Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Deep South

Recently we spend a weekend in the Deep South. No, not Savannah or Charleston, but Lethbridge, in the Deep South of Alberta. At least we were able to see the Oldman River. (Oops, wrong link.)

Looking South toward Montana

Compared to Central Alberta, the South is an alien landscape, of badlands and hoodoos and coulees and high prairie. The inhabitants seem to be prepared to welcome aliens themselves.

Southern Alberta looks very different from the now familiar central part. To our eyes the fields looked less green; trees were fewer and farther between, except in the river valleys and coulees; and if the irrigation equipment in nearly every field is any indication, Southern Alberta is a much more arid place. Driving south, after passing Calgary, we could see the foothills and Rocky Mountains to the west and the flat prairie to the east.

Having landed in the south, we had a couple of days to explore. It was hot, around 33 degrees in the shade, if you could find any.

We paid a visit to Writing on Stone Provincial Park where we were able to hike among the hoodoos in the Milk River valley.

Milk River in Writing-on-Stone Park
The landscape was stunning, and the rock formations quite impressive.





In addition to the natural landscape there were also some petroglyphs.

Lots of impressive scenes, and some lovely flowers to be seen on our hike.

All in all, we enjoyed Writing-on-Stone.

On Day 2 of our short stay we visited the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

The interpretive centre is built unobtrusively into the side of the cliff beside the actual Buffalo Jump. There we learned how the local Blackfoot hunted buffalo (or bison) by driving them off the cliff. It must have taken great skill, co-operation and bravery to achieve a successful hunt. 

The Buffalo Jump
A couple of short trails on the site provide an opportunity to see some of the plants... 

...and to enjoy the views.

After Head-Smashed-In, we made a quick stop in Vulcan on our way home, where we managed to snap the photos at the top of the page.

It was a short visit leaving much unexplored, but a lovely weekend. We'll be back.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Alan, I hope you are doing well these days! Came across your blog, and enjoyed catching-up a bit about your recent moves. Best wishes, Andy Hill