July 13 - July 15 (17)
We headed out from milepost zero in a eastward direction toward our next destination on our way to Webster. Lesser Slave Lake is a Provincial Park where we had decided to stay for 2 days and kayak on its waters. This is a first-come-first-serve park and when we got there there were no electrical sites available and we were low on gas, so we could not use the generator. We had to drive back the 15 miles to town to find a gas station which we had missed the first time we passed the town that did not have a well-marked turn-off. Also, this large lake had huge crashing waves which would have made kayaking undesirable.
It was now well past dinner time, so we stopped in a parking lot and had a hasty meal. Our only hope for a good night's rest was another hour down the road at Athabaska. We were both discouraged because during the drive that day we had found a delightful farm stand where we had picked 4 quarts of strawberries and fresh peas. Tom had planned to bake shortcakes and Anne would cut up the berries for a treat we had missed back home. As we headed down the road, we saw the shortcake hopes fading.
Then, only 15 minutes along the road, we saw a sign for "Mosquito Lake Camp." (We now understand that there are many campgrounds marked by a symbol on the highway. Using a North American campground directory or just going to Provincial Parks is way too limiting.) Given the experience at Watson Lake, we were a bit apprehensive, but made the turn and found ourselves on another dirt road. There was a "rainbow" at the end of this road in the form of the nicest private campground we have seen on our trip. Linda and Marvin Sand have owned the land for over 20 years and have done a wonderful job of building the camp in a beautiful country setting on the shore of a small lake. The sites were far apart for ultimate privacy in wooded surroundings. This is unlike the usual commercial campground that looks more like a parking lot. We chose one of the sites that overlooks the gem of a lake. AND there were no mosquitos to speak of! The day that had begun to look awful, ended in a beautiful sunset and fresh strawberry shortcake.
We stayed at Mosquito Lake for 2 nights and kayaked and had more strawberry shortcake.