Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trip to Southern Alberta 2008 – heading home

With only two weeks time off, it was now time to head towards home.  We hooked up the trailer and headed to the sani-station which was located up on the plains.

SweetGrassHills

While Ernie dealt with that nasty business….I snapped a few final shots of Writing on Stone….there are those Sweet Grass hills…

WriteonStone2

and a look back towards the south west….

WriteonStone

and eastward, with the visitor’s center (closed now for the season although the park is open year round), that flat building up on the hillside and the campsite down in the trees in the middle.

As we headed back to where the park road intercepts highway 501 we found this small herd of Pronghorn Antelope

Antelope4

These Antelope abound in this general area, although this trip, these were the only ones we saw.  I’m always amazed to see them…they just don’t seem like the sort of animal you expect to find in Canada!

A bit further along managed a few pictures of this…

Swainsons2 Swainson’s Hawk.  There are a lot of raptors in this area as well, although more so in the spring and summer than at this time of year.

We needed to fill the fuel tank, so stopped in the little town of Milk River and decided to stop at the visitors center there to get some pictures of this life size Dinosaur…

Dinounmod.

this was quite a remarkable visitor’s center…the building itself is under that blue roof…

Dino5

this angle shows part of the large parking lot and the general area..

yelConefl back on the road, I made Ernie stop so I could get a picture of this Prairie Coneflower which grew all along the shoulder of the highway….a wildflower that was completely new to me.

WhiteASter2

These White Asters were also flowering in some places….I haven’t been able to identify them specifically.

We had a fairly long run this day as our destination was Beauvais Provincial Park, which is located a bit west of the town of Pincher Creek.  This would be our second visit to this park, we had been quite enchanted with it when we had last visited it in June of about 2006 or 07.

Pincher Creek

the sun was getting low in the afternoon sky when we finally passed through Pincher Creek, on our way to the campground.  Pincher Creek is the wind turbine capital of Alberta as these stormy pictures, taken along our route, prove.

Pincher Creek 3

Had just pulled in and set up camp….

CampsiteBeauv

when a Conservation officer stopped to advise us that a Black Bear had just been in the campsite behind us. One of the many things we love about Alberta parks is the strong presence of Conservation officers in all their parks.  Unfortunately, in B.C., seeing a conservation officer is a rare occurrence….not so in Alberta.

Knowing a bear was in the area made us a bit more cautious as we went for our evening walk…there are a lot of lovely walking and hiking trails in this park.

BeauvaisLk

this wide meadow area lies between the campground and the lake itself….

BeauvaisLk2

although the east side of the lake is quite populated with houses, there is a nice trail all along the west side of the lake.  We weren’t able to take advantage of that trail this brief visit…

BeauvaisLk3

and here is a look from back at the edge of the campground. 

Tomorrow, we’ll be back in B.C.

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