Monday, June 18, 2012

Alberta Tour Part 1

Sara, Logan and I are doing a tour of Alberta before I have to work a urology conference in Banff on the 22nd. After our flight and subsequent white-knuckled choppy landing we arrived at the baggage carousal to see the above - we knew we were in the land of dinos!

After getting a cooler and supplies we headed out of Calgary a couple of hours to the Badlands and Dinosaur Provincial Park where we would explore for a couple of days. The weather was iffy but, as we learned here out west, it changes quickly as you'll see in other pictures.

The long hill down into the Badlands where the visitor center is located.

I've got my dino gameface on. Like father.......... son. The visitors center had some amazing fossils that were all found in this area. There's a triceratops behind Logan.

It stills boggles my mind that these things once roamed the earth.

Sara was reluctant to participate in the pictoral part of the story at first.

She then recovered. We decided to do some exploring and headed out on one of the many trails here.

Here I am getting my hoodoo on! Hoodoos are formations that have this tabletop-like appearance that's caused by water eroding the softer sediment underneath the more compact top rock - they were all over the Badlands.

Also the soft mudstone was quite smooth in places. As you can see in the background the weather was back to sunny skies.

A cactus flower.

I like this shot as it shows the nice landscape. It reminds of pictures I've seen of the Grand Canyon.

If we had the energy we would have hiked all day. We also would have seen LOTS of dinosaur bones as we would soon learn - we didn't know at this point what to look for.

They had an enclosed digsite on display - this one displays a triceratops bone bed. To properly excavate a skeleton takes many months, sometimes several summers depending on the size of the find.

Here's Sara overlooking the great expanse.

Since I had been up since 4:00am and been on the go since the next logical step would be to have a beer! I chose the O'Shea Dark Ale which, ironically, is brewed in Guelph at Sleemans.

After dinner it was time for some cool hotel aquatics

The waterslide was insanely fast and Logan and I went down at least 15 times (no joke) - we had a blast.

Mommy enjoyed her quiet hot tub time as the boys got their slide on.

The next morning in Brooks I awoke to a beautiful sunny day. While Sara and Logan slowly woke up I went for a run. I found an awesome lakeside loop that was about 3k long. Here's the sun rising over the lake.

View of the lake from the other side - it had a small lighthouse as well.

Feeling refreshed we went back to Dinosaur Provinical Park for our Fossil Safari Tour. Logan's got his walking stick and paleo-hat - he was all set.

We hiked into the Badlands with our guide Katrina and Amanda (not pictured). They were awesome with information and taught us how to find fossils - they were everywhere!

I tried on the hat. Check it out - Dino Dork!

Here's Logan with a Gorgosaurus bone (just below his cheek). Gorgosaurus was a relative of the T. Rex - a meat eating piece of terror!

Logan next to the leg bone of a hadrosaur. Hadrosaurs were big plant eaters and were considered the cows of the Creataceous Era.

A Gorgosaurus claw.

I captured film as well on the iPad which I hope to upload as it does the area justice over my cheap camera. From there we drove another two hours to see Logan's future employer - the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller.

Logan was now in his ultimate happy place.......stay tuned.


No comments:

Post a Comment