Date of Trip: October 2002
We planned a trip to see the Canadian Rockies but we ended up seeing so much more. Alberta has become my favorite place to visit in Canada now.
Its kind of hard to miss seeing those magnificent Rockies but for me the most memorable sights were: Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump (Indian Interpretive Center), watching the Canadian mounties practice in Fort McLeod, Calgary’s Olympic park and, my most favorite of them all, Drumheller, home of the Royal Tyrell museum of Paleontology
We discovered that Alberta welcomes tourists by having the most incredible tourist information centers. These centers were easy to locate. The information there was first rate and up to date. Plenty of maps, books and other things to enliven your trip are available there for travelers. I’ve never seen any place handle tourist information as well as Alberta.
Bed & Breakfasts:
Most places in Alberta have lists of local Bed and Breakfasts places. I would never stay in a B&B in the States–they are just too expensive for the average traveler. But in Canada, the B&B is the inexpensive way to go. We stayed at some that were average looking homes and one I remember was right outside of Banff and it looked like a Swiss Chalet. We discovered in addition to inexpensive rates that staying in a B&B allowed you to talk to other travelers, eat charming breakfasts and get the low down from the owner about what to see. Some owners even helped us locate our next B&B. Next time in Canada I am going to completely forego hotels/motels and just stay at B&B’s.
Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump
Head Smashed in is a interpretive center run by the local Indian tribes of Alberta, Canada.
The center is right up against the bluff of the very Buffalo Jump itself. This place is where the tribes gathered to herd buffalo along until they stampeded right over the cliff and to the waiting tribes below. This was a time of cooperation between tribes and a time for everyone to work on harvesting the bounty of the buffalo. I’ve been to several “Interpretive” history centers before but this place was fascinating. I’d recomend it to everyone, especially good to teach children native history.
Royal Tyrell Museum of Palentology
In Alberta they say if you put a shovel in the soil you will either strike oil or find fossils. Drumheller is in the eastern part of Alberta, right next to the badlands. Its both a oil town and a fossil finding factory! To enter into the museum is to enter a different time. You will be faced with all sorts of major dinosauers, including a full display of a T-rex, the Albertasauras and a family grouping of Tricerotops to name a few. I’ve seen the fossils at our Smithsonian and other places but this museum is probably the biggest and best in the world.