On Saturday, we drugged up Dad sufficiently to chauffeur us to the Royal Tyrell Museum, a two-and-a-half hours' drive away. He's a trooper, all right - I've never heard such a terrible cough.
It's actually a beautiful drive through the prairies, especially on such a bright, sunny day. Lots of big skies and interesting plays of shadow on the fields, the road was punctuated with a few prairie animal sightings:
- 3 coyotes (although I think one of them was a wolf)
- lots and lots of antelope
- the ponies (just outside of Redcliff)
- cows (of course)
Coming up to the Badlands, we made a side trip to Hussar, a small town about 20 km from Drumheller. Apparently, 200km between gas stations is a normal thing on the prairies, and when you do find one, it's a cardlock. Which means that tourists can't use them.
The locals at Hussar were very friendly - they offered to use their card for gas and we'd pay them cash, they offered Mom their home bathroom to use, and all seeming very willing to help (with a bottle of beer in their hands....true, it was noon...I started humming the banjo tune from Deliverance). So, we kept driving and hoped for the best.
The landscape altered dramatically just outside of Drumheller - bare, striated rock faces, hoodoos, deep valleys carved into the extra-terrestrial topography - it was stunning. We stopped at "the farm" for lunch (the shame!) and then headed on to the museum.
What an amazing place! It's set up very nicely - the design of it impressed me almost as much as the giant bones. Incredible lighting, great use of space, nice fonts used on the signs... :)
Despite my strong intention to get no educational value whatsoever from the trip, I came away knowing the difference between a stegasaurus and a stegocerous, a chasmasaurus and a triceratops, and that baby dinosaurs were the size of cats.
The gift shop drew me in and I decided that a triceratops would make a good present for a 4-year-old (being a vegetarian dinosaur, he wouldn't eat the boy), and found some neat stuff for Logan.
The drive home flew by (some may say that it's because I was asleep), and for the intrepid Dinosaur Hunters, I made cornbread and the pork-and-beans chili mole from the winter issue of Food & Drink. Yum.