Day 7! We made it to Alberta!
We woke up super early (5am!) to try to reach the Great Sandhills in time to get some interesting shadows. Along the way, we enjoyed the early morning golden hour illuminating the canola fields, mirror-like ponds, and and occasional wildlife.
At the sandhills, we were both awestruck that such a landscape exists here in Canada. The sand was as fine as flour and felt delightful under our bare feet. We puzzled over deciphering the footprints in the sand (two different insects left zipper-like tracks; a badger left hairy swishes in the sand) and delighted in watching the ground squirrels and the birds (various songbirds and the quick-moving shrike). Then we put on shoes again to trek across the scrublands to explore the other dunes, discovering sage, juniper, little cacti, and wild roses along the way. I was particularly happy to find a cooperative hawk on the drive out of the park.
Next we crossed into Alberta and visited Dinosaur Provincial Park, an area that has yielded five percent of the world's known dinosaur fossils. The most interesting part was the geology of the badlands, particularly the hoodoos: those ironstone capped pillars that the Blackfoot people referred to as sleeping giants.
We ended the evening with a beautiful drive down the Crowsnest Highway through southern Alberta, seeing lots of cows and lakes, and the mountains off in the distance. We are grateful for the company and hospitality of friends here in Crowsnest Pass and will enjoy being stationary for the next couple days.
And now, for some well-deserved rest. Good night, friends!