Today started off with a bit of a disappointment. We knew we are in the ‘badlands’ of Alberta but it all looked the same as the prairie of Saskatchewan, maybe a bit more rollie pollie, but pretty much the same. We had decided to skip Dinosaur Provincial Park and head to Drumheller to visit a the Royal Tyrrell Museum, a museum of dinosaurs, and then move on to Calgary. But like I said, gently rollie pollie hills and grassland. Then we came to one of those roadside signs with the truck pointing downhill and the world changed.
We came over the top of the hill, before us was the most amazing moonscape badlands you have ever seen. This is a long downhill and the earth changed with ever second of forward motion. We were both giddy with excitement. We pulled into town and stopped under the world’s largest dinosaur at the information center. After talking with the information lady for about 5 minutes we decided not to move on to Calgary but to spend a couple of nights here in Drumheller, there is just so much to see and do.
Next stop was the Royal Tyrrell Museum, and again we both were amazed. First of all this is absolutely a world class museum way out here in the badlands of Canada, and worth a drive from anywhere to visit. This is an area of the world where the remains of dinosaurs are found, in abundance, new species are discovered on a regular basis. T-rex roamed here 70 million years ago, and stegosaurus 165 million years ago, and all the others who’s names I can’t remember and couldn’t pronounce anyway. They are all here, in the museum.
Most of the remains in the museum are the original bones, some are casts, but most are original. I could spend weeks here. It makes our place in the world seem small. The dinosaurs rolled the earth for hundreds of millions of years and man has only been around for about three million years, bunch of upstarts. The museum goes on and on and is more interesting with every turn. This is a first class place, every display is so well done, and the research that is ongoing here is also amazing. Who knew there are so many paleontologists working today, but were are and many are right here in Alberta, Canada.
From the museum we hiked up a hill on the museum grounds to a viewpoint overlooking the valley. This is truly an amazing geography. There rest of the day was spent exploring. We had lunch out on a hill overlooking the valley and were immediately surrounded by prairie dogs who wanted to eat our lunch too, but being the manly man that I am, I was able to keep them at bay. Some more exploration and we found a place for the night, washed the car, got some ice, did the laundry and found a great neighborhood pub for supper. We had local beer from Calgary and burgers of Alberta beef. We got back to the hotel after nine and watched the sunset over the valley from our balcony, and we could see ‘the worlds largest dinosaur’ at the information booth off in the distance. What a great day. I took well over 300 photos and had to narrow down a selection for the blog. I was up late sorting through all the images, hope you enjoy the selection. And of course mixed in are our iPhone photos as usual.
Click any image for a larger view.