Neil (nt) wrote,

On Tuesday morning, L and I rented a car and drove to Lethbridge, where my Dad lives. I was shocked to learn that his house, which he had built and lived in for 55 years before selling it last year, had been torn down. We went and looked at the hole in the ground where the house had stood, feeling an odd mix of emotions. The new owner is planning to build a large home on the property.

After a good visit with my Dad, we headed for Medicine Hat. On the way, we took a detour south from Seven Persons to explore Red Rock Coulee. This is an area about a mile long covered with red balls of various sizes and in various states of decay. A rather unearthly landscape.

Red Rock Coulee

In Medicine Hat, we spent some time wandering through Police Point Park, where we saw a white-tailed deer, but the heat and mosquitoes made us turn back and make an early night of it.

The next day we went to the Cypress Hills, in the southeastern corner of Alberta. We stopped at the interpretive center, where a young lady highlighted a map to show accessible trails. There had been a wind storm a few weeks earlier, and many trails were blocked by fallen trees. We spent the rest of the day travelling through the park.

Reesor Lake viewpoint in Cypress Hills

In the evening, we drove to Brooks, a small town on the way to Drumheller. After dining there, we went out to look at the Brooks Aqueduct, an abandoned two mile long structure.

In the Drumheller area the following day, we wanted to explore a couple of (near) ghost towns, Dorothy and Wayne. While looking for Dorothy, we went too far and ended up on the top of a coulee, where we found several tipi rings. A quick check of the map revealed our error, and we were able to find Dorothy and photograph a few old buildings.

abandoned church in Dorothy

Wayne (pop. 40) is an interesting town. You have to cross 11 bridges to get there. It has one business -- a general store/hotel/bar. We stopped at the bar, called the Last Chance Saloon, for a beer. The decor is "early garage sale". The clientele were an interesting mix of ranchers, bikers and city folk.

Heading back to Drumheller, we stopped to look at the Hoodoos, odd geological structures formed by erosion. Then we followed the Dinosaur Trail and found several viewpoints over the Red Deer River valley.

Red Deer River valley

The weather was near-perfect the whole time we were away, and we enjoyed getting out of the city and exploring southern Alberta.

me beside hoodoo

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