Days 9 & 10 our last day in the badlands, then off to Calgary

Yesterday was awesome, we spent the day walking trails, and just resting in the beautiful sunshine. Without trees on our campsite, there was no way for Matt to hang tarp to provide some shade. He did do his best attaching two very large umbrellas on the roof of the RAV4, but by the next day I was pretty sure, my eyes were sun burnt. I should have been wearing my sunglasses for protection. I learned the hard way, my eyes were quite sore for a good week afterwards.

A photo showing the umbrellas on our car in effort to provide us with some shade.
Though there is some shade provided from the tree at the next campsite, it quickly disappeared, thus umbrellas on top of the car.

Before we left for Calgary, Matt hiked up a large mountain, I stayed at camp, packing up, knowing I would not be able to complete that particular hike. The video he shot really showed how wide-ranging the badlands are, covering 8,086 hectares.

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Mileage 3625 kilometres. We took a scenic drive towards Calgary because I wanted to make a stop in Drumheller to visit a few stores. Matt wanted a dinosaur shirt, and ended up buying one that glows in the dark. He has a thing for t-shirts with animals prints.

Here are a few pictures from the day:

Driving towards the Canadian Badlands.
The Canadian Badlands
Matt making a funny face standing in front of a dinosaur statues (Note, the animal print t-shirt, he has a thing for them).
In Drumheller, where dinosaurs roam. Well, actually there are just many statues. Note, his animal print t-shirt!
The prairie sky, Alberta
Prairie sky, Alberta, Canada
A red grain elevator in Dorothy, Alberta
Red Grain Elevator Dorothy, Alberta, Canada
Rain clouds in the distance, Alberta, Canada
Rain in the distance Alberta, Canada

We arrived in Calgary in no time at all. The main reason for visiting Calgary was to see my lovely friend Nicole, owner and writer of Girl in a Boy House.

Nicole and I at Nose Hill Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta
Nose Hill Natural Environment park with Nicole and Barclay

Neither Matt nor I have ever been to Calgary, so Nicole drove us around, giving us a brief history of the city, then it was off for a walk in Nose Hill Natural Environment Park with Nicole’s dog Barclay. In the background are the Rockies. After our walk, we headed back to Nicole’s, where she took the time to make us a nice meal. Soon her husband arrived home from work, and the evening was spent having a few drinks, and chatting. It was an early night for us though, excited about reaching our next destination.

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Towards Alberta, more prairies, then the badlands Day 8

After foraging for Saskatoon berries to add to my morning porridge, we packed everything up again, and started our travels towards Alberta at 8:47 a.m. – destination Dinosaur Provincial Park, mileage 2510 kilometres. 

Before driving off to Alberta, we stopped at the Tourist Information in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.Welcome to Moose Jaw signn

The World’s Tallest Moose at the tourism office in Moose Jaw.

Moose Jaw Moose with Matt
World’s Tallest Moose

While in the tourist information centre, Matt met a couple who were carrying their pet parrot in a cat carrier case, they wanted to know the temperature for the day. They were concerned it would be too hot for the parrot. We thought this a bit odd since they were travelling in a trailer which most likely had a working air conditioner. The excitement for the morning.

Driving towards Alberta, the landscape of the prairies started to change. Instead of the beautiful canola, large white deposits were seen covering the ground – Potash.

Potash along side of highway
Potash covering the ground.

As we got closer to Dinosaur Provincial Park, the landscape changed drastically. We had entered what is known as “the badlands“. You can read more about the Canadian Badlands on National Geographic. We reached Dinosaur Provincial Park at 3 p.m. on July 8th, kilometres driven 3403. We had an electrical site, site #75 with an unbelievable view, but not one tree for us. We were pretty exhausted after our day of sightseeing, driving, setting up the tent, cooking dinner, but we naturally found the energy for a walk before bedtime.

Our campsite #75
Our campsite, #75, Matt tried to attach our two umbrellas to the roof of the SUV for some shade. By mid-afternoon the shade from the tree across the road, had a

Waking up in Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site is like stepping back in time. Our alarm clock in the morning were the sounds of howling coyotes. The morning was spent walking as many of the trails possible before the heat really set in.

I don’t even know how to describe the landscape, it was just so different from anything I seen in Canada, having travelled much of the east coast, Ontario, and Manitoba. As we puttered around our campsite, and walked the trails we were warned to be on the look out for rattlesnakes, black window spiders, sinkholes, and oh scorpions! Sadly the only wildlife we did see were plenty of birds, and one deer.

Landscape Dinosaur PP
Dinosaur Provincial Park
Can you spot me?
One of the trails in Dinosaur PP
One of the many trails, where in certain spots there are wooden bridges to walk on.
Matt in Dinosaur Provincial Park
Matt hiked this trail early evening, it was a long trail to reach the top, and I decided to stay at camp knowing it would have been too long of a hike for myself. He sent me a text when he reached the top so I could snap this photo.
Another view of the landscape
Another view of the landscape. We had hiked down to the river, but we were unable to go for a swim in it, due to cow patties, apparently there were cows grazing upstream polluting the water. We were very, very tempted though considering the heat.
A cottonwood tree
The Cottonwood tree quickly became a favourite of mine with such distinctive bark.
Dinosaur bones
Dinosaur bones in the museum.
Doe in Dinosaur PP
One stunning doe!
A picture of a magpie
Our first Magpie. They were all over our site, and others, they seemed to enjoy picking out the dead insects in the grill of vehicles.
Magpie in flight.
Magpie in flight.
The Badlands Alberta
The Badlands.

On the day we were to leave for Calgary, Matt drove up to the camp office to purchase some ice for our cooler, only to have some old guy say to him “you know there is a shovel on your roof?” Matt’s reply “Again!”

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Off to Saskatchewan, Day 7

We started the day driving at 8:35 am, mileage 2475 kilometres, with the goal of reaching Buffalo Pound Provincial Park. Friends of ours, had warned me that the prairies are just plain boring, and after driving for a few hours, we would want nothing else but to be done with them. Well, we found the exact opposite, the prairies are radiant, the acres and acres of canola were glowing amongst the grasslands and the bright blue skies.

The prairies in Saskatchewan
The prairies in Saskatchewan

As we drove towards Buffalo Provincial Park, the landscape changed dramatically, we were once again overwhelmed with the beauty.

Buffalo Pound Provincial Park
Buffalo Pound Provincial Park

Campsite #22 Shady Lane, at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park
Campsite #22 Shady Lane, at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park

After setting up our tent, having some lunch, we were ready for a swim in the lake. The lake is 35 kilometres long, and 2 kilometres wide. When you first enter the water, we had to walk through quite a bit of seaweed, gross, but once in the water, we found it very cold and refreshing. As usual, Matt was far braver than I in the water. I basically ran in, quickly dunked myself, than ran out faster! It was cold!

Matt swimming Buffalo Pound Provincial Park
Matt swimming Buffalo Pound Provincial Park

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