We crisscrossed The Canadian Badlands in southeastern Alberta from Calgary to the Saskatchewan border south through Medicine Hat and Cypress Hills to the Montana border, west to the border town of Milk River and north through Siksika Nation to Stettler and Drumheller. Here are some of the highlights.
The new Blackfoot Crossing: Canada’s largest aboriginal historic site. This place so impressed us. Although smaller, I would put it on the scale of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Extraordinary collection of Plains Indians history on the site of the famous Treaty Seven signing by Chief Crowfoot who is also buried close by. The site overlooks an original grassland valley that has not been touched by modern civilization. You can feel the ghosts of the Blackfoot riding horseback here. http://www.blackfootcrossing.ca/
Medicine Hat’s incredible historic clay district: I had no idea of this city’s pottery history. The first finished goods to be shipped from western Canada to eastern Canada were crocks, etc from Medalta potteries (now, a national historic site). This clay district supplied Canada’s hospitality industry with dishware, etc. You can still find old crocks and dishes at flea markets all over Canada today. We got great shots of present day Medalta collection and of its wonderful gift shop where you can order fabulous reproduction bowls and more. http://www.medalta.org/
Oyen, Alberta’s annual Bull-a-Rama: a professional bullriding and bullfighting event that literally took our breath away. So up close and personal compared to the Calgary Stampede. The dust was flying. This is where we got to meet real Badlands cowboys. Everyone wears Wranglers’ cowboy cut jeans (and I mean everyone). They serve homemade corndogs and beer and everyone from infant in arms to great-grannies comes out for this annual event. We snapped some incredible pix here too.
Dinosaur Provincial Park: a UNESCO world heritage site where you can hike to a huge centrosaurus bonebed. It is as if the gods shook a big bag of bones onto the site. It’s about the size of two tennis courts and contains the bones of an entire centrosaurus herd – near Brooks, Alberta. UNESCO