Day two of our road trip consisted of spending quality time with family and friends, exploring the badlands, and DINOSAURS!
What could be better than that? The night we arrived we were able to spend an amazing evening with my aunt and uncle and our best friends Brittany and Taylor (pictured below). Even though we had hardly had any sleep we couldn’t help but stay up late chatting. We knew we couldn’t waste the opportunity as we aren’t in the same province often. We didn’t regret it, as we had an excellent night, one we will remember for a long time.
The next day we had a whole day planned to go to Drumheller to check out the badlands as well as the Dinosaur museum. This has been Carson’s dream since he was little so he was very excited to go.
The town of Drumheller was very cute and filled with dinosaurs everywhere. They also have the world’s largest model T-Rex. You are even able to climb inside to the very top and look out it’s mouth. For a fee of course, but still, pretty cool.
This is the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. They have over 130,000 fossils – including the world famous nodosaur fossil! (More about that later.) We loved this museum. It was well laid out and had an amazing collection of Dinosaur exhibits. Even non-dinosaur enthusiasts would enjoy their time here. We however were enthusiasts and Carson especially was giddy to go in.
Also, these little guys were everywhere.
Okay, as promised, more about that nodosaur; This armored plant-eater dinosaur is the best preserved fossil of its kind ever found. It’s an actual dinosaur, not just a sculpture, that is petrified. So basically it’s a mummified dinosaur, which is extremely rare! How cool is that!
Some many, many years ago, this armored plant-eater lumbered through Canada, until a flooded river swept it into open sea. The dinosaur’s undersea burial preserved its armor in exquisite detail. Its head still bears tile-like plates and a gray array of fossilized skins. It was found by chance by workers in an Alberta oil sands mine in 2011 and the museum had been hard at work for years to reveal this fossil. It’s grand opening was just a few months before we arrived.
The more we looked at it, the more mind-boggled we were about it. It was so amazing to see such detail and to know this is what this creature looked like so many years ago. It’s not just a skeleton but a mummified dinosaur where you can actually see the animals intact armored skin! As you can tell this exhibit was the highlight!
There was also the iconic T-Rex skeleton which was fun to see!
After we finished looking at all the exhibits, (which did take a while) we ventured outside to explore the badlands.
It’s a very rugged landscape filled with ancient valleys. Really, it made me imagine we were on Tatooine. It was very hot and dry out, which was a big contrast to the air conditioned rooms in the museum!
Since it was crazy hot out, we didn’t hike for too long but just enough to enjoy the unique beauty of the badlands. We then went back to Calgary to enjoy some sushi, wine and Netflix to prepare for another long day of driving the next day.
Road Trip Day Three & Four: The Prairies coming soon!
Until next time!
- C & C