The next morning Doran and I drove into town to check out the Information Center. I was looking forward to visiting the store as I wanted to purchase some maps, brochures and checklists for the various trails and wildlife species in the park. Normally I order these in advance to figure out the best trails to see wildlife and where to find specific species, but their online store has been down for the last six months. This was a source of frustration to me, as I had had much happier experiences ordering from Algonquin Provincial Park and Point Pelee National Park.
To say that the Information Center was a disappointment is an understatement. The only checklist they were able to provide me in the store was a bird checklist. At the information counter I asked the girl if there was a naturalist or park interpreter available, but there wasn’t – apparently the naturalist is at a different location in the park each day. So I asked the girl about the best spots to find birds. She had a bit of an accent which I couldn’t place, so when she looked at me and asked what I meant, I said, “Birds. Oiseaux.” She clearly wasn’t French and didn’t understand my translation. Instead, she thought I was saying “Bears” and pointed out a few places on the map where they had been reported. Finally Doran made a flapping motion with both hands, and she turned to ask the other fellow at the counter about birds. He recommended the trails around Cottonwood Slough and Pyramid Lake. I thanked them, but I didn’t bother asking about good places to find western butterflies or dragonflies.