It’s Tuesday morning and it was raining really hard this morning, so we hung around a bit as usual, finally getting out around 1:00… off to the Royal Tyrrell (Dinosaur) museum, pretty swank for a museum stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Very busy, too. We were only there for an hour or so before we split up; Lenore, Jacquie, Cam and Ben retreated to the campground and the rest of us took Glen’s pickup for more touristing. By now the weather was quite fine and remained so the rest of the day.
Our main objective was the Atlas Mine, 25 KM East. It seems Drumheller used to be a major source of coal, with dozens of mines operating, all but one of which shut down many decades ago. The Atlas mine kept going until 1979. They are drift mines (drilled into the side of the valley) and there is still tons of coal here, but nobody wants it anymore. Perhaps Drumheller (and Sydney NS) will experience a massive turnaround as people decide burning coal is a lesser evil than having to walk to the mall.
The Atlas tour was really, really good, lots of interesting static displays (heavily oriented towards how tough the miners had it back then, must have been union sponsored!), and a real-life tour from a perky guide who showed great patience with Logan, a 4-year-old who yakked the whole time (our kids were perfectly behaved and I think liked it OK).
On the way back we stopped at The Hoodoos, which I hate to say it, but if you have been to Bryce Canyon, well… similar idea but it’s like a lemonade stand compared to Wal-Mart, The Hoodoos being about 5 rock pillars of unimpressive height. Sorry, Canada. I am sure there are a lot more Hoodoos elsewhere.
Finally we stopped at a rather unimpressive suspension bridge, well, when you used to live 10 minutes away from Lynn Canyon, it’s hard to beat that. A couple of supply stops on the way home and a big pasta dinner for all, and I think we’re going to play some games now.
Tomorrow we’ll be off to Banff, only 200 K or so. We’ve been discussing a couple of changes of plan, in part because there is an extraordinary amount of stuff to do in Banff, but I think we will likely stick to the original Banff-Edmonton-Calgary loop plan.