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Archive for August, 2006

August 21st, 2006: 2:00 am

A weekend out of town may not seem like much of a vacation, but when its a fairly close getaway, it can be just as enjoyable.  This past weekend was spent in Drumheller with Tiffany’s family.

Drumheller is the kind of place that excites the imagination of children with its abundance of dinosaurs.  It also makes adults feel like kids again (if only for a while).  The unique landscape makes it an attractive summer destination, and well worth the trip.

It had been a while since my last trek to Drumheller (1998?), and even then, I had never spent more than an afternoon in the area.  So there was no better time to put on the ol’ Tourist Hat and support the local economy.  Unfortunately, I forgot my Tilley Hat, so the sun was in my eyes for most of the weekend.  (No complaints about the sunshine here though!)

Drumheller is a town of about 7,700 people.  While the scenery is attractive, it is apparently it is not in a population boom presently (lucky!).  The main business of the area is tourism.  The town now sports a Wal-mart, Quiznos, DQ, BPs, McDonalds and several other franchise eateries and hotels.  Its kind of weird — there is the old downtown core, and then this new area where all these main franchises are.

  • The Royal Tyrell Museum [http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/] is a must-see.  There is lots to see and read, so its best to come in a more attentive state if you want to learn about the dinos and their history instead of just see them.  Adults $10, save a dollar with an AMA card.
  • Wild West Jurassic Tours [http://www.wildwestjurassictours.com/] was a nice way to see some of the general area.  We took the ‘Badlands & Dinosaurs’ tour, which was a 3.5 hour drive with stops all around a 15 km radius of Drumheller.  All the stops were places you could go on your own, but still, you wouldn’t get the background info, and its great to be able to see it all without concentrating on driving.  Apparently there are only seven Ferries in Alberta.  This tour crosses the Bleriot Ferry, and even though its very short, its still cool to claim I was on one in Alberta.

Somewhere just north of Stettler there is a valley that cuts across Highway 56.  Really scenic.  In the valley, you see a small community gathered around two towering grain elevators.  This place is called Meeting Creek, and is home to under 150.  I stopped in to satisfy my curiosity.

Apparently this town was just not given a fair shake.  They pushed really hard to get the railway to come through town in the early 1900’s.  When it did, they received it with great fanfare.  But that was apparently all they would cheer about.  It took about 7 years to get an actual Depot and official staff for the town.  After fifty years, passenger service was canceled, things became derelict, and the tracks around town were pulled out.  Apparently you can take a look in the depot but its by appointment only.  I think it would make a neat little road stop though.

August 10th, 2006: 8:45 pm
I have a friend who lives in Poland presently.  I never hear from her, and yet for some reason I get Polish SPAM in my inbox, which never used to happen prior to her moving there.  Cause and Effect?  Grrrrr….