Up early and out in good time as we wanted to stop at a place along Route 9 heading toward Calgary for a hike. Horseshoe Canyon was supposed to be a super place for a hike, but the entrance stairs were under construction and no-one was allowed down into the canyon… all dressed up and nowhere to go. I also thought the I would fly my drone but there was a stack of unfriendly signs and one of them stated that this was a ‘No Drone Zone’. Out of luck all around, but it was a good place to finish off our Tim Horton’s coffees.
And the view was pretty nice too, just wished we could have hiked down into the canyon. Back on the road and into a fierce headwind (gas economy dropped considerably) we rolled over the hills and dales as we were back in the grasslands again. The main crops seem to be beans and wheat, with an occasional bright yellow canola field to break up the landscape. Shortly we were back on route 1, and traffic started picking up as we approached Calgary. Turns out that Calgary is a huge city, I guessed it was about the size of Boston, quite wrong, it’s twice the size of Boston!
We wanted to go up in the Calgary Tower, a tourist attraction like the Space Needle in Seattle or the CN Tower in Toronto. It took us another minute or two to find a parking spot and I almost got in trouble in a parking garage that didn’t have the height to accommodate the box on top, I turned back at the last minute and made my way out of the garage without incident. . we found a spot elsewhere. A short walk later and we were taking the elevator up to the observation deck for a 360 degree view of Alberta. As we were approaching Calgary we could see the Rocky Mountains in the far distance, they looked much closer from up in the tower.
One section had a glass floor, and at 600 feet above the sidewalk it kind of makes your heart skip a beat as you step out on the glass. Carol would have none of this nonsense and kept her distance. From the tower we walked over to 8th Avenue which is closed to traffic and apparently the main shopping area downtown. It was bustling busy and, as a matter of fact, the whole city seems to be bustling. The economy seems good here, lots of cranes in the skyline, always a good sign. We did some walking and some shopping, and eventually made our way back to the car and off to Fort Calgary the original home of the North West Mounted Police, later to be known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This ‘fort’ is a great reconstruction of the original barracks for the NWMP, the originals long ago removed from the site and rail lines were put in as oil became an important commodity in Calgary, and grain and coal… Calgary became a city. It was in the 1990’s that this land was reclaimed for historical reasons and the fort was rebuilt over the course of several years. We had our lunch there at the fort, and then moved on the the Big Rock Brewery hoping to get a tour, but, no tours today - so we got some beer instead.
Below is a gallery, Click any image for a larger view.