Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dinosaurs & Badlands

Over many homemade pizzas & another hilarious instalment of the name-game Friday night, the plan for five of us to drive a few hours east on Saturday to visit Drumheller & the Royal Tyrrell Museum was finalised.  I was a little sceptical of spending six hours of my weekend sitting in a car while I could be skiing, but with some rave reviews I decided it was worth it - plus this would be the furtherest east in Canada I was likely to go in the foreseeable future.  Past Calgary on Saturday morning & into the prairies, things got very flat - as one would expect.  It was just as white as I have gotten used to over the last five months (it's been a long winter).

First stop was Drumheller itself, which definitely playing up to all the dinosaur hype - which is fair enough, I couldn't really ascertain what else was going for it.  We got a few pictures on the feet of the "World's Largest Dinosaur", but it is so big that you can't really see us - so here's another one.
It's definitely more intimidating than a large kiwifruit (& the assortment of other large fruit around New Zealand).  There were brightly coloured, albeit smaller, dinosaurs all around town - we wandered around a little for the hell of it.

We spent a good couple of hours wandering the museum (+ lunch).  I've never been much into dinosaurs, but it was pretty interesting - the first exhibit detailing the biggest finds palaeontological finds around Alberta was the best presented.  There were numerous stories of how people had just stumbled upon what would be come great discoveries - the best was the two high school kids who were out fishing & found a T-Rex.  By the end there was definite overload of big words, different periods in prehistory & too many dinosaurs with horns - like this guy.

Leaving the museum (worth the trip, if that wasn't apparent) we went for a little exploration around part of the Canadian Badlands.  It was really quite strange being in a landscape so different to the Rockies - the softer sedimentary rock has been worn away to leave it looking like this.
With the decidedly overcast day & the snow cover it was eerie.   In amongst napping in the car (which was a whole lot quieter on the return trip) we arrived in Calgary to stop at Peter's Drive-In - a Calgary institution I've been hearing about for quite some time now.  The burger was good & the milkshake even better.  I had blackberry-butterscotch, probably one of the more conservative of combinations of thirty flavours.  Apparently, thirty flavours gives over 4500 possible combinations (a maximum of three flavours in one shake) - so geeks that we are (at least some of us) had to go back to high school maths & a basic iPhone calculator & work out if that was true.  4525 - but how many of those combinations you would actually like to try, I am unsure.

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