outside the saloon
5th - 6th June Where: Drumheller, AB Highlights:
Canadian badlands, Hoodoos, Camping, Old towns Mileage:
300 km Weather:
24C - 7C
This is the place I wanted to visit when I got to know about the area, even before the Rockies. Desert landscapes always take the cake(to me). I was pretty excited to be here. We have never been East, at all.
With the Pacific in the W, we could always never go on all directions when we were in CA. The very fact that I can go in all 4 directions(& actually do it) brings joy in itself.
Drumheller was not the first choice. Our plans changed in the 11th hour(it never has, & this totally excites me) as Drumheller seemed a better option to get campsite without reservations.(When was the last time we visited anywhere without reservations??? Close to like NEVER!)
Drumheller is a quick 125 km drive from Calgary. We had never seen those much raved farmlands & ranches outside Calgary. We were happy & excited also to get out of the rain zone.
As we headed down the valley towards Drumheller, we were greeted with the badlands on either side of the
highway. We headed to the Information center in Drumheller - also the residence of the "World's largest Dinosaur"
We headed to River Grove Campground
across from the Dinosaur. We liked the place & instantly found a site. S waited so long as we set base. She saw the playground when we entered & immediately informed that she would be there(& any of us concerned could follow her duly, which we did).
We took the Hoodoo trail down to Wayne. And pretty much stopped everywhere along. This road, 10x winds to the town of Wayne over 11 suspension bridges over the Rosebud river. At Wayne, we were gladly disappointed to see a Salon & a few houses instead of a big town. The forecast called for "Isolated showers" & Ganesh reminded me that we were pretty isolated. No guesses to what happened. But it did not deter us. At Wayne, in an attempt to take a shot with a different perspective, I had some serious encounters with the local mosquitoes. They let me go after a series of attacks. Not a bit of fun. Tour Drumheller
We continued our way to Atlas Coal mine. With a toddler, we were
recommended to take the train tour. But the weather turned cold, windy & wet. So we dropped the plan. At the Hoodoos, obviously the most crowded of the spots along the trail('trail' also means 'road' in Canada, for whatever reason).
Fortunately the weather cleared & we walked up & above the Hoodoos. S walked the easier sections & not-so-gladly accepted for a ride up the difficult portions. I climbed up almost to the top to get a better view & that was what I got. I so recommend it.
We wanted to wait out the clouds for sunset, but sadly feared that we would not be able to see the sun set with so many clouds.
Back at the camp ground, the Sun shone in all its glory. Ganesh offered to drive back to the Hoodoos, but me & S enjoyed watching the bunnies being fed at the camp ground.
S reached out to each bunny individually. "Hello Bunny. How are you?" She got a sniff as an answer which she proudly enacted to both of us.
The highlight of the day would definitely be my reading. S loves her sleeping bag. With every passing night, she becomes more proficient
in sleeping nice & warm. All night long, she was well inside & if I peeped in, she would say, "mmm cold a iruku". Well, so far so good. She slept on her own while I was reading. Sunday
10 hrs sleep. Long time since that happened, at least to the parents.
After winding up, we took the Dinosaur trail(~45km RT). Some pretty neat view points, lots of sun & mosquitoes too! God, I hate when I am the target, every single time. For unknown reason, Ganesh never gets bug-bites. It is not that I want him to be bit, but he makes fun of me all the time.
We spent some time at the Bleriot Ferry area. S spent some time at the river & I spent some time with a bunch of squirrels & their underground tunnels. Bleriot Ferry is pretty cool. One of the last 7 functional cable ferries in Alberta.
Horse thief canyon, the next stop turned out to be the icing on this drive. It is enormous, beautiful & stretches as far as the eye can see. Though I would've much benefited from being here during sunset, I still felt happy being here.
And this is where we learnt that "Canola" actually means "Canadian Oil"
. Bummer! But, honestly, we learnt quite a bit about the crop here. It is grown largely here(Drumheller valley, AB, Saskatchewan & in Manitoba)
Back at Drumheller, it was way too hot for all of us. So we hit the Rotary Spray park where S & Ganesh had a blast.
There are so many painted Dinosaurs at almost every nook & corner of this town & S had so much fun calling out to them, "Big Dinosaur, Kutti Dinosaur". But I think her favorite is the largest one in town, the T Rex.
After a relaxing time there, we headed back home. We have allocated the Tyrell Museum
for another trip by itself. I am sure it would be fun for the kid in us too.
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