Last weekend the girls and I returned to the badlands. We spent the July long weekend here as well, and at that time my Mom came along with us. Margarit's brother Shawn, his son Garrett, and his friend Donna also joined us. This time around it was just me and the girls.
We left the city on Friday evening after work and now that we are into the later stages of summer, it was dark by the time we arrived at East Coulee. With all the rainy weather that we have had here in Alberta this summer, it was very warm and humid. It seems like every day starts out clear, and then the clouds build during the day, and showers start in the evening. This time around the air was very heavy with rain clouds building, and that seemed to draw out the mosquitos. There were hoards of them and it was almost unbearable to be outside. We were eaten alive as we backed the trailer into the yard at the shop and set things up. Once that was done we quickly retreated to the trailer for some relief from the swarms of blood suckers.
On Saturday morning we got up and found that the mosquitos weren't quite as bad as the evening before. In the early afternoon Margarit and I took a walk up into the hills behind town. Some historic documents that we had seen made mention of a petrified forest up in the hills and we set out to find it. As we walked through the more grassy areas in the lower badlands we were once again swarmed by blood sucking mosquitos. Once we got up higher and the breeze picked up a little, they weren't quite as bad. But it was very heavy and humid and not particularly pleasant to be outside. We did find the petrified forest though. On a high outcrop there were numerous stumps and logs that were more mineralized than petrified. They were all somewhat crumbly and shattered, but it was obvious that these were once very large trees back in the late cretaceous.
We had an early supper and then headed into Drumheller for the historic ghost walk. This was the same one that we did last year only this time Lothar the magician did not lead it, and had one of his assistants take his place. We wandered around downtown Drumheller and heard tales of all the historic buildings, and the hauntings that were rumored to take place in some of them. By the time the walk wrapped up it was dark, and we headed back out to the trailer in East Coulee.
We slept in late on Sunday and didn't really get around to doing much until early afternoon. Margarit and I took a drive east out to Carolside Reservoir where I took some photographs with my big view camera. There is an old junk yard out there, with the bodies of some old vehicles. I managed to take a few shots between showers and we were pleased that the mosquitos weren't quite as bad as they had been earlier. On the way back we stopped beside an old abandoned windmill for yet another photograph.
Whenever Margarit and I were out exploring, the girls were mostly in the shop. They were pretty pleased with the idea of using the internet connection there to watch Netflix on their laptop. This is not an option when we go to Nordegg as there is only limited cell coverage and no internet up there.
By late afternoon we began packing up for the drive back home. We promised the girls that we would stop at the spray park in Drumheller for a little while on our way out of town. We did, but by the time we hit the road for home it was nearly 8:00PM. We made the routine drive home and arrived back in the city shortly before 11:00PM. A long but fairly relaxing weekend...