Well back to Alberta and into the city of Grand Prairie. Thursday 24 August and we drove straight to Grand Prairie Rotary RV Park but this time we had site 32. The park is clean, quiet and the lady who runs it is a real sweetheart. We had a different site this time but same area.
Didn’t do much today except……….we went to a Brewery, Shocker ! It was called Grand Prairie Brewing, original name huh? I wasn’t keen on their 2 lagers but Clint liked their amber ale.
Up early and left for Edmonton Alberta. We stayed at Shakers RV Park. Nice park, quiet with full hookup for $41 a night (site 32) We had read bad reviews about the lady who runs this park but she was okay with us. The park is up for sale though, maybe sold already.
Went to the West Edmonton Mall today, what a huge place. And I hate shopping so not sure how I ended up here at this place and not a brewery. It is pretty spectacular though, they have a lot more than stores. We walked all around the mall and they have a pirate cove in the centre of the mall with little pirate ships. You can pay $1 to drive these little remote control pirate ships around the bay. And so we did because really how could you resist? Pretty cute.
So after the excitement of walking past dozens and dozens of stores, we left to go to Fort Edmonton.
This is a unique outdoor park; they have 4 sections depicting 4 different eras of towns. 1846 – Fur Trading Years; 1885 – Settlement Era; 1905 – Municipal Era; and 1920 Street. This place is great and you can take a train all around if you like. We chose to take the train to the very farthest end and then walk back through all the streets. We were there about 3 hours, lots of things to see and do. Would recommend a visit to this Fort.
The next day was sunny and 26 celsius so we headed to the Muttart Conservatory. The conservatory consists of 4 big glass pyramids of flowers and plants. They have a Canadian pyramid, arid, tropical and temperate. The 5th pyramid joins the other four together. It costs $23 each to get in I believe. It’s an interesting place and to see the different climates and what plants they have to offer was interesting.
We thought we would go to the Legislative Building but parking is expensive and even though we could pay, sometimes we just don’t want to on principle alone. It was $7 an hour which I think is ridiculous for a large city. time for lunch so we went to Beer Revolution and sat outside to eat. It was okay but I would try something different if I were to go there again.
Leaving for Drumheller today ! Dinosaurs, I’m excited.
We decided on 11 Bridges RV Park to stay in, it’s in Rosedale which is maybe 7 minutes from Drumheller. We drove past tons of little ponds and lakes filled with ducks and Canada Geese and had to drive through Drumheller to our campground. We were at site #24 in the back for $40 a night. Very quiet and private sites. There was not many people camping.
We set up and then we headed to Drumheller to the Visitor Centre where they have the Worlds Largest Dinosaur ! She was huge. You can walk up inside of her via 106 stairs and look out her mouth, 12 people can fit in her mouth. She is Huge, 26.3 meters tall and 4.5 times bigger than a real T-Rex. She weighs 145,000 lbs and is 46 metres long and cost over a million dollars to build.
We drove to the end of town and up the airport road, not much there. But nice scenery nonetheless !
We then took a drive on the one loop through the Badlands to Tyrell Royal Museum. Quite impressive – lots to see – all about dinosaurs. You will spend a lot of time there, the building is huge.
On this road there is a tiny church that seats 6 people. Just kind of in the middle of nowhere, really cute. I decided to take Digby and Trum inside and have a little chat. They were the perfect size for this Church, you can see the backs of their little heads as they sit quietly and listen to me.
We then stopped at Horsethief Canyon – looks like something out of the Old West. Beautiful landscape.
We stopped at Orkney Viewpoint next for a view of the river. You can take a ferry over to the other side. It takes about 5 minutes and it’s free. We were the only ones on it.
We decided to drive the road down past our campground to the Last Chance Saloon in Wayne but it was closed. It was supposed to be open until 10 but it is only 7 and they closed early for whatever reason. We will try another day.
The next day we were up super early, Tuesday 29 August. It is in low 30’s celsius and sunny. We drove to the HooDoos and walked around for a while taking photos. Such unique landscape, not as unique or as much of it, as the Badlands in South Dakota, but still pretty cool.
