The most important place for us to visit in Drumheller, was of course, The Royal Tyrell Museum! Not JUST because it's supposed to be so amazing, but because Sam has a special fossil he wanted to have assessed.
Our first full day in Drumheller was spent at the museum. We signed up for the 'Experience Alberta's History' pass which gets us in to the museum - and several other museums free for a year! This is WELL worth getting for us!! We are always at the Royal Alberta Museum, and on our trip we were already planning to visit Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, so I knew it would save us a lot of money!
The first thing we did was ask the girl at customer service if there was someone who could assess Sams fossil! Turns out she is actually trained in that kind of thing anyway - she said she would help if possible and if not she would find someone who could!
She explained to Sam that the fossil was of sea snail shells - and that they got trapped in the rock when Alberta was covered in a shallow sea. She showed us a faux fossil on the outside of the rock and then showed us where many snail shells had been totally crushed, but then one had survived the impact whole and created the shell fossil.
She then explained that as the fossil was not found in the area, Sam could take 'legal ownership' of it - but she did say that by law any fossils found in Alberta are not allowed to leave the Province. If he ahd found the fossil in the Drumheller area, he would have had to surrender it - although if it is on privately owned land it would belong to the land owner.
He was given a leaflet explaining it all :)
She was so great and so helpful :) We also found displays of fossils just like Sams and they were dated 75 million years ago....wow!!
The museum is amazing - Beautiful displays and its so hard to believe that they are REAL bones and REAL dinosaurs - they all look like plastic replicas, but the museum displays are 70% real. Some have parts that are cast to make up the full skeleton or to allow people to touch them...
One guide showed us samples of various bones, teeth and even petrified POOP!!! :)
The museum itself is surrounded by endless hiking trails into Dinosaur Provincial Park:
Comparing heights with a dinosaur leg:
We weighed ourselves all together, and we weighed the same as a bear!!
Yes these are all real:
Couldn't resist taking a picture of petrified poop:
Rowley is a little ghost town just north of Drumheller - well worth the drive to visit it! No one lives there, but the town is maintained and there is plenty to see. We found a button to press near the old train and suddenly in this silent little town with NO ONE around, a mans voice boomed out - talking about the town! It was sooooo strange but in a funny kind of way.
The whole town reminded me of that strange little town on Big Fish.
The Hoodoos near Drumheller weren't quite what I was expecting - but I am still glad we saw them. I didn't expect them to all be fenced off - or to be quite such a 'tourist attraction'....many of the places we visited were empty and soooo quiet - so it was strange to drive up to the Hoodoos and see crowds of people! You can hike up the Hoodoos to the top of the hill, but it was extremely hot, and Abigail doesn't do well in heat, so I stayed at the bottom with her and we had fun exploring while Sam and Susannah climbed up. We built Inukshuks and read all the signs, looked in tunnels and took pictures....then sat in the shade until the other two were done :)
An IG friend said she was surprised to see the main Hoodoo's fenced off now - so I guess they didn't used to be - but like Stonehenge, they have to be now to protect them - as some idiots had been writing in the rocks and knocking parts off. Such a shame that a few people ruin in for everyone else.
It wasn't easy to get pictures without people in the background, but I think I managed ok :)
The Hoodoo's are being eroded by the weather very fast - they have pictures there of how they used to look and several have now lost their caps and are much thinner - this is just natural of course, and these will disappear and others will be formed....but still, I feel fortunate to have seen them.
On this road trip we learned a lot about coal mining and the history of the mines in Alberta. The kids said our visit to the Atlas Coal Mine museum was probably their favourite part of our whole trip. I am surprised but happy they feel this way - it was very cool to have the chance to go right into an old coal mine and to hear so many stories - see where the miners kept their clothes - and wear the old fashioned helmets and lamps with huge battery packs.
The guy that gave the tour was so funny and interesting - we came away with some really cool facts, stories and information about the surrounding area - and coal mining in general!!
Tomorrow is Lego's 80th birthday and they asked people to create a birthday cake or slice of cake from Lego and share the pictures. So Sam created this one. It has a knife to cut the cake and a candle on the top between the two little Lego guys :)
Abby was in a baking mood so she baked a Devils Food Cake which was heavenly :)
I spent the day catching up on my blog and making a few phone calls. Then we drove Laurence to work. He really loves the people he is working with, but says making pizza's is exhausting work physically.
While Laurence was at work, we went to the library and played the Summer reading game. Abigail entered another contest there. Then we went to Dollarama as Sam wanted to see if they had a gun to fit the caps he has (nope) and to Save On Foods to get some picnic foods - then we headed to the spray park in town. We haven't been to that one since last year, but the kids had fun and we ended up spending the whole evening there. I did art journaling and Susannah read. It was a lovely day - 26c I think but with a lovely cool breeze :)
We picked Laurence up from work, stopped off for slurpies for the kids and then headed home.
We then sat out by the fire for a little while - the mosquitoes were so bad though! We were out there long enough for the kids to have a few roasted marshmallows and then we put the fire out and headed back in.