Writing-in-Stone Provincial Park

Writing In Stone PP

This was our last stop in Canada for the night.  We all stayed in a group campground among the cottonwood trees right next to the Milk River at the Writing-In-Stone Provincial Park.


We all went on the tour of the park that took us to the petroglyphs.  Our Blackfoot Indian guide took us to the various spots where there was writing.  She would explain the meaning of the writings and also got into a lot of detail of life for the Blackfoot Indian, both past and present.


The petroglyphs are difficult to see thru the camera lenses so I hope you can make them out.


There were also names and dates carved into the rock by the people of this territory who were not Indians.  They decided to leave some of the early ones in place as it told of the people who settled here many years ago.  There was also a bit of graffiti as well which they would remove.


This is considered to be the last petroglyph that depicted how difficult it was to get to these rocks.  It was made in the early 1900’s and shows the trucks the Indians used to travel to this spot..


There are many hoodoos and different types of rock formations throughout the park as you can see.



Here we all are having our Happy Hour right next to the Milk River.


Picture Hike

Then I went with Linda and Carole to get some nice pictures.  I saw some really nice flowers.




Plus some neat rock formations.



I brake for snakes

They have a motto at the prairie Provincial Parks that they “Brake For Snakes”.  Our Indian guide explained to us that the prairie rattlesnake is becoming extinct.  We were on a trail taking a lot of pics of the area when Linda spotted a big bumble bee.  I was trying to get a pic of it so I stepped off the trail a few feet.  I got this pic.


As I was walking back to the trail I just happened to look down and this guy was napping about a foot from me.  I was very lucky I didn’t step on it.  It scared the you no what out of me.


Then I got these two pics on the way back.


DSC_0564This was a great day even though we were only spending one night there.  Tomorrow we will be crossing the border back to the good ole USA.

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Provincial Park

We drove 166 miles to stay at our next spot.  The day started out with a light shower but ended with beautiful sunshine.  Our destination was the Dinosaur Provincial Park about 45km from the small town of Brooks, AB.

 Most of us arrived about 1:00pm and waited in their parking lot.  We were told we could not go into the camping area until 2:00pm, when the other campers were supposed to leave.   At 2:00pm we all caravanned into the group camping area we were assigned, but unfortunately the previous campers had not left.  In fact they weren’t even ready to leave.

We called the ranger and he notified them that they were supposed to leave.  It took us another hour for them to leave and us to finally get settled in.  If any of you are planning on staying at an Alberta Provincial Park I would suggest that you not even get there until 4:00pm.

 I have a beautiful site with lots of sun for the solar panels and the Badlands in the distance.


Chica and I were napping in the afternoon when Linda came pounding on the door telling me to come out and check something out.  It was John and he was on a very high spot overlooking our campground.  I hurriedly grabbed my camera and we both hiked up to meet John.  This was our view from up there.


This is the plateau we were on.


And this is a pic of the river.


Coulee Viewpoint Trail

The trail we were hiking is called the Coulee Viewpoint Trail.  It is only .9km long, but climbs to ridge tops with beautiful views.  We even saw some hoodoos.


Since it was late in the day we decided to come back in the morning and hike the remainder of the trail.  Again we had spectacular views.





Here is a pic of the river as it winds it’s way through the campground.



Hiking among beautiful rock formations.

The rock formations were really great!




Lots of nice flowers

Several different types of flowers were in bloom.  These pics are a bit out of focus because of the wind blowing at the time.



Another bonebed

Later John and I hopped in the car and drove a loop trail that wound through the Badlands.  They had displays of bone beds where the dinosaurs were actually found and left.  They enclosed them in a glass house so you can look in and see them.  It was neat to see them in the original state as they found them.



I have never truly been interested in dinosaurs that much and I probably didn’t get much more information then watching the movie Jurassic Park.  But these last 4 days have really peaked my interest.  Being able to travel through this area known to have many dinosaur fossil grounds was really something.

I know these pics do not really do it justice, as you really have to been here to see the scope of it all.  But I hope you also were able to enjoy them as well.

Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum

Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum

If you are ever in the Drumheller area you MUST see the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum.  Don’t expect to get through this in just an hour or two.  It is huge and would take several days if you were to stop and read all the signage.

It was Senior Week in Canada and since I am an old fart I got in for nothing.  That’s right!  Nadda!  That made it even better.

