Today we leave behind the Rocky Mountains and alpine country in exchange for grasslands and prairies. Welcome to central Alberta and the beginning of the Canadian Prairies. This is what most of central Canada looks like, stretching through Alberta, Saskatchewan and onto Manitoba .
To infinity and beyond! Well, or to just Drumheller.
Just when you thought there was nothing else but wheat in Alberta you run into the Canadian Badlands and the town of Drumheller. Tucked away in the southeastern corner of Alberta the badlands are similar to what you would see down south at the Grand Canyon, however not nearly as old since these valleys have only been around since the last ice age.
I have previously visited Drumheller before with my aunt and grandpa when I was nine year old so I knew about most tourist hotspots to hit. Regardless, there was still a few I seem to have missed, including the Hoodoos.
Hoodoos are eroded pillars of sandstone rock topped with a pillar cap. The cap protects the softer rock underneath from eroding while the surrounding rocks becomes chipped away by the elements. Quite the geological marvels!
Now I have no idea how common these things are, but judging by how easily tourists allowed their children to run about you would think they were nothing more than ordinary rocks. Lucky, the larger more striking Hoodoos were behind fences.
Behind the Hoodoos there is a path that scales up the dirt hillside to the top. Although many people made the journey to the top and back down,I debated on hiking up myself. The path was very steep and there was no traction for feet on the way down due to the dirt being very loose and extremely dry, however, the videographer in me quieted the logical part of my brain and I choose to climb up and check out the view from the top. Was it worth it? You do get a stunning view of a valley down the opposite side so I would say, yes, just make sure you wear proper hiking boots.
There is a tourist map that was handed out at the information centre in downtown Drumheller that lists a tourist attraction called 11 Bridges in which you take to this ghost town called “The Last Chance Saloon”.
First off, yes there are 11 bridges which cross-crossing back and forth over the river all in the span of a couple kilometers. Having studied engineering for a year I couldn’t help but cringe at the thought of building 11 bridges, or even needing to build 11 bridges. Honestly, there must have been a simpler way to get to this town. Nevertheless, we drove down about 9 bridges till we got to the ghost town which was definably NOT a ghost town and was actually a run down hotel and bar. What a waste of time, I would recommend to anyone visiting Drumheller to avoid this spot and save your gas.
So that ends our tour around Drumheller. Since the weather was perfect we decided to camp the night at a little RV campground near the Hoodoos. One thing I instantly noticed was the abundance of trailers and trucks. Albertians sure do love them, and even though I personally prefer to camp, I very much regretted that choice. Although It was still the end of summer, overnight it dropped down to about 4 degrees celsius. Needless to say, I did NOT pack accordingly and I froze overnight, BRRR! At least I woke up to sunshine!
P.S. Want a postcard from Drumheller? [http://heynadine.com/postcards]