Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dinosaurs - Not Quite A Stroll On A Beach

Too much work, and no vacation,
Deserves at least a small libation.
So hail! my friends, and raise your glasses,
Work's the curse of the drinking classes.

~Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde did have an interesting spin on things.

Just outside the village of Patricia
So here I am on the road.  I'm on vacation or am I?  I'm still thinking about this story or that and guilt at having fled from my computer for days at a stretch is like sand in my shoes or maybe that's flip flops, easily brushed aside.  

I'm in the land of the dinosaurs, Alberta's badlands - Dinosaur Provincial Park.  

It's a quaint drive through ranch land with scrub brush giving subtle indicators of what's to come.  The villages along this particular route seem to all reference women in one way or another; Princess, Patricia, Duchess, Rosemary, Countess and Millicent.  It's an interesting and so far, unanswered phenomena.  I have any number of theories but then I imagine you might too.  Maybe some of you even know the truth of the naming system - if so, please comment.  I'd sure love to know but meantime my imagination will just chug away eventually shifting into overdrive.  But I digress.  Back to the road - on the way to Dinosaur Park, dinosaur with no hint of Jurassic - I hope.

On the road to Dinosaur Provincial Park.
The last turn heading for the park might make the reptile squeamish turn right around and head out.  Yes, I know the dinosaurs are dead but... 

Slow Down for Snakes?

You know my rule on wildlife, I'll slow down for anything but I've never expected snakes.  Of course, it is a hot day and any self-respecting snake will have long ago hunted down shade - I hope.

Dinosaur Provincial Park
Dinosaur Provincial Park is definitely well worth the drive.  The rough prairie scrub breaks open to a vast, time-etched valley.  It's beautiful and yet eerie  especially if you think of it in the context of what it actually is - a giant reptilian cemetery.  Okay, maybe slightly macabre but the valley is still littered with dinosaur bones and  paleontologists come from around the world in the summer months to participate in various digs.  Warnings are posted here and there that some areas are preserved and/or off limits, along with warnings to leave all bones and fossils where they lay.  But those aren't the only warnings, there's also warnings to watch out for living creatures; black widows, scorpions and rattle snakes.   

No worries there - I'm not venturing off the path. 

 Creepy crawlies aside, it's not often in my day to day life that I'm reminded of the ice age or the extinction of the dinosaurs.  But when you stand on the precipice of the valley it's like you've rushed back in time to a place you can barely imagine.  The valley is a testament to it all, a reminder of the power of nature and that once the earth looked nothing like it does now.  Way back when, when dinosaurs walked the earth.

It was the perfect detour that only created a small zig instead of a zag across a secondary highway and into another world.  The place to kick anyone's imagination into overdrive.

Did I find a fossil or even a bone - nope.  But I did locate a piece of wood that looked amazingly like a leg bone.  That is, if you used your imagination.

Any zigs in your day?



Lisa McManus Lange said...

"Save the Snakes" - who woulda thunk? Love this, and love the 'rock' that looked like a leg.....the imagination runs wild in a place like that. Great post and great pictures! Lisa

Ryshia Kennie said...

Thanks Lisa. Definitely no end to the imagination at Dino Park - any more time in a place like that and you'd have more ideas than you could write about.

campfirestars said...

Superbly facinating detour I'm sure! I ventured through this this town myself by accident--a Greyhound bus from Regina to Calgary and woke up when the Bus came to a stop at Drumheller. With a glance out the window at the expansive terrain, I was horrified--didn't know if we'd arrived on the moon or if I was just dreaming! Good for you for stopping to check out more of our historically renouned sites in Canada!

Ryshia Kennie said...

Campfirestars - thanks for the laugh. I can just imagine waking up and looking on that landscape without any warning, like you landed in another world.

Trixie said...

Sweet! Thanks for putting this post together -- I enjoyed it.

Ryshia Kennie said...

I love virtual travel too, Trixie. And it was kind of fun to relive the trip in the post. Glad you enjoyed it.