The first thing that greets you when you enter the displays are these guys.



Then they show you how dinosaur fossils are found.



This was an employee who showed us the meticulous job of chipping away at the rock that was surrounding the fossil to finally expose the bone.  He used a very small tool and it takes extraordinary patience.


Dinosaur Hall

This is the dinosaur hall where you will see actual dinosaur skeletons assembled as they really are.  It was a fantastic site and there were many different dinosaur types from many different ages.  All these were found in the Drumheller area of Alberta.




There was even an undersea dinosaur display.



There were many more on display in the Dinosaur Hall.




Heavy bones

The Tyranosaurous Rex display was particularly interesting.  The hip bones were lying on the floor since they had such enormous weight they could not hang them.  Instead they recreated a hip bone that was used instead.


This is a triceratops.



This is a pic of a bonebed much like how the bones are actually discovered.  They map out the entire area before actually removing the bones.



Aside from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, this has to go down as one of the finest exhibits I have ever seen.  As I mentioned previously it is a MUST see.

Grand Tour of Drumheller

Drumheller, AB – Land of the Dinosaurs

Our next stop on our fabulous tour through Alberta was Drumheller, AB.  Prior to this trip I had never heard of this town.  But anyone who has studied dinosaurs is sure to know of it’s existence.

We were camped at the Dinosuar RV Park within walking distance to the entire town.  It was a nice campground with plenty of washers and dryers.  Here is a pic of my site.


We are going to be here 3 nights so we had time to do the laundry as well as relax..  Chica offered to help me with the wash, but I couldn’t get here to fold the socks.


Drumheller Tour

The first full day we were here many of us decided to go on a tour of the area, which was offered by the RV Park for $25.  They had a bus that carried us to many unusual sites in the area.  Our guide had lived here most of his life so could answer our many questions.

Our first stop was Drumheller’s Little Church.  It would seat 10,000 people but only 6 at a time.


OOPS, wrong picture!



The next stop on our tour took us to Horse Thief Canyon where a local tour guide met us.


The views were awesome.



Then we crossed the Red Deer River on the Bleriot Ferry.  It was named after Andre Bleriot who homesteaded here around 1904.  A homesteader could buy 160 acres for only $10.  I sure wish you could do that now.  What a bargain!!!


Then we proceeded to an overlook of the Red River Valley.  What a view!


Up close with the Hoodoos

Then we traveled through Drumheller to the other side of town where we saw a fantastic display of hoodoos.  You could walk among them and see them up close.




A wiggly suspension bridge

We then all hopped back in the bus and drove to the Star Mine Suspension Bridge.  Miners used this bridge to get to the other side of the Red River and the coal mine .




Lots of buffalo

The last stop on our tour was at a ranch that raised buffalo.  These were the females approximately 2 years old weighing approximately 850 lbs.  They were very curios as you can see and started walking toward us.  They are probably saying to each other, “humans have to be the weirdest thing I have ever seen”.  They walk on their hind legs and talk way too much.


Then we headed back to the RV Park.  It was a great tour and I would highly recommend it to anyone passing through Drumheller.  The next day we planned to visit the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum.  It is known as the most famous dinosaur museum in the world.  I will cover that in my next post so stay tuned

Jasper to Edmonton and on to Miquelon Provincial Park


Jasper is a great little town all nestled in the Rockies.  It finally stopped raining and we had a great couple of days there.  We stayed at the Jasper/ Whistler Campground just a bit out of town.  It is a huge campground and we all stayed mostly in one loop making it nice for our happy hours.


One of the great benefits of staying here is the many elk we saw close up.  We were told that they stay in the park with their young to keep away from the bears.  The pictures were great of the elk close up.




The second day we were in Jasper it stopped raining and turned out to be a beautiful day.  I took a few pics in the town.




We enjoyed ourselves visiting all the quaint little shops in Jasper and we finally were able to use the Internet at the Visitor’s Center.  I wish I had Wi-Fi at each campground as it would be so much easier to keep up with my posts, but unfortunately that is not the case.  Sometimes we would not have any Wi-Fi for several days.

Beaver Boardwalk

After Jasper and on our way to Edmonton in the town of Hinton we stopped at the Beaver Boardwalk.  There is a boardwalk that winds through the wetlands and is the home to many beavers.  We didn’t see any beavers but saw evidence of their dams everywhere.




It had just started to rain so the pics are a bit dark.

