Archive for the Alberta Category

Big news

Posted in Alberta, Christmas, Costa Rica, Edmonton, Elk Island National Park, Great Sandhills, Job offer, Moving, North Battleford, Ontario, Saskatchewan with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2017 by Amanda

I was going to write this post a bit earlier this evening but was interrupted by the fire alarm going off in my building.  It was nothing; some idiot probably pulled it.  Anyway, I have some big news: I will be starting a new job in Ontario on August 1.  I am definitely ready for this change as I’ve been in North Battleford, SK for nearly four and a half years.  I am not really looking forward to clearing out this apartment though!

I have (obviously) completed ignored this blog this year.  Until now, it has not been the most exciting year but a few things have happened.  I will really try to write posts to make up for this soon.  If not, here is a summary:

  • I was home for Christmas/New Years
  • I went on a trip to Costa Rica in March
  • On Victoria Day Weekend, I went to Elk Island National Park and Edmonton
  • I visited the Great Sandhills yesterday

Calgary

Posted in Alberta, Calgary, Driving, Travel, Weather with tags , , , , on December 23, 2016 by Amanda

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So, once again this is a rather delayed post.  There isn’t actually a lot to say but I thought I needed to write it before my next trip (home for Christmas).  Three weekends ago, I drove to Calgary to visit my sister who was doing training there. It was a lot of driving for a weekend (I did take Friday afternoon off work) but she was relatively close.

We ate at vegetarian Indian buffet which cost only $12; I so wish that there was a place like that here!  I also had a Harvey’s veggie burger which we could also really use here.  I saw Santa driving through a Tim Horton’s drive-thru in a rusted “Tickle Tunkle” car.  It was snowing a bit on the Sunday morning and the visibility wasn’t the greatest.  However, I didn’t find the roads too bad but I saw like ten vehicles off the road.  I can’t imagine how many would have been off the road if the roads really were bad!

Banff, Jasper etc.

Posted in Abandoned buildings, Alberta, Athabasca Glacier, Banff, Calgary, Camping, Canmore, Caving, Drumheller, Edmonton, Forest fires, Jasper, Lake Louise, Lloydminster, Pocahontas, Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Travel, Vacation, Vegreville with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2015 by Amanda

Last Saturday I picked up my sister from the Saskatoon airport and then we headed to Alberta. We stopped briefly in Drumheller and then spent a night in Calgary.

On Sunday we drove to Canmore (which I thought was a very nice town) and went caving. It was definitely different than other caves I’ve been in. Overall, I enjoyed the experience though I would have appreciated elbow pads in addition to knee pads and I truly thought I might never get out of the cave as it was very slippery and difficult to get out of. I left with quite a few bruises. I really liked the rappelling and it was nice to be in a cave that isn’t visited by that many people.

Entrance to the cave.

Entrance to the cave.

Later in the afternoon we headed to Banff. The campground was nice and quiet and had lots of elk. I especially enjoyed watching them lick water off of tents. We walked around the town and did a little bit of hiking.

Elk licking a tent.

Elk licking a tent.

We then headed to Lake Louise was completely insane. Parking was very frustrating. Eventually we ended up parking about a kilometre away in a parking lot for some trail. It would have been much quicker to do that in the first place. We took a trail to a lookout which was surprisingly quiet. I doubt more than one in a hundred people there took this trail but it had such an amazing view and the 1.8 kilometres walk which was pretty much all uphill was very much worth it and of course, the walk down took no time at all!

Lake  Louise from the viewpoint.

Lake Louise from the viewpoint.

We spent a night at a campground near the Athabasca Glacier. It only had pit toilets but I can’t really complain as it cost only $15.70. We got there around 3 o’clock and there were very few sites left so it was good that we didn’t arrive later. You can’t make reservations and it uses a self-registration system.

The next morning we took a tour and walked on the glacier for close to three hours. It was an interesting experience. It was astonishing to see how much of the glacier has melted since 1982 (there is a sign of where it was then). I think it would be interesting (and depressing) to visit in a decade or two to see how much change has occurred.

The Athabasca Glacier.

The Athabasca Glacier.

We stopped at a couple of waterfalls on the way to Jasper. I liked the town of Jasper better than Banff but was the campground was not good. There was so much traffic and noise there and we really didn’t sleep well; being sick of camping by then didn’t help either. We saw a bear but didn’t manage to get a picture of it. We did a bunch of hiking in the area.

Jasper

Jasper

On the way out of the park, we stopped briefly at an old mine called Pocahontas. It had some old ruins and informational signs. It was very interesting and we were the only ones there!

Sort of entering a building you aren't supposed to enter in Pocahontas.

Sort of entering a building you aren’t supposed to enter in Pocahontas.

We stopped for a night in Edmonton and then travelled back to North Battleford (with a stop in Vegreville as my sister needed a picture of the sign as she used to have a job where she had to send things to there all the time). On the drive, it became increasingly hazy. I eventually realized that it was smoke as it got stronger. The smoke seemed strongest around Lloydminster. It was still smoky when we reached here yesterday. I know that there are like a billion forest fires but was surprised that the smoke spread this far.

I showed my sister a bit of Saskatoon this afternoon and then dropped her off at the airport. I am a bit tired and not really looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.

This post is NOT about weather … even though, the weather was actually great!

