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!”
For years, my last surviving Uncle has asked me to visit him in Chilliwack, British Columbia (I had flown out when I was a teenager), but it was time to go again. So figuring that we would be driving all the way, I said to my husband that I also wanted to go to the Yukon, after all, it would be unlikely we would ever have the opportunity again. My husband, having worked at the hospital for over twenty-eight years, has earned seven weeks holidays each year, so I suggested he take five of those weeks. He, of course, thought I was insane, and was not completely convinced he wanted to drive that far, so I needed a ‘hook’ to get him on-board. It didn’t take long for us to come up with the ‘hook’ – enter Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta
The trip was on!
Day one, Total kilometres to ferry 300.
We were both agreed to arise around 4 a.m. but the husband thought he would be a really sweet guy and let me sleep in, this as it turned out was bad idea, as I forgot numerous things while I tried to finish packing everything in a half-hour, have coffee, get dressed, etc. Both of us were in the car at 6 a.m., said our goodbyes to the young man who would be left in charge of the house, my vegetable garden, and most importantly our two dogs. I think my husband drove about an hour and a half when he realized he forgot his wallet! No driver’s licence! Quickly phone the young man, who thankfully is still at home rather than on a trail walking our dogs. I ask him to drive an hour to highway 401 and 6, where we, in turn will drive an hour back, and meet him at the car park. This normally would not be such a big deal but we had booked ourselves a spot on the ferry from Tobermory, Ontario to South Baymouth, Manitoulin Island.
On the ferry from Tobermory to South BaymouthOnce on Manitoulin Island the plan was to meet up with fellow Blogger Christine, who had graciously offered to be our host, show us around the island and even put us up for the night.
Christine, her husband and daughter gave us an amazing tour of Manitoulin Island. One of our first stops was Bridal Veil Falls for a wonderful swim.
Next was a visit to Manitoulin Chocolate Works, then dinner at The Trough. Later, exhausted from the whirlwind tour of the island, Christine put us up for the night, and our first good night’s sleep was well earned.