We drove to the Atlas Coal Mine and did a tour. The tour was $20 each and Sam was our guide. We did the Tipple Tour which takes about 45-50 minutes. This is the building and area where the coal comes out of the mountain. We walked all through the buildings and watched a really good 20 minute movie on history of this area and place. You can do a tour and go into the mountain but we did not do that one.
We went to East Coulee and into the old school museum. They have a little cafe there called the Will Tea cafe and we had our lunch of sandwich and soup. This is an interesting place to, all the history in this area, quite interesting.
We ended up back in Drumheller and walked around downtown taking photos of the dinosaurs they have here and there throughout the area.
We ended up going back to Wayne to the Last Chance Saloon for dinner; we were giving it a second chance. Yay ! It was open and might I say, quite the unique place. they have a patio and bar area out back so we decided to sit there. Typical bar food but it was good and the people were friendly. Kind of divey but you know I like those kind of places, they have character. they had saddles on the bar stools at the bar outside, kind of cute.
The next day we went back downtown Drumheller to the Doll Museum. Cute little place $5.50 each to get in and tons of dolls and displays. Surprisingly interesting. After that we went into the Badlands Historical Centre and it was donation only. this is a pretty big place, bigger than it looks from the outside and also quite interesting. They did a really good job on the displays.
They also have a Treketc Museum which just opened in March 2017. We met Michael Manglobe the curator and he showed us around. You can probably guess from the name of the museum what was in the museum. He has all authentic props and costumes from Star Trek and various other TV shows and movies. The displays are incredible and you can tel from speaking with him his passion and dedication to the displays and all the details he has put into it. I would highly recommend this. Just a terrific place. He even has Mimi’s dresses from the Drew Carey show ! It was $14 each to get in. Reasonable indeed.
It is stinking hot today which is good, I like the warm weather and tomorrow is supposed to the same, mid thirties and sunny.
I could not believe the road into Dinosaur Provincial park, the drive is so-so until you get a few kms out and then Bam ! What a landscape, unbelievable. Just great scenery. We ended up on site 519 for $36 a night. There was only 2 sites left after we registered. Busy, busy place. There is also a $12 registration fee. We set up and then drove around the area. We did the 3 1/2 km loop through the park and Clint saw a rattlesnake and we saw a rabbit. This part of the park is very quiet. The whole time we were at this park the temperature was 20-35 Celsius. Hot ! and no rain.
We have a beautiful site and it’s also very quiet. No wonder it is such a busy park, just beautiful here. Our site has a pergola and a fire pit and behind us there is nothing but “Badlandey” looking mountains, well, hills I suppose.
We drove out to the Lookout and got photos at the Park sign. The Visitor Centre was charging $6 each to get in but you are a Visitor Centre. They have these displays they want you to pay to look at, yeah you have displays and so does every other visitor Centre we have ever been in…………..But it’s because it was a satellite of the Royal Tyrell Museum I guess. So we had been to the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller so we kept that $12 and went our merry way !
They have guided hikes and bus tours that you can take as well.
The next day was sunny and 30 Celsius so we did the 3.2 km drive again. Even though it was stinking hot, we parked and decided to walk the trails. We did the Badlands Trail which was about 1.3 km and took about an hour, we stop a lot to take photos and take in the views. We did the Trail of the Fossil Hunters, 1 km which was about an hour walk. However, we went the wrong way and walked way up high on the hills and then we could see where we made our error on the trail. Although in our defense, with the landscape the way it was and poor signage, it is quite easy to get led astray. But we certainly didn’t mind, it was a great hike and unique landscape and we probably enjoyed it more than if we had stayed on the elusive trail. We spotted a deer in the middle of a little gully; this region is almost desert-like so it seemed odd to see a deer. We saw a couple of rabbits too.
Then we walked the Cottonwood Flats trail which goes down to the river, 1.4 km. Two pileated woodpeckers were flying from tree to tree, I just love them. We could not get close enough to get any really good shots.
We went out later that evening to do the drive again, it’s a wonderful drive, you can walk it too. We saw about 12-14 deer and 2 were fawns. At one point two moms and two fawns were all playing together, so cute. As we went around one curve in the road, we spotted movement out in the field. Lo and Behold there were cows walking around. Odd to see cows wandering around a Provincial Park.
