An even longer hike in the Saskatchewan Badlands!

LOCATION: Grasslands National Park, East Block – in SW Satskatchewan
WEATHER: Sunny and hot (80) in the PM; rain in the evening

Tony and George decided not to hike again today. They both were recovering from yesterday’s 8-mile hike and had things to do around our trailers. So, Jenny and I took off on our own. Like yesterday, we packed a lunch and water bottles. Jenny even brought a compass. (We laughed.)

This trail was called the Red Butte Trail, as a rocky outcrop of reddish colored mesas was our destination. Unlike yesterday’s trail, the beaten path through the grass quickly petered out. All we could see around us for miles and miles was grassland. Thank goodness Jenny had brought her compass! We weren’t laughing now!!! With our vague map and compass, we headed north and west hopefully toward the Red Butte.

We enjoyed some wildlife moments….down in one gully, we scared up 3 sage grouse, an endangered species here, then later a deer, and a huge jackrabbit. It looked like a kangaroo!

We walked and walked, not knowing where we were. We consulted our map, then the compass, and kept on. Finally, after about 5 miles, when we were ready to give up, we saw the Red Butte. Time for a lunch and rest. Tony had packed Jenny a cute lunchbag with notes saying “I love you” and “Be safe”

The wind really picked up and the sun was blasting down. My face and arms were terribly sunburned and windburned.

We decided not to even try to find a trail on the return trip. Instead, we set the compass for southeast (since we had gone northwest out to the Butte). It was a shorter route, but much more strenuous. There were a lot of steep hills to climb. Finally, we spotted the road leading to the campground in the distance. We made it! I took the last sip of my water, and we descended down to the campground after a grueling 10 mile trek.

I think I had a bit of heatstroke. I cooled down with an outdoor shower and rested.

Refreshed, we sat outside at the picnic table with Tony and Jenny, recounting our day and watching a big thunderstorm develop.

The storm finally hit us, so we moved indoors for dinner.

DINNER: My turn. It was simple but good. I sauteed together sliced smokies (like mini brats), cabbage, and onions. Side was lima beans. Tony and I are planning our next menus, with a plan to hit a grocery store tomorrow as we leave the Grasslands and continue west.

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