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In the Badlands

I duly collected my beige box-on-wheels from Calgary and found the highway. The 110km speed limit helped the first leg of my Alberta Odyssey to pass quickly.

Brooks was my stop for the night in the relative luxury of a motel. However, it was not the city that I was there for. The next morning it was an early start for the half hour drive to the Dinosaur Provincial Park. This is a World Heritage Site, a status earned through its badlands terrain and wealth of dinosaur fossils.

At the entry to the park you can stop and walk over to see the huge open valley of badlands. It was amazing, the photo simply doesn’t do it justice.

From there it was a drive down the hill to park the car. I was again visiting somewhere that was winding down for the season and no tours were running. I picked up a map from the visitor centre, put on some more layers and set off walking. It was a very cold day with cloud cover and dull light.

All around there were so many different layers and shades and shapes and textures.

One of the fascinating features was this surface called popcorn rock.

Elsewhere the terrain becomes grasslands and mule deer with funny big ears roam around.

Cottonwood trees line the banks of the Red Deer River that winds through the park.

There are a couple of places where dinosaur fossils have been left in situ, visible to visitors through windows of the shelters placed over top. At least 39 species of dinosaur and 300 complete skeletons have been found, so it is quite the paleontological treasure trove.

After my walkabout it was time to get moving again, south to Lethbridge. The next day I was visiting an historic buffalo kill site.

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