The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

25 June, 2015

Alberta's badlands - Drumheller

We were the only passengers who boarded at Cranbrook so sat up the front and had a good chat with the driver.  Was good for me to sit back and enjoy the scenery as we had not travelled between Radium Springs and Banff previously on our RV tour.  We took on another passenger at Kimberley and as we drove out of the town we noticed a number of police cars and the bus driver saw a fully armed personnel on the street path.  As it turned out we were lucky to drive through as a siege was commencing and the road was closed behind us!  Most of the trip to Calgary the discussion revolved around what we had seen and the passenger who boarded in Kimberley kept us informed via frequent updated phone calls to his wife!!  Both driver and passenger had never seen anything like this in the area before - how do you think we felt, as never seen this sort of fire power before in Australia!

After a pleasant ride arrived in Calgary mid afternoon and had a great reunion with Briony at the bus depot.  Caught taxi back to where she lives and looked forward to spending 3 weeks quality time with her.

Our first road trip was to Alberta's Badlands and Drumheller in the Red Deer valley, also known as the Dinosaur capital of the world.

On the morning of the road trip Briony and I headed to the car rental to pick up a vehicle and we were fortunate enough to be offered an upgrade which we couldn't refuse - a Mustang convertible!!  Only thing is, we forgot we had to go and pick up Helen and 3 into a convertible was cosy to say the least! Briony was entertained watching her Mum getting in and out of the convertible at every stop!

Hels checking out the stallion at Horse shoe Canyon

Not sure who was the most excited, I had to concentrate on the road

How cooooool is Hels

Quite different country side to what we have seen in Canada - lots of grain and canola crops

Drumheller and the Badlands are approximately 110 km northeast of Calgary in the Red Deer River Valley. The drive in this area is so different from the Rocky Mountains we had been traveling through. With open plains and a clear sunny day it was a great drive, especially topless in the convertible.  The Mustang was humming and responded well when I put the foot down however the story from the back seat was somewhat different.  Hels reckons she was getting a face lift and could not talk as the minute she opened her mouth the wind rolled her lips back as there was no windshield protection in the back!  Kept her quiet for a while anyway!

Dorothy Catholic Church, which is directly opposite the United church... oh yes just happened to capture the ride in the piccie.

Sunset at Dorothy B&B 

Inside the restored Catholic Church - the fittings have been donated by locals and other churches.
After passing through Drumheller and a quick look around checking out the information centre which housed the biggest dinosaur statue, we headed towards Dorothy to stay in a B&B about 25 km south of Drumheller.

The B&B cottage was built in1902 

The gate to the ranch and the B&B overlooking the Dorothy Grain conveyer.

Dorothy has a small population and two churches which have been restored by the local community. Linda who runs the B&B also took us for a tour of the town.

This cottage is one of the early settlers relocated to Dorothy, built from timber which floated down stream.

Inside the cottage Hels was impressed by the kettle

Catholic Church 

United Church 


For dinner that night we went into Wayne and had hamburgers at the Last Chance Saloon in the Rosedeer Hotel.

Rose Deer Hotel and Last Chance Saloon 

Ride'm cowboy at the outdor bar


On our journey back from the pub we passed the Hoodoos. The Hoodoos are eroded pillars of soft sandstone rock topped with a resilient cap. The cap protects the softer rock underneath from eroding as quickly as the surrounding rock. Once the cap deteriorates the pillar is more vulnerable to the elements and subjected to rapid deterioration.

Hoodoo pillars


Getting some helpful information from one of the local dinosaurs in Drumheller 

This is the biggest dinosaur I've ever seen .... find Hels and Briony 

Atlas Coal Mine
Drumheller was named in 1913 after Colonial Samuel Drumheller who brought land and started coal mining in 1911. Drumheller or the Red Deer Valley is also known for the dinosaurs. In 1884 while looking for coal deposits J.B.Tyrrell came across a dinosaur skull which today is known as the Albertasaurus. This was the beginning of what is known as the Dinosaur capital of the world. This is no surprise as when driving through Drumheller there is a dinosaur on every corner and the biggest one in front of the information Centre.

The Royal Tyrrell Museum


Horsetheif Canyon

The Little Church

Not big people, a little church.

Bleriot Ferry across the Red Deer River. The ferry has an elevated cable to stop you going downstream 

Picnic lunch near the ferry


Red Deer Valley looking south towards Drumheller 

The second day of our road trip was spent touring around the Dinosaur Trail enjoying the various lookouts before heading back to Drumheller where we stayed at another B&B and enjoyed a great meal at the Sub Lime restaurant.

I think Hels was happy when the Mustang slowed down!!!

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