Camping in Wood Buffalo is a time for experiencing and absorbing nature in Alberta’s north. You awake to sunlight and silhouettes of branches against the tent wall. Lazily, you crawl out of your sleeping bag, unzip the door, and greet the morning.
A propane stove hisses as the coffee percolates and a pan of eggs and bacon sizzle. A tarp is strung out over the picnic table, offering shade from the sun. It will also provide cover if a bit of rain falls. Split logs are stacked neatly at the foot of a spruce tree. The kindling you cut the night before lies in a pile beside it.
Once you’ve eaten and had your coffee, the only worry is figuring out what to do with the day. Will you cast a shiny lure to a hungry fish? Or will you finally take that jet boat tour down the Athabasca River?
Northern summer days are long, with hour upon hour of sunlight. Perhaps you’ll also have time for a hike through the woods or an interpretive tour. Or maybe you’ll watch a pastel sky as the sun sets beyond the wooded shoreline of a lake. It’s all up to you.
Satisfied by a late dinner cooked on the grill, you reflect on the day’s adventures. By nightfall, you’re at the fireside, watching the wavering heat of glowing coals. They mirror the shimmering green light of the borealis overhead. A pale band of twilight clings at the horizon and fades to darkness as your eyes shift upwards into the backdrop of a starlit sky.
Back in your tent, you zip shut the door. At rest in your sleeping bag, you watch the moonlit wall of your tent mottled with forest shadows, and you drift off to sleep.
Author: Travis Grant