A great Canadian adventure, rich in history and unique heritage, awaits in Canada’s ‘Dinosaur Valley,’ Drumheller, Alberta. The area is often referred to as ‘Dinosaur Capital of the World,’ and is home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Canadian Badlands, Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site and more.
I was just in time for lunch when I first arrived in Drumheller, and took the opportunity to have a bite and a cold one at the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ aka ‘Bucket of Blood,’ located in an area known as Rosedale. Previously I read about the attached Rosedeer Hotel being haunted, and have been intrigued by tales of ghost towns and former mining communities throughout Alberta. Often great photographs are awaiting in such places. Information sheets placed on the dining tables inside the saloon shared more about the mining history, the Klu Klux Klan burning crosses on the hills above, celebrities like Jackie Chan on site to film movies, and the saloon earning its nickname ‘Bucket of Blood,’ due to the many fights that would occur during the coal mining days.
Later that afternoon I discovered for myself cacti can be found in Canada, while hiking around the badlands. It had me slightly worried I might encounter one of these rattlesnakes I had heard about out here as well, but I did not, only great views. Hike up beyond the hoodoos when you visit them, as it’s well worth it. If you do not want to take the steep route, you can take a more gradual route to the right of the hoodoos, up and around.
A visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum was a great way to cap off my photographic exploration of Drumheller, especially since one of the most well preserved dinosaur fossils ever discovered has been recently put on display. The 110 million year old nodosaur fossil is the best preserved armoured dinosaur ever found, with skin, armour, scales, spikes all still intact. I made a quick stop at Fossil World, after finishing up at the museum, and though I couldn’t quite afford the $7000 T-Rex tooth, I did go home with my very own raptor tooth. Jackpot!
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