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Saturday 27 July 2013

The Badlands

Time for another installment of our trip to Canada...

When you think of Canadian landscapes you tend to think of snowy mountains, lush pine forests, fertile green farmland etc. The image of badlands (harsh, dry environs unsuitable for farming) don't tend to spring to mind. Well, at least not when you think of the southern parts of Canada. But sure enough Canada has badlands and over the past few days we were visitors to such a place.

Now I must point out that what we saw of the Canadian Badlands was much less arid than most farmland we've seen back home in Australia. But I guess that by Canadian standards the land's not so good!

The Canadian Badlands are located east of Calgary. After driving for a few hours through some of the greenest farmland I've ever seen we arrived in the Badlands and the town of Drumheller. The change of scenery is quite sudden. The green and yellow of endless canola fields gives way rocky formations striped through the ages in shades of brown, red, white and black. The scenery is spectacular, quite like something that you'd expect to see in Utah - although on a much smaller scale, I'm sure.

Canadian Badlands

Our main destination in Drumheller was the Royal Tyrell Museum, or the Dinosaur Museum as the girls have been calling it. I'll post more about the museum later but for now I wanted to share some of the amazing scenery with you. Part of our visit to the museum included a short hike through the surrounding badlands where many fossils, including dinosaurs, have been found. The scenery is amazing and quite unlike anything we're used to seeing. There were even a few small hoodoos, capped rock formations, quite like a mushroom. Here's a look at the sights on our little hike.


The girls and I

Lola and I

Ava hikes along the trail

Stopping for a rest

The girls with Kim

Ava hiking ahead

Just hanging in the Badlands

Two little hoodoos

Crazy jumps

Family shot

There always a jump shot where these two are concerned

I love the Badlands!

On our second day in the Badlands we woke to some truly bad weather. A thunderstorm had set in over the area and we were met with heavy rain, thunder and lightening. We had planned on taking a short drive east of Drumheller to see the Hoodoos and maybe a little hike in Horseshoe Canyon to the west on our drive towards Banff. The thunderstorm brought an end to those plans. Heavy rain, slippery terrain and small children don't go so well together. Add in the lightening strikes that appeared to be rather close and it was all just looking like a recipe for disaster. We gave up on viewing the Hoodoos and started on our drive toward Banff, our next destination. Horseshoe Canyon is located just off the highway we travelled on and we were lucky to have a break in the weather as we approached. While there would be no hiking for us there today we could still take in the views from the top of the canyon. I must point out that it was a pretty speedy photo stop. The rain may have eased however the lightening was still crashing rather close. Too close. Now we're not a tall family by any means, but standing on the top of a canyon, surrounded by flat plains we were the tallest objects around and therefore a possible target for lightening strikes should the storm come a little closer! The girls were terrified of the lightening (rightly so) and rushed back to the car screaming upon hearing the first thunder crack.

Horseshoe Canyon

Lola covers her ears after a loud thunder crack

Ava was pretty scared of the thunder too

Horseshoe Canyon

Horseshoe Canyon

Horseshoe Canyon

Horseshoe Canyon

Braving the weather for a photo in Horseshoe Canyon

The girls happily played in the car while we took in the views

After our quick stop at Horseshoe Canyon we headed off towards yet more spectacular scenery; the Canadian Rockies.

But before we get to the Rockies, here's a look at yet another sight that we're not used to seeing; an oil derrick.

Oil derrick

Oil derrick

The next installment of our trip will be coming soon...

1 comment:

  1. Hey,
    Nice post..
    Maybe we can follow each other..!!
    Keep in touch


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