Friday, July 31, 2015

4. road trip continued...gopher hole museum, badlands, and dinosaurs

After leaving the Custom Woolen Mills we headed for Torrington to see the Gopher Hole Museum which was high on Natali's list of things to show us. This is a small building full of dioramas of taxidermied ground squirrels dressed up in costume to represent the industry and activity in the Torrington area and gets 10,000 visitors a year. This is a must see my friends. Well worth the $2 price of admission.

outside the Gopher Hole Museum, Catharine, Denise, Natali, actual real people, not stuffed

From there we headed out to find the road to the Dry Island Buffalo Jump where the First Nations would run the buffalo over a cliff, one of several in Alberta, but we couldn't find it so we pulled into Torlen Campground for a picnic lunch. While Natali and Denise set out the fare, Catharine and I moseyed along the bank of the Red Deer River looking at rocks.

wheat, flax, and canola

After lunch we headed into the Bad Lands, a transition so abrupt that we turned a corner and went from green fields to raw rock and hoodoos.


This area is famous for it's dinosaur fossils and so we headed to Drumheller, home of the Royal Tyrell Museum (which we didn't actually go in) where we walked around on one of the interpretive trails

a living ground squirrel

and then to see the biggest dinosaur in the world.

On our way back to Calgary we made one last stop at Horse Shoe Canyon.

Back at home base, we settled in with martinis, dinner, and a Skype call with Leigh, our one from Australia.


  1. What an amazing fun filled trip.

    The plus side is you're sharing the wonderful sites with me.

  2. I adore the gopher hole museum. That just charms the hell out of me.
    And then...dinosaurs?
    Too awesome. Thanks.

  3. Ah, hoodoos. Shades of Wile E Coyote.

  4. That gopher museum is just a hoot - so imaginative! Love all that scenery too...

  5. Those stuffed gophers are interesting, but bizarre.

  6. I have been there...but missed the gopher museum. My loss. I love that vast wilderness of the Drumheller.

  7. I love that ground squirrel museum. Totally bizarre. I'm glad you got a chance to see some live ones, too! :)

    LOVE the dinosaur. That's just the kind of tacky thing I love stumbling onto when I travel.

    I remember hoodoos from my own visit to Banff years ago.

  8. From the tiny to the enormous. Can't help thinking about all the gophers who bit the big one for that museum, which still looks fascinating.

  9. Love the Badlands. We worked burning 5000 acres one summer. The head of the burns was son to the fellow who put the roads in and planted non-native species along to keep down erosion. I worked another year with a National Geographic crew out of TN.


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