Tag Archives: Karst topography

A Tale of Wondering

A Tale of Wonder for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Wonder

As soon as we started the hiking trail, we saw the warning; “BEWARE! entering active karst terrain, stay on the trail.” What is a Karst? I wonder if it is an animal? Dangerous, like a grizzly bear. I am starting to get scared. I asked John if he had the bear spray with him, I did not want to meet a karst unprepared. The trail  led us to a huge hole partly filled with water.

 

A sign reported the karst caused this hole. I am in shock! They must be huge! Are they some sort of Bigfoot? Maybe it is a monster like in the Loch Ness? I grabbed Johns arm for protection. We walked  gently around the hole looking for the karst. I peered over the edge. Was it living in the depths? There were some big holes along the trail.  Karst footprints I presume. This monster must be enormous.

 I tried to stay on the trail and got my leg stuck in one very deep hole. John had to pull me out. I shook off the dirt, I think I am OK.
 

Were these holes made by the karst‘s heavy foot? I started to worry.  We were now deep in the woods. We had not seen another soul, we were alone. I spotted a lookout tower on the hill.

 

What a relief. That will be a safe place to get a good  view and spot the beast. Once we got to the base of the tower, we noticed the bottom section of ladder is missing. I had to stretch high to grab the lowest rung.

 

As I grabbed the window at the top, my foot slipped and I tumbled down amid the broken glass..

(I lay crumpled on the ground and all John could do was take my picture.)

Too scared to be hurt, I ran all the way back to the car,  anxious to get away, positive the karst had grabbed my leg and caused my fall. We drove further into Wood Buffalo National Park, we wanted to know more about the karst. Another trail took us to some Salt Plains. The trees along the path were dead, covered in lichen and very spooky.

Creepy. was this an omen?

We silently followed the narrow trail.  I kept looking back, sure we were being followed. Before too long ,the woods opened up to a shocking sight.  I stared in wonder and amazement. I could not believe my eyes!

 
This was weird, very weird

Rocks lay scattered all over the plains, as if discarded. That’s when I found out about the diet of the mysterious karst. They eat the rocks! The flat plains were strewn with the remains of their meals. Granite rocks showed the marks where the karst had chewed pieces and spit them out.

The karst has been eating this rock, look at the large tooth marks.
 

Other rocks were crushed and all that remained were a few crumbs.

We wandered through the plains filled with wonder.
Rocks lie amid the salt, how did this happen?
A Karst footprint?

Was this real? Have we stumbled upon another world? Even the plants
were different. Rubbery, they had the feel of an artificial plant.

 

I had to have a rest, worn out from all my wondering.

The place was crawling in insects of all sorts. The black flies were the most annoying,  getting under our glasses and biting. It was time to get out of this strange and mysterious place. No wonder it is a Unesco World Heritage site. It is like no other place I have ever seen. I am  happy to leave, it is too spooky and scary for me. I wonder why they call this place “Wood Buffalo National Park” and where are all the buffalo? We did not see even one. Have they all been eaten by the karst? I wonder.

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