Dinosaur Country!

Today was another road trip day with Gary and Jody! We headed into dinosaur country!!!!!!!

Before we could do that, though, there were some errands to be run in the Calgary area, including picking up a part for their trailer, and stopping at three RV dealerships to ask if I could leave some promotional cards for Full-Time RVing in Canada (all said yes, certainly).

Jody asked each dealership if they had toy hauler motorhomes and one had a Newmar Canyon Star. The salesman, who just happened to have been a Glendale Royal Classic seller back in the day, was really eager to get me into this rig! It was a nice rig, of course, being a Newmar, but it wouldn’t have worked for me since the garage was too small.

In between the dealerships, the Roving Deli opened for business. Gary had BBQed some really nice chicken breasts (among other things) last night, and they became very delicious sandwiches!

Mid-afternoon, we finally headed out to Drumheller. I’m saying finally only because we had left Lethbridge at 8:30! It ended up taking us about six and a half hours to do a drive that would have only taken an hour and a half or two as the crow flies. We could have gotten to Edmonton in that time! Ah, that’s what happens when RV enthusiasts start looking at rigs.

Shortly before Drumheller Jody turned to Horseshoe Canyon, an amazing place where the prairie literally drops away. It’s like my beloved Chasm, you wonder where the heck this hole comes from!

We arrived in Drumheller in very late afternoon, much too late see any attractions, but I made my list for when we come back later in the summer! The town is surprisingly seedy-looking, very rough and worn down. I imagine it looks better in the height of the tourist season when everything is open. We made a stop at the tourist info centre which is home to the biggest dinosaur in the world. We paid the $3 to climb the one hundred or so stairs to the top so we could see the view from the mouth.

After, I suggested we do the route to Wayne that takes you through eleven bridges in four miles (just over six kilometres). It’s a neat circuit since each bridge is different and the scenery is beautiful. There’s nothing after Wayne, though. This route is suitable for all but the largest RVs since the height clearances on the bridges is at least five metres (16.4 feet) and there is space to turn around tightly after the last one when the road widens and turns to dirt.

Next stop was the Star (coal) Mine Suspension Bridge. It’s not very high up over the river; I’ve actually jumped off of a taller bridge into a river. Needless to say, this one wasn’t hard for me to get across at all.

Following that, Jody took me to see the hoodoos, which are neat sandstone columns with a cap on them, all naturally sculpted of course.

We came back to the van and I put in an order at the deli for sandwich fixings without the bun since I’d overdosed on potato chips and I got a nice plate of chicken, cheese, and crudités. Aren’t I spoiled, what with a driver AND a personal chef? I should also add that in the morning I got a nice container of honeydew melon and my supper dessert was some of the best oranges I’ve had in ages. I only say this because Jody’s invitation to come today was about a paragraph long. They really don’t need to sell me on a road trip! 😀

It was getting really late by this point, with our at home ETA being 9PM, but there was still one more detour to do: Dinosaur Provincial Park so I could see the fabled Badlands! This is an area where more dinosaur remains have been found, and more species, than anywhere else in the world! It’s a World Heritage Site. Between that and Horseshoe Canyon I have to say that I continue to be astounded by the variety of landscapes in my country and how many treasures it holds. RVing is the only way to travel in this country and do it justice.

We descended into the campground and Jody followed a road that does a circuit behind it that really takes you out into the scenery, including a few places where a structure was built around dinosaur remains. What a great way to show off the fossils in situ. The campground is in a fantastic location; I’d love to spend a weekend there.

This was only a taste of dinosaur country and I can’t wait to explore it in greater depth! Thank you once again to my local guide and chef! 🙂

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3 Comments

  • You’re touring my old stomping grounds! These are the places we cut our RVing teeth on when the kids were little. We have some great memories….
    If you haven’t been to Milk River Provincial Park yet, you must put that on your list. It is down adjacent to the US border near Sweetgrass and is in a canyon as well. There are great hoodoos and petroglyphs available to see with native guides for interpretation. We saw our first Diamondback rattler here!
    It is also a great river for a lazy float on a hot summer’s day.

  • […] of hours before our guided tour of the rock art, so we explored the hoodoos, which really put Drumheller to shame! The Blackfoot who traveled this land felt it was sacred and the place thrummed with its […]

  • […] pictures look a tad familiar. Indeed. Today was much like being back in the Alberta Badlands around Drumheller or Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park. The hoodoos here look different, more like Bedouin tents than […]

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