Edmonton and the huge Edmonton Mall

We made it to Edmonton and camped at the Glowing Embers RV Park, which is a huge campground about 8 miles from the mall.  It was the biggest campground I have ever stayed in with over 700 sites.  Many of the sites were occupied by permanent residents and there were RV’s of all shapes and sizes.  They had Wi-Fi but to get  a highspeed connection you had to use the arcade next to their office.

We were there 2 nights and on the first full day many of us visited the Edmonton Mall, which is supposed to be one of the biggest mall in the world.  Big is not a good name to describe it.  HUGE is much better.  We only were in about 1/3 of the mall and we saw many things you would never find in a mall.

There was a huge children’s play area.


A gigantic pirate ship.


A indoor swimming area complete with huge water slides.


then there was the full size hockey/skating rink.


Victoria Settlement

After leaving Edmonton our journey headed for the “Iron Horse Trail”.  We stopped at a small settlement know as the Victoria Settlement.  We were given a great tour of the entire settlement by a student guide.  She told us many of the details of how life existed when the settlement was first formed.

We started by watching a short video in a church that was built in 1906 about life in the settlement.


then she took us on a very informative walk around the entire settlement.


This is the clerk’s quarters built in 1864 and still standing in it’s original spot.


The tour lasted 2 hours and then it was on to Whitney Lake Provincial Park.  This was bear country and it we opted not to use the electricity as it was only a one night stay.  One thing I may have forgotten to mention is that it stays light until 10:00pm.  That was very hard to get used to.  This is a pic of my site.


Miquelon Provincial Park

The following day we drove 186 miles to the Miquelon Provincial Park where we had a group site for all of us.  They had an nice room indoors where we all participated in a great potluck dinner.  It was a good thing we were indoors as a huge thunderstorm hit the area at the same time.




We all had a great time and stayed nice and dry, but we had to make mad dashes to our rigs it was raining so hard.

Lake Louise on to Jasper

Lake Louise

After our stay in Banff we made the short trip over to Lake Louise.  It is only 36 miles from Banff to Lake Louise so it was going to be a short driving day.  That was fortunate as it looked like the weather was going to go bad on us at any time.  We decided to take a side trip to Lake Moraine.  It is a small lake very close to Lake Louise.  This is the scenery on the way.



Lake Moraine is a beautiful little mountain lake among all the high peaks.  It was quite a drive up there and I found it difficult to park as there were so many RV’s.  But with the help of John I was able to finagle into a spot and then we made the short hike down to the lake.  There were a lot of people visiting there including several bus tours.


It was still partially frozen although I would not think it wise to walk on it.



Then it was on to Lake Louise.  We drove to the Lake Louise Chateau where I had stayed many years ago on a ski trip.  It was just like I remembered.  Unfortunately it was very cold and raining so took these pics from inside the hotel to keep the camera dry.  When I was there last I couldn’t see the peak of the mountains surrounding the lake and it wasn’t any different this time.



Here is a pic of yours truly standing where the river meets the lake.


And here is the camp site where I spent the night.  Our entire group was parked further back in the campgrounds, but the ranger made us move because it was a pathway for the bears in the area.


On to Jasper

The next day it was off on a 144 mile trip to Jasper.  It rained the entire time we were driving.  What a bummer as I know we missed some great scenery of the mountains as we drove.  We did stop at this pullout to take a few pics and this pretty much shows what we were able to see the entire trip.


Then we stopped at the Bridal Veil Falls to take some more pics.


Linda saw a man coming out of the woods who mentioned some other falls not to far away.  So off we went to get some pics.  The water was roaring down the side of the mountain.



Then the water dropped down the cliff to the river below.  I was able to get this pic from the edge of the cliff.  Too bad I couldn’t get a pic of the water fall going over the cliff.


I took this pic out of the window at about 8,800’ elevation.  There was a huge grade we had to climb to get to this spot.  That is John and Linda in front.


Columbia Icefields

Then we made a quick stop at the Columbia Glacier.  I remember the pics my father took when they visited here many years ago.  This is the bus that can take you onto the glacier.  It had huge tires.  We were able to see a bus way up on the glacier.


Sunwapta Falls

Our last stop before reaching Jasper was at the Sunwapta Falls.  That was really spectacular.  The pics do not really do it justice as you really need to be there to see the power of the river.




