Sunday, August 1, 2010

Walk the dinosaur

A business trip brought me back to good ole Calgary this week. Immediately I noticed how tranquil the city appears, and how clean and well maintained the roads are. There are still quite a few construction projects on the go but actually the kind that will improve traffic flow and even public transit (who would have thought of that in an oil town?). Compared to the Vancouver Lower Mainland everything seems to move in slow motion, and given the road skills of the native drivers, that's probably a good thing.

I like the prairies in the summer, and that's why I decided to stay over the long weekend, one of the reasons being revisiting my most favourite provincial park and UNESCO world heritage site: The Dinosaur Provincial Park.
The park is a two and a half hour ride away from Calgary, situated in the Red Deer river valley. Recent rain storms brought some colour into the otherwise dry and vast badlands.
I can never get enough of the area, where still new reminders of ancient species of the 'chalk period' are being found.
It is hard to imagine that many millions of years ago (75 give or take to be more specific) this land was once a warm and temperate ocean plain inhabiting the most intriguing species of their period.
A gravel road leads through the canyon.
There was a storm warning, but it never came.
More of the same but different.
The smell of wild thyme, chamomile and sage spice up the air.
There are a few interesting living species currently inhabiting the area such as rattle snakes, scorpions and black widows. Haven't met them though.
Cheesy but true: And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

3 comments:

  1. Dinosaur Park looks like a wonderful place to explore. I have visited many similar areas in Wyoming, Utah and Montana in the past with another job. I have since learned that the beauty to these places must be an acquired taste not shared by anyone else in my family.

    Thank you for the tour, and it was a pleasure to meet you in Bend! I wish I could've stayed longer...

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  2. @Richard: Thank you, yes let's keep it a secret ;-), and it was also my pleasure to make your acquaintance. Hope we can do this again some time.

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  3. What an interesting landscape. Very different from the pacific Northwest. Looks like a great place for some exploring! :)

    I don't think I've ever seen a "save the snakes" sign before.

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