Canada West Day 2 - Dinosaur Provincial Park

Sunday, 7 May 2023 23:02

After a comfortable night with a reasonable amount of sleep I made an early start to visit the Dinosaur Provincial Park, about 65km East of Bassano. Empty roads again and not a hill in sight. The park is in Alberta’s badlands which is an area where the prairie has been eroded away exposing the many layers of ancient sediment, typically where fossile are easily found, as is the case here. The headline picture is from the Badlands Trail and I walked each of the trails in the park until an early afternoon lunch in the park cafe. I have tried to pick a small selection that convey the landscape including images with people for scale. A feature of the park are small hoodoos, columns of sandstone. There are a couple of dinosaur fossils in neat display buildings on the Fossil Hunter Trail. The Cottonwoods by the Red River are still recovering from a fire here in 1989! An overlook at the park entrance gives a great introduction to these badlands. On the roads to and from the park you pass many oil wells and large fields both for wheat and for beef cattle, some of whom caused me to stop on the beautifully named Short Cut Road. At Bassano the evidence of the wheat trade is evident on the Canadian Pacific railroad. The mule deer just came wandering out of the slightly rundown tiny town of Bassano and patiently waited for a freight train to trundle by. The eating options in Bassano are somewhat limited with a choice of walking to the diner at the Esso Station or driving to the farthest end of town to the other option. I chose to walk across from the hotel. The diner was not posh but the waitress was very nice, service quick, reasonably priced and the French Dip and fries was well cooked and tasty.