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Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump locationAnimation still - Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

This place, in what is now Alberta, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre, built into the landscape, tells the story of how the Napi People used to drive bison over this cliff thus securing their food source for the winter. Water and wind were critical components to the success of this activity. These days the wind on these vast plains is used to generate energy.

We have well and truly left the mountains behind us. The Alberta skies got much bigger this afternoon as we made our way to Fort Macleod, making our potential accommodation selection along the way.

As we checked in at the modest and perfectly functional Red Coat Inn, I couldn’t help noticing the signed photographs of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. They stayed in this very establishment during the filming of the town scenes in Brokeback Mountain. Who knew? There’s also a poster outside reception marking the occasion.

Do you know what else? JONI MITCHELL WAS BORN HERE!!

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, here’s what we saw around town in the evening walk before dinner at Johnny’s Restaurant.

Alberta skiesFort MacleodFort Macleod gatesRed Coat Inn - Fort MacleodBrokeback Mountain poster at Red Coat Inn Fort MacleodJava Shop - Fort MacleodAmerican Hotel - Fort MacleodWall advertising - Fort MacleodAndrew's Hardware - Fort MacleodC W Stevens lumber - Fort MacleodEmpress Theatre - Fort Macleod

The word for this morning was Athabasca. First the Athabasca Falls, then the Athabasca Glacier.

This afternoon we were on our way to Banff under blue skies, amazing cloud formations and the yellows of autumn.

The stunningly turquoise coloured Lake Peyto was well worth the walk to the viewing platform.Athabasca Falls - Monday 6 Oct 2014Athabasca Glacier 3Athabasca Glacieron the road - Columbia Icefieldscloudscapes - Jasper to BanffLynn at Lake Peyto - 6 Oct 2014Lake Peyto - Alberta Canada

An early morning wake up began today. “Want to go for a drive?”

The views of Lake Maligne did not disappoint. We took the Mary Schaffer loop walk in sub-zero temperatures.

Then on to Maligne Canyon before seeing a few Mule Deer as well as mountain sheep. The Looking for Bears (LFB) mission has had a second string added to it. We are now also Looking for Moose. The only moose evidence we found today was scatalogical.

Lake Maligne panorama - Sun 5 Oct 2014Lake Maligne panoramaFrosty morning - Sunday 5 October

Squirrel - Lake Maligne - 5 Oct 2014Bird - Lake MaligneMaligne Canyon - 5 Oct 2014

Mule deer - Sun 5 Oct 2014mountain sheep - Jasper - 5 Oct 2014

When you need to get from one place to another, there are literally fleeting glimpses from the car as it cuts its way to your destination. Snippets of landscape and community, travellers and workers, farms and cities. Its the friendly hoteliers, the flat of dairy farms and berry canes in fields. It’s CBC and Cariboo Country radio depending on reception quality. It’s the girl in the cafe at McLeese Lake who took a running jump into that very lake on a ten dollar dare from her father.  It’s the sign hanging off a house announcing the residence of Amos and Maybee. At this time of year, it’s yellow leaves turning and falling, haystacks and grasses in marshland. Add in a catch up or two and a sleepover with old friends and it makes for a very satisfying few days travel.

Road trip Diptic 1Diptic road trip 2Diptic road trip 3Diptic road trip 4