Canada 2009 - Facts and Information
Day by Day 2: Across the Prairies
Heading south through Saskatchewan the west through Alberta



 Around Edmonton
 Ukrainian Village 1
 Ukrainian Village 2
 Fort Edmonton 1
 Fort Edmonton 2

 Fort Edmonton 3
 Fort Edmonton 4
 To Meadow Lake
 The Battlefords
 Nth Battleford WDM
 Fort Battleford

 Wasmuth Homestead
 Saskatoon WDM
 Around Saskatoon
 To Moose Jaw
 Moose Jaw WDM
 South of Moose Jaw
 To Val Marie
 Aqueducts & Dinosaurs

 Waterton Lakes 1
 Waterton Lakes 2
 Waterton Lakes 3
 To Cranbrook
 Fort Steele
 To Kaslo
 New Denver & Arrow Lake
 Trout Lake

 Rogers Pass
 Kootenay Natnl Park
 Banff Natnl Park
 Icefields Parkway 1
 Icefields Parkway 2
 Jasper 1
 Jasper 2
 To Grande Cache
 Peace River
 Back to Edmonton



29 May
Drove through Wilkie and across prairie to Luseland (pleasant little town) where Eleanor's mother came from. Went round little museum which had some interesting stuff and got some family information from very helpful staff in Rural Municipality Office. Went to cemetery for family graves then to see Eleanor's grandfather's quarter plot. Back through Unity which has interesting Heritage Museum with very helpful curator.

30 May
Glen Wasmuth took us for a fascinating drive round the farm in his 1931 Dodge. Very sorry to leave here. Drove on to Saskatoon for three nights and went to Beaver Creek Conservation Area which was interesting with helpful wardens but time there short. Now very hot (32°). Colonial Square Motel, Saskatoon. Only average place on main road. No breakfast but microwave in reception. Chosen for location as close to family so served its purpose.

31 May
Saskatoon WDM today, disappointing. Boomtown street over-rated as a bit dead and lighting in buildings very poor. Old machinery good and galleries very good. Excellent cafe.

1 June
Dull morning, went to Sutherland Forest Park but not a lot there. Went to find natural prairie area, not sure if we ever did find it but what we did find was a bit unexciting and rain threatening so gave up and went to WDM cafe. Headed south of town to Cranberry Flats Reserve and walked down to river, quite interesting botany. Weather now good so on to Beaver Creek again and got some reasonable walking in.

2 June
Drove to Outlook and interesting walk over Sky Trail Bridge. On via Lake Diefenbaker and its information centre. Saw interesting looking church and ended up in ghost town of Brownlee. On to Moose Jaw for three nights. Went to Burrowing Owl Centre which was fascinating. Super 8 Motel, Moose Jaw. Robotic receptionist but reasonable room and good breakfast.

3 June
Long day driving to Big Muddy Badlands to see Castle Butte which "we can't miss" but we did. Went looking into back of beyond, didn't know where we were but decided to retrace steps while could remember how to. Saw lots of coyotes. Ghost Town of Big Beaver for wander then on to Rock Glen and north over Wood Mountain through good rolling hills. Wood Mountain Police Post interesting as were St Victor petroglyphs. Drive back over very flat, very boring prairie.

4 June
WDM, this one based on transport. OK rather than good. Open day for kids so plenty of staff on hand to talk. Afternoon saw older, not very well behaved kids so left. Had a look round Moose Jaw town centre which is pleasant. (Avoided the tunnels. Nobody who said we must go seemed to have been themselves, those who had been said they were theatrically naff.)

5 June
Turned cold and very grey. Headed south to Gravelbourg, interesting Francophone town with good RC cathedral, then on to Val Marie through isolated rolling country. Now very cold and threatening rain. Went to Grasslands National Park (helpful staff) then drove through park interesting to see but very cold and windy, too much so to be out of car for long. Back to Val Marie's old school for a cup of tea and some toast to warm us up. The Crossing Resort, Val Marie. Flatlet upstairs in house right at entrance to Grasslands NP. No breakfast, but pack can be bought from them. Nice place, helpful owners, recommended.

6 June
Very, very cold and starting to snow when we left. Drove via Highway 18 which is gravel and got a bit tricky with snow and ice and seemed very, very lonely (conditions probably nothing to Canucks). Had planned to drive through park at Cypress Hills but not a good idea in snow. Tarmac roads welcome but little traffic and quite a bit of snow on them. Made note never to complain about English summers again. Roads ploughed into Maple Creek where we stopped for tea and toast then onto Medicine Hat . Snow gone but cold and wet and horrible. Went to Historic Clay District Museum, 2 for 1 entry otherwise would have been poor value. Holiday Inn Express, Medicine Hat. Obvious from main road but then quite hard to find way in. Pleasant, big, good breakfast but fairly busy.

7 June
Wet start so leisurely breakfast then headed to Brooks Aqueduct which was interesting and weather improving rapidly. On to Dinosaur Provincial Park which was impressive and did a few trails. Called in at Dorothy ghost town and went to see Hoodoos on way to Drumheller for two nights. Newcastle Inn, Drumheller. Excellent B&B in quiet position with nice rooms. Very friendly. Breakfast is DIY continental from ample supplies in family kitchen. Recommended.

8 June
Quick look at Drumheller (OK) then Midland Mine site where not a lot to see but still worthwhile. Called in at McMullan Island where park is supposed to have trails but these not signed and no map, still had pleasant wander. Little Church is very little but hasn't got much going for it. Drove round Dinosaur Trail via Bleriot Ferry. Reasonable country but not special, although some nice viewpoints, especially at Orkney. Heavy rainstorms but good weather between. Went to Royal Tyrrell Museum but it did not live up to its hype, although the dinosaurs are superb.

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