Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Badlands

Oh my goodness! Has it really been a month and a half since I last posted? So much has happened, and life has been so busy...

One weekend of the time between my last post and today was spent camping in the Red Deer River Valley, at the Bleriot Ferry Provincial Recreation Area. This is a no-frills campground, with only pit toilets, so a 3-night stay there was long enough. But it is beautiful; we saw lots of wildlife, including antelope, deer, coyotes, partridges, eastern kingbirds, sapsuckers, meadowlarks, cottontail rabbits, and chipmunks. A short path led from our campsite through the bush to a sandy little beach on the river, and the ferry was just a short walk away. Victor spent hours swimming and snorkeling in the river, a safe and fun swimming pool, where the water reaches no more than 3 feet deep.

We took a ride across on the ferry: one minivan with us inside and the ferryman standing on the deck. Free. Fun. Slow. The ferry is named after Andre Bleriot, brother of the famous French aviator, Louis Bleriot, hero of The Glorious Flight, one of our favourite kids' books. Andre began homesteading in this area in 1902, and established the ferry in 1913.

After crossing the river, we drove to Drumheller, where we visited our old friend, the largest dinosaur in the world. That's Victor, sitting on his foot.

We also did some climbing at the Hoodoos and other spots along the way.

Of course, Drumheller is also home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, but since we have been there already many times, we decided to skip that this time around.