.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Beautiful Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park!

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Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park lies in the Milk River valley of the province’s prairie grasslands ecosystem and has characteristic “Badlands” erosion.  It is situated in southern Alberta, just north of the Montana border.  

This place is sacred to the Blackfoot native population as the Park contains the largest concentration of petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) on the North American plains.  It is believed this site was a place where the ancestors of the Blackfoot people gathered to socialize and tell stories. 

I visited this park several years ago.  It’s in a fairly remote place, about a half day’s drive from the city of Calgary and an hour and a half from Lethbridge.  I visited on a rainy, windy June day that …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 5, 2018: Prairie Sunrise, Alberta

00 Prairie sunrise

One of the things I enjoy about prairie winters is the soft diffused quality of the sunlight.  The sun is far to the south during the winter months and with cloud cover over the Rockies and its foothills the light is often filtered. 

Recently while making an early trip down the Cowboy Trail highway I enjoyed this lovely sunrise, which I thought I’d share with you today.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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“Pic of the Week”, September 1, 2017: Canola field, Saskatchewan

08 Canola Field, Saskatchewan (1)

I had a pleasant drive across the Canadian prairies this summer with my father.  While the landscape is flat and lacks relief, it was a great time to do the trip because the canola and flax were blooming, adding a lot of color to the landscape.  And the first cutting of hay was being bailed, putting a fresh pleasant scent in the wind.  

Canola has become a popular crop in Canada these past few decades and canola fields are everywhere.  The plants are about a meter high and produce beautiful small yellow flowers that ripen into bean-like pods.  Black seeds from the pods are harvested and crushed to create canola oil and meal.  Canola seeds contain about 45 percent oil …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado / North America

Flatirons Vista Loop Hike, Boulder, Colorado

001 Flatiron Vista Loop Trail 09-2014

One of my favorite regions to hike is anywhere near the transition between the great Central Plains and the Rocky Mountains.  The region offers opportunity to explore several ecosystems and to enjoy grand panoramic views of the mountains and a seemingly endless prairie, with relatively little effort due to the flatness of the plains.

Flatirons Vista Trail offers a hike that’s custom-tailored to the above description.  It’s just south of the college city of Boulder, Colorado (where my youngest son is currently a postgrad in physics), immediately off Highway 93, and is a loop trail that  offers great views of Boulder’s famous Flatirons.  There’s lots of parking (for a fee for non-residents, so bring small bills with you).  The trail is quite …

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