S: Alberta ~ July 1-10, 2011
FC: The Knight | Vacation to Alberta | Alberta | Ontario | B.C.
1: CANADA DAY!! There is no better way to spend Canada Day then starting our journey to Alberta! | We were up with the birds for our 7:00 am flight to Alberta, flying out of Hamilton. The flight was smooth and uneventful. It didn't drag on too long...of course I did have a row all to myself. We gathered our luggage and rental car without a hitch and started our journey!
2: En route to Drumheller | What a beautiful day! Blue skies as far as the eye can see. Driving to Drumheller the landscape was very flat, so when we rounded the corner to the badlands...WOW!!! What a difference. | Friday, July 1st 2011
4: Welcome to the Badlands! Drumheller, AB
5: Midland Provincial Park. This was an old coal mine back in the day. It was like being dropped into a different world...the landscape was so different than anything we've seen before.
6: On our way to find the Atlas Coal Mine we found this Ghost Town called Wayne, AB. Apparently it is used as a movie location, because it is so deserted. After a drive along a very winding road, crossing 11 bridges we finally reached the town. During the coal mining days, this town had a population of 2490...now there is a population of 27! It was certainly an odd town. However, we were a tad disappointed as it wasn't as "ghost town" as we would have hoped
7: The Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site is one of the most complete coal mining museums in Canada. Coal mining was hard, dirty, dangerous work. Mining in the Drumheller Valley, however, was less hard, dirty, and dangerous than it was in many other coal mining regions in Canada. This was due to both lucky geology and lucky timing. Between 1912 and 1966, Drumheller produced 56,864,808 tons of coal, making it one of the major coal producing regions in Canada. The beginning of the end for Drumheller's mining industry was the Leduc Oil Strike of 1948. After this, natural gas became the fuel of choice for home heating in western Canada. | Atlas Coal Mine
8: Miner's residence | It was really interesting touring the mines...very dark and damp too. And dangerous.
9: Our Guide | Quite the view...it was a long way down
10: A hoodoo (also called a tent rock, fairy chimney, and earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. They typically form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations. | The Hoodoos | Still July 1st
14: This was amazing....a wonderful experience. It was like being in the desert. You could really feel the heat. A true wonder and sight to behold. The boys had a great time climbing up the hills, Dad stopped them though, he felt it was too high. Boys were not impressed!
15: After the Hoodoos we grabbed some dinner at the Cool Castle, then checked out the suspension bridge. Well, that was a full day, up at 5:00 am to get on plane to Alberta, drive to Drumheller, hike the Midland Provincial Park, check out the "ghost town", head to Altas Coal mine and hike around the mines, then to the Hoodoos for a while, dinner then the suspension bridge. Phweff! Let's go to the hotel!! We all fell asleep around 9:00 pm Alberta time.
16: After almost 10 hours of much needed sleep we were ready to be on our way. Another busy day ahead. We visited the World's Tallest Dinosaur and took in the surrounding area from the mouth of the T. Rex. Afterwards the boys had some fun playing in the water before heading to the Royal Tyrrel Museum. | Saturday, July 2, 2011 | The World's Tallest Dinosaur
17: What a view!!
18: Royal tyrrel museum | WOW!!! What an impressive collection of dinosaur bones & fossils!!! We signed up for a fossil casting workshop where the boys made a cast of a fossil that they had already found on site. They were able to take it home with them. We also signed up for a 90 minute hike/find called Dinosite, we went on a hike of the badlands and dinosaur bones were pointed out to us along the way. Each family on the hike was able to search for fossils and bones on a dried up river bed, we were not allowed to dig anything up, it is against their law to do so. We found a dinosaur rib! We spent the entire day there, so much to see and do. What a terrific museum!!
19: The fossil above was found by a bunch of kids fishing, the bones above the cement casing was above the ground, I believe. Now that's cool!! | The boys standing next to the leg of a tyrannosaurus rex! | A lot goes on behind the scenes at the museum. A woman demonstrates how they very carefully excavate bones. And the lab where bones are encased in plaster and bandages to keep them safe from breakage.
21: We were not allowed to excavate to search for fossils, we just found what we could on the surface. Lucas found this fossilized rib. We also found some fossilized wood. I could only imagine what we would unearth if we were allowed to dig! | COOL
22: On our way back to the museum our guide took us to see Rusty...She's a Madrosaur fossil sticking out of the earth. Because of the chemicals surround her the fossils have taken on a rusty coloured appearance. | Taking one last look around before heading off to Canmore
23: En route to Canmore | July 2, 2011