Head Smashed In – The Return

Regular readers will recall that we visited Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump with Jan’s parents, back in April this year.

We felt the need to return with Linda, Andrew, Sarah & Katie, most particularly because we had read that there was going to be a display of First Nations Dancing that day. If you’ve read the prior post above, you know just how busy the approach road to Head Smashed In gets! However, this time, on the same road, we were held up by, err, “traffic” on more than one occasion…We arrived at Head Smashed In as they were setting up for the dancing display. Everyone and everything was interested in what was going on…The dancing itself was extremely impressive. Beautiful detailing on the hand made costumes, intricate steps in the dances and in the case of the hoop dancer that concluded the display (this being someone we have seen before at the Calgary Stampede), quite unbelievable co-ordination and choreography. We would soooo end up in hospital if we tried anything of what this chap is capable of doing!Afterwards, we took a stroll on the walking paths and saw a plethora of what we believe to be Swallow nests……and we were far from alone on the paths…Is it just us but if you look at the right ear of this fellow, can you see a face looking back at you?! You’ll need to click on the photo to enlarge it to see what we mean.Maybe it’s the stress free drive there and back. Maybe it’s the beautiful scenery that lines much of the route. Maybe it’s the tremendous interest that this place holds when you get here but Head Smashed In is certainly among our favourite days out in Alberta.J&E.

Drumheller & Surrounds

Another of our days out with Linda, Andrew, Sarah and Katie, was to the Drumheller area and surrounds, north-east of Calgary. This proved an absolutely fascinating day and we would recommend a visit here to anyone coming over this way.

On the drive to Drumheller, we took a brief stop in the village of Beiseker where Eamonn was asked by a local whether his realtor studies were sufficiently advanced for him to list this delightful single family home for sale!Unfortunately, he had to decline the invitation, at least for the next 3 weeks!

The Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller is a fabulous place. The website says it is Canada’s “only facility exclusively dedicated to the study of palaeontology; it is also a great place of discovery for all ages”. We would absolutely back that statement. Our group consisted of pre-teens through to 40-somethings and we were all completely engaged throughout.

http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/

Strolling out into surrounding Badlands had a positively prehistoric feel to it…We drove a few miles down the road to Rosedale to visit the 350ft long Star Mine Suspension Bridge…it swaaaaaayyyyyysssssss!…Then we were onto the Hoodoos…
http://www.traveldrumheller.com/hoodoos.html

With a full day and a fair old drive back to Okotoks afterwards, we were all a tad tired but it was an excellent day, both educational and great fun.

J&E.

Downtown Calgary

Along with our visitors from the UK, we enjoyed a little mid-Summer jaunt around downtown Calgary.

First up was Calgary Tower. We’ve featured the tower before…

http://www.okotokslife.com/days-out-in-alberta/calgary-tower/

…so we wont dwell on it now save for to report, for those that have been there before, that they have recently replaced the glass floor panels that allow visitors to contemplate the prospect of a 500 foot fall to the traffic below. There had been nothing to worry about, the note said…Yeah, right…one of those old panels of glass used to creak like crazy when anyone would stand on it! However, the new glass inspires rather more confidence…Indeed, the strength of the glass is amply demonstrated by this shot of Eamonn, Linda, Andrew and Janet. However, we thought it would be pushing our luck to also bring Linda and Janet’s handbags onto the glass! 😉Back on the ground, we made our way over towards Stephen Avenue and along the way, Katie considered but thought better of pursuing her equine interests by climbing aboard this fellow…Stephen Avenue itself was in full bloom……and the locals were as welcoming as ever…We moved on to take a look at the Devonian Gardens, a 2.5 acre enclosed roof garden holding 20,000 plants and a mile of walkways. We gather from the City of Calgary website that the gardens will soon be closing for 18 months while development is undertaken of the building beneath – so it was good to get a visit in now.Finally, we went off in search of good views of downtown and the Stampede grounds…J&E.

Visitors from the UK – Part 2

Our visitors from the UK, Linda (one of Jan’s two sisters), Andrew, Sarah and Katie, went home in mid August. While they were here, they took themselves off on an eight day tour of the Rockies.

We have been up into the Rockies a reasonable number of times now and we felt we were very fortunate to have seen one black bear. We were therefore a bit flabbergasted to learn that our visitors had seen 16 in their few days up in the mountains…sixteen, no seriously, SIXTEEN! Courtesy of Linda, Andrew, Sarah and Katie, here’s a few of the pictures they took…Maybe they got a little close with this one, eh!J&E