Canada – Part 3 The Great Plains
Our last posting was all about water. This posting will be mostly about BIG things. As we travel around the U.S. and Canada, mostly on back roads and avoiding cities, we have noticed that many communities state their “claim to fame” in some fashion. Here is a sampling of what we encountered:
Giant wheatstalk in Prince Albert, SK
(Vulcan, AB was too far off our route (and we are not Trekkies) so we did not go to see the large model of the “Enterprise” at the Spock Center.)
Oddball attractions were not the only places we visited. We visited three more Canadian National Parks and a few national historic sites, too.
Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta is where we were finally able to watch some beavers. We also spent some time at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Many immigrants from Ukraine homesteaded in eastern Alberta. We saw some old churches and the inside workings of a 19th century grain elevator.
As we were approaching Saskatoon, SK we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to head north to Prince Albert National Park – the farthest north we have been on any of our trips so far. We hiked through a peat bog on a boardwalk and enjoyed a scenic drive through the park. In the town of Prince Albert, we made a quick visit to the Evolution of Education Museum where they had Dick and Jane readers on display (are we really that old?).
From Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, we backtracked into Alberta to attend a weekend of geocaching events in Medicine Hat. We met some friendly folks at five different gatherings, including a Flash Mob at the local Farmers Market. The landmark from almost any point in town is the Saamis Tepee and it is a grand thing to see when you are standing under it.
Another BIG thing we stopped to see was “Scotty” the T. rex discovered in Eastend, southern Saskatchewan.
The last few days of our Canadian sojourn has been through the rolling hills and prairies and wheatlands. They have their own special beauty just as the lakes and mountains and waterfalls do. Our last important stop was Grasslands National Park in southern Saskatchewan very close to the Montana border. It was too windy to do any hiking and the gray cloudy skies were a deterrent. We did see two black-tailed prairie dog colonies and lots of bison, some sitting on the shoulder of the road.
Other photos of interest:
St. Patrick's Church in Medicine Hat
Our time in Canada is ending. We spent 34 days and visited 9 national parks and met many friendly Canadians. It has been quite interesting to get their perspective on the upcoming presidential election and to read the local newspapers from time to time, but we won't go into any details about that in this blog.