A road to nowhere?

CAMPGROUND: Rock Creek Campground inside Grasslands National Park. Nice, flat, gravel sites with picnic tables and firepits. Everything is new – one year old. Water available from hose near office. Vault toilet only and porta-potties. $25/night. Would rate it a 3 out of 5 stars for amenities, but atmostphere and views boost it to a 4.

LOCATION: Grasslands National Park – East Block. In SW Saskatchewan
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy. A few showers. High 70We had a leisurely morning at Bengough, then headed south and west, again through the Big Muddy. We followed Tony and Jenny across the lonely prairie. Our trip today was short – only about 2 hours of driving.

We assumed that we were approaching a town with a car show, as 12 Corvettes passed us along the highway. Sure enough, the next (and only) town was having a festival and there were a lot of old tractors, trucks, and cars on display.

We drove about another hour and saw a sign for Grasslands. It was 15 miles down a gravel road. This area is similar to the Badlands of South Dakota, but greener and not dusty. It is really barren and wide-open.The campground is small – 20 sites and a few cabins and tipis to rent. We are perched up above the rest of the campsite and have a 360-degree view of the valley. It is spectacular. About half of the sites are occupied – very quiet.The nearest town is the one we went through, about an hour away. The office staff told us that some people get here without realizing it is so remote, and don’t have enough food or gas for themselves. The office will sell an emergency meal package for people to cook, and back-up gas to get them to the next town. We are even too far out to get any radio reception.We are only about 2 miles from the US border – Montana – which is equally remote.

After setting up and settling in, we strolled around the campground, getting our bearings. We will be here 4 nights and plan to take lots of hikes.

DINNER: Tony’s turn tonight. He cooked some pork steaks with a dijon mustard rub coated with panko – really superb. I will have to try that sometime. Side was a medley of potatoes and vegetables. He cooked outside on his gas grill, but the winds came up when we were ready to eat, so we moved indoors.

BOOK: I finished “Sleeping in the Ground” by Peter Robinson. I don’t know how I selected this book, but I really like the author. It is a British detective series. The cool thing about it is that it takes place in a village where we did a housesitting assignment – in North Yorkshire. I rate it a 9 out of 10.

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