I do not think that I’m a sound sleeper but either I am or Honour and Jamie are the quietest roomies I’ve ever had. My cat makes more noise walking up the carpeted hallway than Jamie and Honour make getting up and out in the morning. The morning report on Duff and Fergus was good (I will spare you the detailed descriptions of input/output but be assured WE are monitoring these events.) We all took a relaxed approach to getting out, had a very solid breakfast in the hotel restaurant. We decided that we would take in some sightseeing on the way to Regina. As you can see, we have now begun to PLAN this trip. Up to now, our plan was “Go East”. We figured we’d fill in the details later. After Golden we figured we needed to fill in some details sooner. We have begun booking hotels in advance and deciding where we might stop and refresh & refuel. We would be going close to Drumheller, where the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. To get to Drumheller from Calgary, you go past Horseshoe Canyon.
Horseshoe Canyon is a region of the badlands along Highway 9. It gets its name from its Horseshoe shape. (I don’t want to be disrespectful, but have you noticed the lack of creativity in the naming of geography? “Delta”. “Horseshoe Canyon” “Grand Canyon” “Rockies” ) One of the descriptions mentioned that there were hoodoos in the canyon. I LOVED the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon from the first moment I saw a picture of them. The canyon is RIGHT THERE off the road. We pulled in and I got out to go to the overlook and take pictures. Honour stayed in the car, running the a/c for the cats. There was no shade and although it was only mid-morning it was HOT. I was taking pics with my camera when my phone rang. Really? Who is calling me? I pull out my phone and it’s my sister! I say “hello???” And I hear “Is there a reason you are heading north instead of east??? That’s NOT the way to Regina!” I start laughing. She and my husband have been tracking me since I left the house on Monday. She knew we were heading to Regina but there I was – NORTH of Rt 1 (Transcanada Highway). I think this is extremely funny and incredibly sweet. *smile* I assured her that we were indeed where we meant to be. While I was enjoying that chat my husband appeared at their door so I got to chat with him as well.
We got back in the car and headed to Drumheller. There are dinosaurs everywhere. Every store and corner gets in on the act. It reminded me of the painted cows many years ago that appeared all over Chicago – CowParade We made our way to the museum only to find a completely full parking lot. We headed down to the overflow lot – a big empty dirt/stone lot in the full blazing sun. We began to rig up shade in the car for the cats and dog. We got all the way done doing so and looked at each other, looked at the car, looked at the sun and thought – there is no way this can end happily. Then we argued about which one of would go to the museum and who would stay with the cats. “After you, Alphonse.” “No, no Gaston, after YOU”. We took down the make-shift curtains, got back in the car and headed to town, looking for someplace to eat. We got side-tracked by a visitor center where there is a VERY large dinosaur. We decided not to climb up into its mouth but did take pictures. There was a lovely green square with fountains and tables and food trucks, but dogs were not permitted. I considered trying to cram Jamie into my bag but Jamie told me that she was not really that interested in that field anyway. We walked back to the car and headed to the main street. Honour had a wonderful erudite (not) conversation with a young woman one of the stores, trying to find a leash for Jamie (whose leash is somewhere in the car) and then trying to find a place to eat. Should Honour ever decide to post a blog she can tell you the conversation, but let it suffice to say that it was not especially helpful. We decided to head out of town and as we did so we found a Subway. Honour was driving. We had to cross a major intersection to get to the Subway, and just in front of the entrance was the merging traffic making right turns to go the direction we were going. Honour, being Canadian and polite, stopped to allow the merging car to go first (even though she had the right of way. In NJ, where we are never that polite, there would have been no question as to who was going to take over that spot. 🙂 ). The merging car happened to be a police car. THEY knew the rules of the road. 🙂 As Honour stopped, trying to figure out how to cut in front of the car and enter the parking lot, the office was gesturing furiously out the window for her to GO! So go she did and pulled into the lot. The police car pulled in as well but we went separate directions. Honour went first to get food while I stayed in the car running the a/c. Of course you KNOW who was right behind her in line. 🙂 The police officers.
After lunch we headed out of town and got back on Highway 1, heading east, which we thought would be reassuring to my sister. 🙂 We do stop a lot for water, for gas, for Jamie to walk about. I’d like to say that the trip to Regina was beautiful and interesting but that would not be completely truthful. I love mountains. I love water. The prairie was interesting for about 10 minutes. After that, not so much. There is a lot of nothing out there. Lots and lots of grass and horizon. It was out there on the endless nothing that I appreciated WHY we filled the tank when it was only half empty. It is a very very long way between rest stops. I think one of the ‘highlights’ of the trip through the prairie (which I keep calling ‘plains’ to Honour’s great frustration) was the 4 way Stop. Yes, in the middle of nothing, where there was another road intersecting the Transcanada highway, we had a 4 way stop. I’m from NJ and there is absolutely nothing I can say in this blog about a 4 way stop in the middle of nowhere where there is no one and nothing. 🙂 I did, however, like moo’ing at all the cows. This is a family tradition, begun by my sister. If it has 4 legs and is in a field along the road, you moo. There are some mighty odd looking cows out there but hey – 4 legs – we moo. 🙂
There were several storm cells south and east of us, but we were very lucky and skirted about the edges of the bad weather. We had a little rain, but not much. We could see the dark clouds and rain in the distance and were quite happy to not have to drive through all that darkness. We glimpsed rainbows several times in the distance, as well as wind turbines. I find the turbines graceful and elegant. I noticed that many of the streams running through the fields had a lot of white around the banks; other streams had none. I can’t figure out what it might be but I’m hoping someone reading this might be able to tell me. We spent a lot of time walking about in Drumheller and didn’t see any real dinosaurs. But we’d apparently spent enough time there that we did not get to Regina and Calli until 9pm.
Calli welcomed us and introduced us to the family: daughter, grandson, husband, spaniel puppy (i think it was a spaniel), 2 greyhounds and 1 Irish wolfhound. They were all lovely and welcoming. Calli made us a lovely dinner and we had a great time chatting. Calli is someone who appreciates my Ahuva-ness – she had a Disney tiara for me. It sparkled and had flashing lights. I wore it through dinner. She invited us for breakfast the next morning and we accepted. We know a good thing when we see it.
The hotel was only 10 minutes from her house and we got there and parked uneventfully – no hail, no rain. It was a bit of an adventure finding the elevator up as it was around the corner from the stairs. But we were in the bowels of the building and there was no way I was going to walk up at that point. Our room was lovely, upscale and wonderfully comfortable. It was midnight and the 3 of us crawled into beds and fell asleep, happy in the knowledge that we were going to see Calli in the morning.