A Day on the Canadian Prairie


[August 1, 2009]

Today is a day for driving on Canadian prairie .  Many fear the monotony of driving across the prairie.  But that didn't seem to bother us.  We were just happy to move along smoothly with clear blue sky above and wide open fields guiding our sights.  And there are surprises, too.

Chaplin Lake
 Midway between Swift Current and Moose Jaw is a small town named Chaplin, population 300.   Nearby is a Chaplin Lake. It is not very large, only 15,000 acres.  But it is not your ordinary lake.  It is a sodium sulfate mine.  A processing plant sits right by the side, with the white stuff piling high.

Although far from any sea, this saline water body is a rich feeding ground for migrating seabirds.  So essential is this a rest spot for the birds, it is designated Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve.  More than thirty kinds of shorebirds were recorded here.  Each year, tens of thousands of birds re-fill and recuperate here.  So this is an important birding spot.  The Nature Center also doubles  as a visitor center, with some very good displays of birding information.  Shorebird watching in the middle of Prairie!  Imagine that!  Webpage for Chapline Nature Center

The Noisy Woodlawn Campground

Tonight we camp in the Woodlawn Park, in the south of Estevan, Saskatchewan.   Located on Highway 47, this spot is less than 15 km to the border.   We were able to get in tonight because there was an RV cancellation.  Obviously, this is a popular spot.  And indeed, the place is packed, much reminiscent of camping ground in Taiwan.  The ground surface were uneven, even bumpy, due to the heavy  RV.Our site is considered a good one because a stream flowed by it.  All facilities looked very much in need of repair.   And the most incredible is the noise --kids laughter and scream, radio playing, people partying well into the night.  Is there any management in this site? 

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