Across Canada – Hinton, AB to Brooks, AB
When I left Hinton, I headed for Sundance Provincial Park which was recommended to me by Karina’s family. The rough 60km drive down the logging road didn’t faze the van (unlike me) and I arrived at a very nice lakeside campsite to spend the first night.
The next day I explored the park and was very impressed by the Hoodoos and crazy rock formations created by the elements on the soft rock. Being a little out of the way I didn’t see anyone else in the park and was able to soak up sights and the sunshine in magnificent calm.
Before arriving in Alberta, when looking at the road maps I was surprised at how straight the roads were compared to BC. I knew this was because after the Rockies things get kind of flat but I wasn’t really prepared for the reality of driving for miles and miles on these straight roads.
The prairies make for the complete opposite terrain compared to BC just the other side of the mountains. I have been avoiding the main highways and it has been interesting to drive through, though after driving by farm after farm it does get a little repetitive.
Because it is so flat and there isn’t a break in agricultural land it has been trickier to find a place to stop for the night. This has been a bit of a bore but each night I have managed to find somewhere to pull over. Actually it has taken me to some quite nice spots that I may not have visited otherwise, like the JJ Collett Natural Area and the jaw dropping Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park.
Also noteworthy are the clouds that form over the Alberta prairies, which have been spectacular and really add to the charm of the area.
I tend to avoid the main highways and ‘explore’ the smaller roads. In this area that can be quite interesting because a lot of the smaller roads are just mud tracks. Albert (the van – which I finally named) refuses to get stuck and I have been enjoying the sights from these smaller, rural roads.
Another place I stumbled upon was Big Valley – a small rural town with lots of museums, exhibits and a board walk to wander around. There were a few school parties being shown around so I tagged along and got a bit of a free tour also.
Being located close to sights where record numbers of dinosaur fossils have been uncovered, Drumheller is dinosaur CRAZY! It is home to the world’s largest dinosaur sculpture as well as smaller sculptures, pictures, posters and it also seems that there is a law dictating that every company logo must contain a dinosaur.
Drumheller is also home to the excellent Royal Tyrrell Museum which was well worth the visit and after a few hours I left with a overloaded brain stuffed with dino knowledge.
I also visited the Dinosaur Provincial Park a couple of hours drive away which had some very impressive geology and was thankfully a lot quieter than expected for a Saturday.
I am currently in Brooks, AB pausing for a day to have a bit of a rest from life on the road. Tomorrow I head to Calgary to stay with some friends and explore the first big city during my trip.