but come spring and summer you can’t sit in the outdoors without being overwhelmed by persistent flies, or ear buzzing mosquitos. I am sitting right now cursing the little black things that fly right into my eyes. Why eyes???? After they drown and I try to rub them out they break into a hundred bits and it takes two days to get all the parts out.

It is still only mid June but this place sure is peaceful. Except for the bugs I think it is an excellent place to camp. We have done just about all there is to do here so would not come back for the ‘dinosaur experience’ but to spend a couple of chill days it would suit quite well.

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