We didn’t have to be on the road until 10:00 am this morning, but we awoke at 7:00 am and decided to get up and get going.
We had breakfast and got the car loaded and were on the road out of Calgary by 9:00 am. We headed South on Alberta 2A and it is nice to see the speed limit is 110 km/hr.
We are going in search of the Okotoks Erratic or otherwise known as The Big Rock.
For those who don’t know what an erratic is, basically it is a rock that is out of place, it is not the same type of rock that is found in the area. These rocks have been transported by a glacier and deposited many many miles from their origin.
A rock of this size would have fallen from the mountain side, onto the top of the glacier and the glacier and the rock kept on moving until the glacier had melted enough that it could no longer support the weight of the rock and this is where it landed, out here in this field.
The Okotoks Erratic is the largest known erratic to exist in the world. We have seen many erratics in our previous vacations and we have seen some big ones but this certainly is the biggest we have seen. In the next photo, you can read a brief description and see the path of this erratic.
This rock moved over 400 km from the Jasper AB area and landed here.
After leaving the Okotoks Erratic, we continued Southward on Alberta 2A.
Driving through the town of Nanton Alberta, we saw a roadside museum of old airplanes. We didn’t have time to stop, but captured these photos as we drove by slowly.
We are now heading West on Alberta 785, our next stop is ahead.
We are going to visit “Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre”
Before the Native Americans met the White Man, they basically had no weapons, or very crude weapons. But by herding and luring the buffalo into a corridor that kept narrowing, they were able to stampede the herd to the point of no return and the buffalo went off the cliff, dying by crashing on the rocks below, where the natives could then butcher and process enough meat to survive the winter months.
The interpretive centre is comprised of 5 levels. On each level you learn more and more about the significance of the buffalo jump and the process that was involved to lure the buffalos along and then stampede them over the cliff.
On the 5th floor of the building, you exit onto a pathway that takes you to the actual cliff edge where the buffalo would meet their demise after stampeding over the edge.
The view from up here is uninterrupted by anything manmade except for this teepee (and the road, and the fence, but you get the idea) and the view goes on and on forever.
We left the Interpretive Centre and the GPS put us on to this 30 km gravel road to our destination of Pincher Creek AB. We thought of going the long way on paved roads, but this road had been recently graded so we decided that we would take the chance that it wouldn’t get worse and pushed onwards. We were in no hurry and the scenery was beautiful. Average speed was 60 km/hr.
Storm clouds were building ahead of us.
We could see the Rocky Mountains ahead underneath the clouds.
We drove through a large wind farm. It is said that the winds are the strongest in this part of Alberta so it makes sense to put a wind farm here.
The storm is really starting to intensify as the clouds are forced over the mountains. It is off to the NorthWest of us enough that it shouldn’t bother us.
We arrive in Pincher Creek and go directly to our hotel. It would be nice to get checked in and the luggage into the room before the rains start. This cowboy has the same idea, get his horses into the barn before the storm.
This is the view from our hotel window of the Rocky Mountains.
And the view of the Wal-Mart from our window. We walked over and bought a few things and had dinner at McDonald’s.
Karen took these photos of the sunset. Actually Karen is taking about 90 percent of the photos, she is getting very good and developing an eye for good photo content.
I am very happy with the internet in this hotel, I have a very fast connection and am able to upload several days worth of photos and videos that I was unable to do from the Calgary hotel.
To see all of the photos from today, you can find them all on our FLICKR site.
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