Posted in Alberta, Driving, Edmonton, Shopping, South Edmonton Commons, Travel, Vegetarian, West Edmonton Mall with tags , , , , , , , on April 6, 2014 by Amanda

I actually have something to write about other than the weather for once! I decided to go shopping in Edmonton this weekend. I hadn’t been anywhere in forever; the last time I even went to Saskatoon was the first day of February! The drive went pretty smoothly both ways though I there a bit of a delay entering Edmonton due to construction. It always amazes me how much traffic ends up slowing down when two lanes unexpectedly have to merge into one!

I went to a really good vegetarian restaurant for lunch. I had a lentil loaf that was covered with cashew gravy. I’d never had cashew gravy before and I think I may actually prefer to mushroom gravy (and I love mushroom gravy!).

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The entrance to the restaurant

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Lentil loaf etc.

After that, I went over to West Edmonton Mall. By the time, I got there it was rather busy. I decided to park in the overflow parking across the street that had plenty of spots which I think was a good decision; it looked crazy in the regular parking area! I still have trouble believing that it used to be the world’s largest mall. It just doesn’t seem that big to me!

I was pleasantly surprised with my hotel room. It only cost $86.11 including all the taxes. Booking.com has a 7.4 rating for this hotel which is not bad (I generally find that if a place is 7.0 or higher, it’s fine) but I was still a bit skeptical because the price was so low. It wasn’t a quiet as I’d like at first but by 11 it was very quiet and I slept well; so, I definitely can’t complain!

I headed to South Edmonton Commons this morning and I ended up purchasing a bit more than I thought I would but I got some good deals! Still, I probably should consider putting a moratorium on buying non-essential things for a month or two.

I attempted to have lunch at another vegetarian restaurant but I sat for fifteen minutes with the menu and my order still wasn’t taken and few people actually had any food. I thought it might take all afternoon to get anything to eat so I left and had another Harvey’s veggie burger. At least, this restaurant did not involve driving out of my way!

Before I left Edmonton, I bought a bunch of Indian sweets. I haven’t had them in ages. Hopefully, I’ll be able to eat them gradually but we’ll see.

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Indian sweets

Drumheller

Posted in Alberta, Atlas Coal Mine, Dinosaurs, Drumheller, Ferry, Hoodoos, Horseshoe Canyon, Horsethief Canyon, Orkney Viewpoint, Royal Tyrrell Museum, Travel, Wayne with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2013 by Amanda

I spent Thanksgiving weekend in Drumheller, Alberta. I saw it how great the area looked while watching the Amazing Race Canada this summer and since it is not all that far away I decided to visit.

Despite being slowed down a bit by a long stretch of road that being paved, I still arrived in Drumheller is less than 4.5 hours. I definitely thinking there could have been a bit tricky without a GPS as the drive involved going on a bunch of different highways. However, once I got to Drumheller it would have taken some serious talent to get lost as there were signs everywhere listing the attractions in the area.

When I arrived I saw the world’s largest dinosaur though I didn’t bother actually paying the $3 to go inside of it and picked up the free visitor’s guide. I then went to the Royal Tyrrell Museum which is focused on dinosaurs. It was a nice museum but a bit busy and there were a lot of people who wouldn’t stop talking which made reading all the information a bit difficult; still, it was definitely worth visiting and I suspect it may be much busier at times. After that I walked around the museum’s trail and then went onto another trail which was nice but unfortunately, some of it still had that awful newly paved smell. In the evening, I walked downtown a bit where there is an insane amount of dinosaur statues.

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The world’s tallest dinosaur

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Inside the Royal Tyrrell Museum

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One of the many dinosaur statues in downtown Drumheller

On Sunday, I went the Atlas Coal Mine which is a national historic site and the only remaining coal mine of the 139 there once were in the Drumheller area. I got there early and was the first visitor and wondered if there would be anyone else there. I did two tours: the tipple tour and the underground tour. The first tour had just three of us while the second once was much more popular and had 17. I’m glad I did the tours as they went to places that you can’t go if you don’t do tours and they were quite informative. I found it really interesting that this company managed to sell there coal for twice the price of other companies simply by painting it orange and advertising that that was better! The underground was actually more into the ground, like a cave. It was a bit of an uphill climb but quite easy despite the warnings they give!

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Atlas Coal Mine

After that I went to the hoodoos and then to the suspension bridge. There was a sign at the suspension bridge that “swaying” of the bridge was not allowed which was really unfortunate as I personally think that jumping on suspension bridges makes the walk across so much more fun! Still it was a nice walk with beautiful scenery. I then proceeded to Wayne a place that once had 2,490 residents but now has just 28. To get there I took a really nice drive that crossed eleven bridges in six kilometres; all but one of the bridges was one lane and all were wooden.

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Hoodoos

I then drove through town and over to Horseshoe Canyon and then turned around and drove around the Dinosaur Trail. I stopped at a little church that sits just six people! I then went to Horsethief Canyon was fantastic and then took the Bleriot Ferry over the river. It was good that the crossing was very short and this was definitely the slowest ferry ride ever! It was funny that the ferry had a lifeboat and lifejackets as the water was so shallow but I guess they have to legally have them! On the other side of the river, I stopped at the Orkney Viewpoint which might just have been the most scenic viewpoint in the whole area! All of that took the entire day.

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Horsethief Canyon

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View from the Orkney Viewpoint

This morning, I left Drumheller. There was very little traffic which was great and I arrived back in North Battleford around 2 o’clock.