Driving on the Prairie
Today was one of our highlights for the kids, we would be going to the Royal Tyrrell Musuem to see some dinosaurs. To reach there, we would need to drive through the prairie. Driving through the prairie was an experience in itself. As soon as we were outside of the Calgary city, we were faced with a vast flat land of nothingness. It was surprisingly lacking in any tall structures, man made or not. The one and a half hour drive felt a lot longer when the scenery didn't change at all.
Suddenly, as we approached our destination, the landscape changed dramatically. The road led us down into a valley with small mounds surrounding us. And there, in front of us was the town of Drumheller where the museum is located. It was one of the most remarkable drive of my life. The Drumheller town was built around the dinosaur discoveries. There were many little private dinosaur museums and dinosaur themed shops. Our primary goal, however, was the Royal Tyrrell Museum. So, we skipped all of those.
Royal Tyrrell Museum
After a short drive following the signs along the way, we finally reached the Royal Tyrrell Museum. The museum was well designed with lots of displays of original fossils. It’s the biggest dinosaur exhibit I had ever seen. There was also a vast outdoor space for visitors to look at the surrounding site. Quite a few fossils were dug in the surrounding areas. I was glad that our kids, especially the second eldest one, liked it.
After going through the musuem, we drove a bit further south to the Hoodoo Trail to see some hoodoos. It’s not huge and it had some unique landscaping, like sandstone pillars with rock caps. Kids loved to do their own exploration (and climbing) there.
Atlas Coal Mine
After exploring the Hoodoo Trail, we travelled further south to the Atlas Coal Mine. The coal mine was big but when we arrived, we had already missed the tunnel tour. So we just walked through the site and learned a few facts of the coal miners lives. It turned out that it’s better for us to not do the tour because the weather was about to get bad, very bad.
Star Mine Suspension Bridge
On our way back to Drumheller, we stopped by the Star Mine Suspension Bridge to take a look. There wasn't a lot to see but a bridge. However, it was long enough for kids to feel a little bit scary. For adults, you can read about the bridge and appreciate the history behind this suspension bridge.
Thunderstorm in the Prairie
As we left the bridge, we saw that the sky had darkened by a little bit. We started our journey home as quickly as possible.
After about 10 mins of driving, the wind started to pick up and we saw a huge thunder cloud ahead of us. On the prairie, without any tall building or tree blocking you, you could see the entire thunder cloud and it was huge and scary. One of the thunder cloud was so low that it’s like a spaceship hover above the car. The gust was so strong that the car was swaying sideway.
Lightning was seen every few seconds and rain started to pour. It was so much rain that even the faster wiper could not sweep it away. Many things went through my mind, what if we were blown to the ditch? What if we’re struck by lightning? It was very intense emotionally and physically.
We endured about 30 mins of this difficult condition until we came out alright and breathed a sigh of relief. The remaining hour of driving was more relaxed but I couldn’t shake the intense feeling from before.
Toronto Raptor won 2019 NBA Championship
At night time, we bought some more steak from Safeway and cooked our dinner. Luckily, we still had time to catch up with the NBA Final match between Toronto Raptors and Warriors. Toronto Raptors made history won the 2019 NBA Championship.
It was an intense day and an intense night for two completely different reasons.