Gros Ventre, here we come

We left Bakers Hole and traveled into Yellowstone National Park on the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Highway (US 191).  We would never want to stay in the Park because of the crowds.  The scenery, however, is well worth the drive.  And, Sadie was right there in the passenger seat watching everything go by.

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We continued on the 191 and entered Grand Tetons National Park on our way to Gros Ventre, where we spent time with our LD friends, Jane/Ron, Ken F., Dave/Sandy, and Bruce/Jan.  The weather was nice, we got our favorite spot (at half price with Golden Age pass), and saw buffalo and moose.

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We stayed at Gros Ventre for 2 days and then drove home on a route we had never taken before, and will probably never take again.  We drove out of the park via Moran Junction and then drove on the 26 through Wyoming to Casper, where we spent the night.  This was another Passport America campground called Fort Casper, but it was big and noisey. We would never stay there again.  Much of the road was boring, but right out of Riverton, we saw some beautiful scenery.

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We then decided to drive all the way home the next day, passing through Cheyenne, WY and then Fort Collins, CO.

We left home on May 12 and got home on June 19 – 39 days on the road.  It was good to be home.  This will be the last post until we head out again the end of July.

An Amazing Site in Clyde Park, Mt.

As we were driving on Hwy. 89 N, the scenery was very pretty, but the roads were very bumpy.  All of a sudden we came to Clyde Park, and what did we see, but hundreds of cows being herded through town, right down the middle of the road. There were steers, cows, calves, and cowboys.  We couldn’t believe our eyes, and Sadie was going crazy.

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After that amazing site, we continued on the 90 SW to the 191 S into West Yellowstone where we stayed at one of our favorite places, Bakers Hole.  The scenery on the 191 was amazing.

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Another border crossing and the end of our time in Alberta

On June 14 we again crossed a border, but this time back into the US at the Coute Border Crossing in Montana.  Everyone got through without a problem  All the rigs except ours, were headed to Glacier National Park for two days.  We decided not to go there as it would have been 160 miles there and another 160 miles back to start home.

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We said good bye to everyone and headed towards Great Falls, Mt.  This has been a great trip, with wonderful people, and we want to thank Pete and Dian Reed for putting together this fantastic trip.  From Great Falls we headed to White Sulphur Springs, Mt. where we stayed at the Conestoga Campground, a Passport America site.  It was nice and afforded some great views.

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Writing on Stone

Our 22nd day of travel in Alberta, we drove 113 miles to Writing on Stone Provincial Park.  This was located very close to the Canada – US border.  We were in a group site that held 10 rigs, but it was nice.

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We all took a bus tour that took us into a private area where our guide, a Blackfoot Indian lady told us about her family history, and the history of Writing-on-Stone.  It is a sacred landscape that has a special spiritual significance to the Blackfoot people who have hunted and travelled these Great Plains since the beginning of time.  Abundant First Nations petroglyphs, and pictographs, cover the sheer sandstone cliffs, protected as a living legacy of the spiritual connection between Blackfoot people and this place.

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A North West Mounted Police outpost was reconstructed near its original location.  Now in the park’s archaeological preserve, it is a glimpse into NWMP peacekeeping activities and daily life in the area from 1887 to 1918

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In the evening, Carol, Jim and I went out a photo shoot to take pictures of the beautiful scenery in this area.

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Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

On June 11 we left the valley of the Red Deer River and drove 145 miles to Fort MacLeod, where we checked into Daisy May Campground.  This campground had lots of trees, hookups, but very poor internet.

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We stayed here in Fort MacLeod for two nights because there was so much to see and do.  The historic town has been designated a provincial historic area by the Government of Alberta.  You can see the Empress, Alberta’s oldest operating theatre, and the Fort Museum, a former Northwest Mounted Police outpost.  The most interesting thing we did was to visit the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that honors the amazing history of the Blackfoot Aboriginals who dominated this land for hundreds of years.  First we visited the Interpretive Centre and walked around four floors of Indian History.  We saw a wall with many Indian pictures, which is shown here.  Also, there was a display of a replica of a buffalo jump.

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Next we walked outside of the Interpretive Centre and saw a real Buffalo Jump area and a  teepee that depicts what the Indians lived in.

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After seeing the Jump site I still wondered why Head-Smashed-In in the title.  So I did a little research and found out that a long time ago, according to one legend, the people were driving buffalo over the sandstone cliffs.  A young brave wanted to watch the buffalo tumbling past.  Standing under the shelter of a ledge, as if behind a waterfall, he watched the great beasts fall.  The hunt was unusually good that day and as the bodies piled up, he became trapped between the animals and the cliffs.  When his people came they found him with his skull crushed by the weight of the buffalo carcasses.

Not a very pretty story, but it tells of a practice by native people on the Great Plains for nearly 6,000 years.

More Dinosaur History

We drove 106 miles to Dinosaur Provincial Park and what a beautiful place this is.  We could spend a week here.

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The park is situated in the valley of the Red Deer River, which is noted for its striking badland topography.  The park is well known for being one of the richest dinosaur fossil locales in the world.  There are lots of hiking trails above the campground, which cross through the badland topography.

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Drumheller and Dinosaurs

On Day 15 of our trip, we headed from Miquelon Provincial Park to Dinosaur RV Park in Drumheller, AB.  We traveled on the Boomtown Trail (AKA the Architecture Alley) , which is about 222 miles long.  The route took us through rolling green hills of farmland and oil wells.  The roads are really bumpy because they haven’t fixed them from the winter snows.  We were driving on a long, straight road and we came across this big downward area, and then back up the other side.  Very strange.

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We arrived at the campground in Drumheller and were placed in a section all together, and away from other people.  Unfortunately it was situated at the corner of two streets, one the major one into the town, so kind of noisy.

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We stayed here three days and on the first day we took a 3 hour bus tour around the area to get familiar with what Drumheller had to offer.  First thing we came across was Sadie’s next mode of transportation!!!

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Driving on we came upon the Little Church.  It was so cute from the outside and when you opened the doors there are a pulpit and little pews.

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We then went on a cool ferry that crossed the Red Deer River.  This was quite an interesting thing to see.

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The Drumheller Hoodoos  were our next stop.  They are geological wonders that have stood watch at the mouth of Willow Creek Coulee for thousands of years, bearing witness to the people and events that shaped the Red Deer River valley, and Alberta.  Quite an interesting site.

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Another stop was at The Star Mine Suspension Bridge.  This was different from suspension bridges I have been on before.  In 1931 the original swinging bridge was constructed and although winds and floods made crossing hazardous at times, it was used by the miners until 1957.  When the mine was closed a year later, a  large mass of shale, rock and dirt slid over the mine workings.  In 1958 to commemorate the colorful mining history of the Drumheller Valley, the Alberta government rebuilt and continues to maintain the suspension bridge for public use.

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Drumheller is the area where Dinosaurs used to roam and we saw evidence of that at the Royal Tyrelle Museum.  This was the most interesting museum I have ever been to.  I took so many pictures I would need a book to show you all of them so will give you an idea of the amazing dinosaurs we saw.

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 One gentleman was at a table explaining and showing how they treat dinosaur bones when they find them.  They put plaster of paris around the dirt surrounding the suspected bone, then burlap.  Then they bring it back to the museum and pick at the dirt very carefully, then brush the dirt away until they can get to the bone and eventually identify what dinosaur it came from.

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Here is the history of how the Royal Tyrelle Museum got started.

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Anyone that is interested in dinosaurs, this place is a must see.

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