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