Calgary Roadtrip

  • 828 km travelled
  • 12 dozen pancakes consumed
  • 01 electric bronco tamed

Open spaces and welcoming people. That’s what this trip was at the end of the day. And who doesn’t love a road trip? Especially when it includes the Rocky Mountains. We saw some wilderness, and ate (and drank) more than our fill. The Stampede was craziness in a cowboy hat. Line dancing, bucking broncos and many, many pancake breakfasts. Oh, and beer. Dinosaurs were a surprise — who knew Alberta was riddled with prehistoric bones? Well, we do now. We’ll all miss the big prairie sunsets and warm breezes. At least we have some great shots to remember it all.

Day 1
Big skies, big boots
And we’re off. Driving through Kananaskis Country is like nothing else: the huge Rocky Mountains and all sorts of animals staring out through the forest. We explored more than our fair share of fields, and even met some real boot-wearing cowboys out on their ranch. We stumbled into a retro diner for BLT’s before heading into Calgary near sunset. We thought about turning in, but opted to suit up with boots and hats, instead. We definitely blend in now!
Day 2
All good in the Badlands
Perfect day in the Badlands for discovering all sorts of curious bones and rocks. Started with a dinosaur-sized breakfast before setting out to find the hoodoos; layered, Martian-like rock formations. Then we met a prospector before discovering an old grain elevator full of rustic farm equipment. Later, we visited Drumheller’s Royal Tyrell Museum and all its dinosaurs. I could have spent the day there looking around (I had to be dragged out). We finished off by tipping a few mason jars full of local beer at the Rosedeer Hotel — a relaxed end to busy day.
Day 3
Pub life
Dusty road. 6:00 am. The engine shut off and it was just us, the rising sun and the far-off ca-chunking of a single oilrig. We ran around in a pretty pasture before scooting off in search of some Prairie history. We passed a grain elevator, a weather-beaten barn, and a little shop called “Something Special” …the girls were paralyzed by how cute it was. After leaving Drumheller, it was beer o’clock, and The Ship & Anchor patio was the place to be. Later, we strolled down 17th Ave. and found Local 501. Great fresh food and friendly locals with a talent for mixing the infamous “Caesar.” Next thing we knew, the sun was on its way down once more.
Day 4
The greatest outdoor show on earth
Stampede! We had been excited about gearing up for this big Wild West fair since our touch down in Calgary. It was sunny as usual, and denim, cowboy hats and the biggest belt buckles we could afford were the order of the day. We started off with the morning parade, and then headed into the grounds. We met some of the famous Mounties, and some massive horses. Clydesdales I think? The fair was everything and more than we expected: chuckwagon races and corndogs, rodeo cowboys and candy apples — and of course beer gardens. Oh, and John acting like a 12 year-old girl on the rides.
Day 5
Stompin’ and buckin’
It was a bittersweet morning as we prepped to finally leave Calgary, but hot coffee and free-range eggs brightened spirits. Later, there was a little wandering around downtown Calgary punctuated by ice cream before the topic of line dancing came up. Dares were exchanged and we were off to test our footwork. After some boot turns, wrong turns, dips and plenty of trips went down on the floor, shots went up on the bar. And talk of the electric bronco began. Next thing you know, we were on it. Then … summarily tossed off. It was our last night, but one of the best we’d had together. Goodbye, Calgary — see ya ‘round.