Our trip was originally to go as far as Manitoba. The world events of this spring of 2022, has brought fuel prices that just keep on rising. We decided to concentrate our travel to southern B.C. and southern Alberta. To get the biggest bang for our buck as the saying goes, we have combined dog tests and trials, exploring parks and heritage sites and a family visit.
Our first destination was Aldergrove to attend the Golden Retriever Club of B.C.’s hunt tests. Our young dog Cypher did us proud with 2 senior hunt passes. The RV park in Aldergrove was an interesting sign of the times. Many of the sites were permanent, the RV’s were setup to stay long term, with gardens and storage sheds. Folks are living 100% in their RV’s some having a 2nd RV home in the U.S. for the winters.
Eagle Wind RV park
MANNING PARK AND KETTLE CREEK
Our next stop was a quick look at Manning Park Resort, lunch, a few fun photos and we were off to Kettle Creek RV, for a one night stay. This was a clean and well kept park.
Fort Steele RV Resort was just okay, located beside a gas station so lots of traffic noise. The usual dogs must be on leash rule, but the manager’s young german shepherd dog loose and annoying. The visit to the Fort Steele heritage site was worth it though. Interesting that even now the pandemic is affecting business, they had a serious staff shortage, they usually have 85 staff on and only had 35 working, lots of doubling up on duties happening.
At the entrance to Fort Steele out popped a badger, he/she was surprised to see us, as were we!
We found a bit of rough land beside a creek to give the dogs a free run each day and were treated to views of an active osprey nest!
Fort Steele has maintained and show cases the transportation of the times, horse and train. The horses were beautiful black drafts, some bred there, all named with thier pedigrees and photos posted in the barn.
The train was an original steam engine train of that time era, and was being run on test runs while we watched. It was great to hear the chugg, chugg as she gained steam power, the engineers were having a good time getting her up to speed!
We were back on the road heading to our next stop for spaniel trials and tests, Picture Butte, Alberta. We stopped at the Frank Slide, a must see to appreciate the scale of this slide that wiped out a portion of the town and 90 lives in a matter of seconds. Even today the mountain is under constant monitoring for any changes in stability. The first nations of this area had always called it the trembling mountain.
Peter and I had stayed at Countryside RV Resort 3 years ago on our first foray to Picture Butte, we liked it then and nothing had changed. We were 25 minutes from the spaniel event so a perfect spot. The Tests and Trials were so fun and for me a hands on educational workshop. Calli and I came away with two CKC Spaniel Senior Hunt Test ribbons. It was wonderful to reconnect with the spaniel community.
Drumheller was our next call. The RV park was adequate. We experienced how fast the Alberta weather can change from hot sun to thunderstorms daily!
The Royal Tyrrell Museum did not disappoint. What a rich and vast display of dinosaur bones and fossils found in this area of the Alberta Badlands. The museum is amazing in how it interprets and presents the history. There is an active lab of paleontologists unearthing fossils and bones from rock on site that you can watch. A visit is highly recommended.
The next day we hiked up into the hills with the dogs, now having a better understanding of the layers of sediment that the area is made up of. We kept to the paths as there are rattle snakes about.
WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK
There are so many words one could use to describe the scenery in this park but non really do justice. We only hit the highlights on this trip. Since it was Canada Day our park pass was free, an unexpected bonus. When we arrived at the main visitor center we were just in time to be part of the Canada Day ceremony, raising of the flag, speech from the park warden and a little girl who led the singing of the anthem. The village of Waterton is charming and filled with gift shops and restaurants. We stopped at the Prince of Wales Hotel on the way out, getting an eye fill of breathtaking views. In fact it is such a popular spot that they charge $10 just to use the parking lot and walk around.
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump
The visit to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump was more than I had been expecting. There is a wonderful interpretative centre built into the rock of the hillside rising 4 levels without hardly being seen from the outside, quite the architecture. It has been designated a world UNESCO Site. The site’s name most would think reflects the buffalo crashing to their death off the cliff but is in-fact the legend of a boy who had gone under the shelf of the cliff to watch the fall, he was found crushed by the buffalos. The centre is self guided and tells a rich story of the life of first nations in southern Alberta.
Aspen Crossing Campground, Mossleigh, Alberta
This campground has a definite railway and train theme. The restaurant is what was Prime minister John Diefenbaker’s personal rail car. There are several cabooses and cars in the campground that have been converted into cabins to be rented. They have a working train and railway that runs on the weekends.
Saskatoon Farm, Okotoks, Alberta
We had a free day before the next leg of our journey, we found an agro tourism type farm to explore. What an interesting place, it’s a working saskatoon berry farm, as well as green house nursery business. Over the last 30-40 years they have added a storefront, restaurant, bakery, gift shop, tortise display, farmers market and so many plants to buy. We had a great time!
The last thing I thought we would be travelling with in the RV was a large flowering hanging basket, but what can I say, it should ride okay in the bathtub for the rest of the trip. Peter did his own shopping, yum!