This park has gnats, I think that’s what they are. I was wearing shorts (cause it’s stinking hot remember?) and my legs gotten eaten to bits. I had red dots all over my legs, I looked diseased and it took quite a few days to go away. So note to self, if you go there, take bug spray or bundle up like the Michelin Man. They didn’t seem to bother me at our site. But on this one evening drive we stopped the truck and while we were standing on the road taking photos, they were nasty. The worse part is that you don’t even know they are there. I just happened to look down and saw hundreds of black dots on my legs. They did not itch or hurt at all, just looked disgusting…………….moral of the story is – take bug spray to Dino Park !
We arrived at Wildrose RV Park in Medicine Hat and were given site 96. Okay place, mostly seasonal but it’s right in town behind McDonalds. The man running the park was nice and he was always out cutting grass etc. We set up and heard there was a brewery so off we went. Stop judging……………..lol
Medicine Hat Brewing Co was terrific. Chantal and I forget the other girls name were super nice and friendly. The girl whose name I forget is thinking of moving to Eastern Ontario which is where we are. Or possibly she was going to Niagara area. I should have kept in touch with her.
We got talking about our traveling and all our trips and I told them about my Blog, Trumstravels and of course they wanted to meet the legendary stuffed monkey. Well legendary in my own mind I suppose; so they asked Clint to please go out to the truck to get him. They loved him………..honest. We ended up buying a growler of lager. Trum finished off my beer, you know what monkeys are like………………well maybe not but you know now.
We left there to go to Hells Basement brewery and we did like their beer a little better than Medicine Hat Brewery. The people there were also friendly. We got talking to the girls behind the bar and also a guy named Gerald who was sitting beside us at the bar. We had a great visit with them all and Clint purchased a growler of mango IPA. He doesn’t even like IPA but he did enjoy this one.
The next day, still hot, 33 Celsius and sunny, we drove to Windmill Gardens, supposed to be a butterfly house. It was also a greenhouse I guess. We didn’t see anyone for the longest time and then we saw one staff and they walked right by us and the place honestly was kinda dumpy so we chose not to pay $9 to get into the butterfly house which didn’t look too great. We love the one in Niagara Falls but this one, not so much.
We drove to the Visitor Centre as Google said there was a Light Infantry museum at that location. The Visitor Centre lady said you have to call them and they may or may not open the museum. Odd. The Visitor Centre lady was also odd….. bordering on rude. She asked if we knew what the ** Red Coat trail was and we said no and she said we obviously didn’t go to school in Canada or we would know. Because every Canadian knows about the Red Coat Trail. Say What? Then she complained to us because she had to work in the winter. uh huh………… I worked every winter for 38 years, no sympathy from me lol. Anyways, on the bright side, she gave us something to talk about on the next long drive !
**So the Red Coat Trail is approximately 1300 km taken by the North West Mounted Police (Royal Canadian Mounted Police now) to bring law and order to the Canadian West. The trail ran from Fort Dufferin, Manitoba to the Old Man River in Southwestern Alberta where they established Fort Macleod. We did not learn of this in Ontario so maybe it’s a western Canada thing. But she won’t trick me again because now I do know. So take that Visitor Centre Lady.
We had heard about Medalta, a pottery museum. Very cool building and the kilns outside were so unique. The museum was $12 each to get in. It was a unique place. We did not go in the museum, you can walk around most of the building and the museum appeared to be mostly clay pots and whatnot so we declined.
So now it’s Monday and another bright and sunny day. We are on our way to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. This park is unique, half is in Alberta and the other half is in Saskatchewan. Not too many people at this park, we were in an area pretty well all by ourselves.
We registered for Firerock Campground, $36 a night with hydro at site A32. We decided to stay only one night. We were going to stay 2 nights but they told us that with the exception of the campground itself, the rest of the park was shut down due to a fire watch. We had wanted to do the drive through the park to Fort Walsh and continue on from there but weren’t able to do that. The roads were all closed.
There is a lake in this part of the park and it was only a short walk from our campsite.
We did check out all the other campgrounds and saw a hawk and some cows. This is the second provincial park that has cows ! We stopped at the Visitor Centre, store and restaurant. The store and restaurant closed at 3 so we weren’t able to go in. We went for another short drive and a walk and that’s about it.
Now it is Tuesday and we are leaving for Saskatchewan for Grasslands National Park