I haven’t been able to post as often as I would like, but Wi-Fi up here is either poor or non existent.  The park I stayed at for this post was extremely slow until you walked up to a room next to the office.  So I will do the best I can when WiFi is available.  My other excuse is that I are just busy doing things or sightseeing.  Sorry!

Banff, AB Canada

Lots of wet weather

We headed off in the morning to Banff.  It turned out to be a wet overcast day the entire trip.  Fortunately we only had to drive 68 miles.  Unfortunately we were unable to see many of the mountains surrounding Banff.  We stopped on the way in Canmore, AB.  We found some RV parking and decided to get out and check out the town. 


 I passed this guy who was very frigid but found a different method to stay warm.  Not sure I would try this myself. HA!



We had a fabulous lunch at Mountain Mercata and got out of the rain. Afterwards we walked around the town some more and I was able to get these pics.  It was cold and wet!



Then we were off to Banff.  We are staying at the Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court which is a huge park just on the outskirts of Banff.  It rained like crazy when we arrived but soon after it stopped and I was able to take these pics.



I got a close up of the same mountain with my telephoto lens.


Weather is getting colder

The weather here in Banff is colder so I got out the electric heater and the Wave 3 is on low so the rig stays very comfortable for both myself and Chica.  When I take her out I make sure she has her coat on.  Although it is a battle to get her to wear it, I am sure she is much warmer then without it.  We are going into Banff ans spending time just sightseeing.



Cochrane, AB Canada

Up the Cowboy Trail

We headed north on Highway 22 known as “The Cowboy Trail”.  We are now out of the mountains and into the rolling hills.  There are many cattle ranches all along the way.  Our destination was Cochrane, AB just west of Calvary.

On the way to Cochrane we stopped at the Bar U Ranch Historic Site.  They had a very impressive statue on the lawn.  The Bar U works in cooperation with Parks Canada to preserve and present ranching history.


They had several horses that both Chica and Sadie were very interested.  The breed was a Percheron, which are draft horses almost like a Clydesdale.  They were very friendly and almost wanted to play with the dogs.

Here is Chica barking away at them.  She thinks she is just as big as them. HA!


Sadie is trying to figure them out as well.  Our should I say they are trying to figure out Sadie.


Lots of kids

Just after we got there a school bus drove up with a bus load of kids. They were Mennonites children of all ages.  They all jumped out at once and were very well mannered and polite.  That was a pleasant surprise with so many kids.


The ranch had a small horse drawn wagon which Chica really enjoyed.  Do you think she may have been brought up on a ranch rather then the back alleys of Mesa, AZ?  She was right at home.


Bow Riversedge RV Park

We had made reservations for one night only at the Bow Riversedge RV Park.  We had full hook-ups for about $35.  It is right next to the Bow River on the edge of town in Cochrane, AB.  I would highly recommend it.


Just after arriving the clouds opened up and we had a good rainfall.  Then it cleared up in time for our happy hour.  Then it rained again for a short time right around dinner time.  Thus far we have had great weather throughout the trip.  It is nice and warm in the sun and then it cools down at night making for great sleeping.  This pic was taken a couple hours before sunset.


Off to Banff in the morning

Tomorrow we will have a short trip to Banff where we will spend a couple of nights.  It should be a very easy day driving.

Crowsnest Pass

Our first overnight in Alberta

We stayed at the Crowsnest Pass RV Park for two nights.  That gave us time to do some sightseeing in the area and washing dirty clothes as well.  We have been doing a lot of driving everyday and a break in that schedule sure is nice.  It gives you time to relax a bit.

Frank’s Slide

We drove over to the Frank Slide Interpretive Center.  Frank’s Slide is Canada’s deadliest rockslide. It occurred on April 29, 1903 when 30 million meters of limestone from the summit of Turtle Mountain came crashing down on the town of Frank.  It covered much of the valley below and many people were killed.  These are pics taken from the Interpretive Center.




This is a great view of a snow-capped mountain in the distance.  No I have not painted my LD.  It was another member of our group.


We saw two movies in their theater.  One covered the history of the area and the other was all about the slide.  They were both very interesting.

Hillcrest Mine Disaster Cemetery

Then we were off to the Hillcrest Mine Disaster Cemetery.  This was a very large cemetery for all the local people.  It also paid tribute to the many miners that were killed in the coal mining mishaps.




This cemetery has been here for a very long time and many of the very early grave-sites were caving in.

