Well my time in Alberta for the summer is quickly comming to an end. On the 6th of August I had my last day off, and the plan was, of course, an adventure. The original plan was to just go to Drumheller, but as I was reflecting back on my last trip, I decided I couldn’t leave only doing 9 of the 10 top things to do in Alberta, if I could peg off the last one. So I ammended the trip to include a stop at Dinosaur Provincial Park, another UNESCO world heritage site. I wonder how many UNESCO sites I’ve now visited… I’ll have to look into that one (and get back to you).
I must say my drive to Drumheller was the most scenic, prairie drive that I’ve ever taken. I decided that instead of just driving along the highway, taking the most direct and quickest route, that I’d explore some of the ‘back roads’. I charted my course; and ta da…
The drive from Red Deer to Drumheller was not much longer than if I would have stuck to #2, but it was so beautiful. I should have stopped to take some pics along the way, but there is no way the camera could have captured the beauty; and I had worked all day, so just wanted to get to a bed… Lol
There were rolling hills, there was bad land, it was just all together beautiful.
I also got to ‘visit’ my second buffalo jump this summer (although I did not stop to explore, just; drove close). Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, is something that I think I’d like to go back and explore. I also think maybe I’ll have to canoe along the river from Red Deer through to Drumheller, or maybe even Dinosaur Provincial. Ginger are you game?
Most of the drive I felt that I had no idea where I was. I was beautifully lost, without really being lost. I caught myself saying a few times “Where the F# am I?”
As I got closer to Drumheller I did stop to take some photos…
One of the reasons I picked this route was so that I could experience one of the seven ferry’s that are operated by the Province of Alberta. The Bleriot Ferry crosses the Red Deer River just north of Drumheller on the Dinosaur Trail. It is a 105 m crossing which takes only moments. It was something unique to be on a cable ferry, of such a short span. I really enjoyed talking to the ferry operator.
Because I had previously been to Drumheller (You can read about it here; and see pics) and wanted to go to Dinosaur Provincial, I decided just to spend the night, and not take any more pics. The next morning, I was up bright and early and on my way to Dinosaur!
My sister, always liked Dinosaurs growing up, and I couldn’t help but feel a little guilty being here without her.
I was really disappointed how much more was offered in the park than what was described on the parks website. I really did only have about 4 hours in the park, so when I was trip planning on the website; I decided that I’d hike the 5 self guided trails. They were not too long in length; aprox 5 Km all together. I had a good opportunity to explore and see some different terrain, and think about the discoveries that have been made in the park. The trails were beautiful, and rather desolate. I only saw a few people while on the trails; although there were lots of people in the park.
Susan’s favourite dinosaur was always the triceratops. So I took a few pics for her of the triceratops displays inside the discovery centre.
Outside, they had a few protected; partially exposed, excavation sites. These were cool, to stop and think this is the process in excavating the many fossils and specimens throughout the park, in Drumheller (most of them come from Dinosaur Provincial) and elsewhere. Maybe I’ll have to bring Susan back on an excavation tour, as they do these…
Again, what is a trip with me, without a plant pic. This little pine made me very happy. Can we say ‘Natural Bonsai”?
This tree was really impressive. It was monstrous huge.
I had a great drive back and felt rejuvenated for the last 13 days of work.
There were lots of great activities to end the summer training and commemorate the closing of Penhold Air Cadet Summer Training Centre.
The Sunset Ceremony, Wings Parade and Graduation Parade were the highlights for me. The Commander of the Royal Canadian Airforce; Lieutenant-General Blondin was the reviewing officer for the final grad parade of PACSTC. I left the grad parade feeling humbled and honoured.
It’s hard to believe that cadets have trained here for 48 years. I can not even fathom the number of cadets that have come through the doors of Penhold in those years. The number of people who experienced excellence in training. The number of people who went off, as better Canadians because of that training, because of the experiences gained, and the friendships made. However, as ‘one door closes, another opens’ and I can’t wait to see what exciting opportunities are offered next.