Washing clothes and relaxing

Then it was back to the rig where we washed clothes and just plain relaxed.  I am not sure what the temperature was but it was very nice out in the sun.  I looked at our mileage since we left Salida, CO and John, Linda and I have traveled 1,788 miles.  Much of it was day after day so it felt very nice to just sit and gab.

The RV park only has two washers and two dryers so everyone was busy.  We had to get change as the washers took two loonies ($2) and the dryer took one loonie and two quarters($1.50).  I am not sure why they were using quarters for the dryers, but that is what it is.

Starting to get used to some of the exchange rates and the Canadian currency, but still have a long way to go.  I will probably have it figured out by the time we leave Canada. HA!

Cochrane, AB

Tomorrow we will be traveling up Highway 22, which is known as “The Cowboy Trail” to Cochrane, AB.  It is only a short trip of 141 miles so should get there in no time.  We will be in cattle country.

Start of the Canada Trip

Good bye Baker City, OR hello Winchester, ID

We started our trip into Canada at Baker City, OR.    We went through Hell’s Canyon on the Salmon River.  What a site! Sorry but I don’t have any pics as my co-pilot (Chica) was too busy sleeping.  It is a place I would love to return to some day.

One of two stops before crossing the border was Winchester Lake State Park.  It is a beautiful spot and would be a great spot in the summer months where you could enjoy the lake.  Day 1 – 268 total miles.

I got confused and went down a frontage road used by the park crew.  There was no place to turn both my rig and the toad so it was the first spot I had to disconnect in order to turn my rig around.  Fortunately I have got the process of connecting and disconnecting down so it didn’t take me long at all.

This is a pic of my campsite and a another of several LD’s in their sites.




Chica was cold

It was cold out so Chica wore her stylish leather coat.  It helps to keep her warm and she does not object too much when I put it on her.


We took a walk down to the lake and Chica even went out on the dock.  However she does not want to go near the water.  I can’t really blame her as it was very cold.



Second Day – Farragut State Park, ID

Our second day we drove to Farragut State Park just south of Sandpointe, ID.  This was a huge state park with lots of loops and campsites.  Most of us were able to park in the same loop. Day 2 – 179 total miles.

Once I knew I was going on this trip I made reservations for the Idaho State Parks since we were going to be arriving there on Memorial Day weekend.  It is a good thing as both parks were filling up.  At Farragut State Park there were a lot of families pulling in with all the kids bikes and toys.  Canada celebrates their Memorial Day at a different time so we did not have a problem with reservations at any of the Canadian parks.

I only got one pic of my campsite at Farragut.


Crossing into Canada

On Saturday we crossed into Canada.  During our meeting at Baker City we had all discussed what we could and couldn’t bring across the border.  I was a bit worried that I had too much wine since John, Linda and I had bought wine at all the wineries on the way to the rally.  We were going to split up our wine with some others who were not carrying any, but decided at the last minute that we would just chance it.

The line at the border was very short.  I was right behind John and Linda.  I was asked if I had any liquor and I did tell her I had 4 bottles of wine.  She did not even ask me about Chica (who was sound asleep on my lap), but I had her papers to show just in case.  The crossing was very easy and took less the five minutes.  The customs people were very friendly.

Just after crossing the border we decided to stop and take a break and let the dogs out.  We were now in British Columbia.



I bought Chica a new coat at the Petco in Lewiston, ID.  She really doesn’t like it since you have to put her legs through it, but I’m sure she will get used to it eventually.


Crowsnest Pass RV Park

After crossing we drove to Crowsnest Pass outside of Bellevue, Alberta.  Most of the time we were in British Columbia until we hit the Alberta border.  The Rocky Mountains up here are spectacular and there is no way to describe it.  I will get many photos of it before we leave so our first priority was getting to our campsite as it was a very long day.  Day 3 – 255 total miles.

The GPS had us driving through the center of Coleman which is right next to Bellevue.  We finally found it and got settled in.


Happy Birthday Nikki!!

It just happened to be Nikki’s birthday so we celebrated with a cake and ice cream.  It was the first time we all got together as a group on the road and it was a lot of fun.


That is Nikki in the middle cutting the cake.


We will be here at the Crowsnest Pass RV Park for two nights so we plan on seeing some of the sites and museums in the area.  This area is know for coal mining and includes some natural as well as man-made disasters.  It should be a fun day.