In the first day we drove from prairie to mountain back to prairie again. Day two promised to have more tarmac and less gravel with badlands, a ferry and dinosaurs.
Here is the route for today. From the campground we travel east to Drumheller and then head south back into Lethbridge. Farm land, Badlands, farm land, reserve land then more farm land.
Morning came and we all packed and went over our vehicles.
Before setting off I needed to ensure all the wing bolts were nice and tight after getting jostled on the gravel the day before. A few were a little loose but it had survived remarkably well.
After a brief driver’s meeting we were off again towards Drumheller, Alberta.
To get there is we have plenty of farmland to drive through.
There is probably a reason besides aesthetics that more people do not install paint trays on their hoods. At least one of those reasons is glare which I got lots of from the tray in the morning. One of the Civic teams gave me some magnetic strips to try to alleviate it but squinting worked best.
Civic, Saab, LeMans. Just your everyday back road spotting.
One of the scavenger hunt items was this interesting sign.
Taking a closer look it is a vintage Jeep Cherokee buried in a field. An anti 4×4 sign put up by a local farmer?
As we get closer to Drumheller we get the first glimpse of the Badlands. The Badlands most often follow a river and feature coulees and hoodoo rock formations. Because of the erosion fossils and dinosaur bones are often found here.
As we dipped down in the valley we came across a line painting truck bringing our speed down to a crawl.
We made a slight detour to Orkney Viewpoint which offers a fantastic view of the red rock cliffs and the Red Deer river. Here we caught up to one of the Civic teams as well as the Saab.
We stopped to take in the view. A lady with a rather large and expensive looking camera took a break from the scenery and excitedly asked to photograph our ride.
The non functional door continues to add character to the car.
Our little side tour meant we missed the ferry with the other Civics.
Fortunately it was only a river crossing so we did not have to wait long. We got a solo ferry ride and the operator was quite amused by our modifications. He said it made up for the Pontiac team with their Daisy Duke outfits that he found a little hard on the eyes.
This guy was traveling from California and waited for us to cross so he could check out our wing. He claimed it made his vacation.
The farm truck teams were next to cross.
Next we stopped to do a little go-karting. The course was on the bumpy side and the karts had some rough steering which made it rather exciting.
Peter, the organizer, and his co-driver did their go-karting in banana suits.
Next stop was the Royal Tyrrell Museum, located in Midland Provincial Park, to meet some dinosaurs. The museum is a tourist attraction as well a palaeontological research center. The gallery space is arranged in chronological order for 3.9 million of Earth’s history. The Tyrrell is Canada’s largest collection of dinosaur fossils with many collected locally or in nearby Dinosaur Provincial Park.
A few teams (Firebird and Grand Marquis) were coming and going as well.
The Jurassic Park themed Ford Explorer was certainly in its element here.
They even walked around the whole museum in full costume. It was 33C (91F) so this dinosaur deserves a dedication trophy.
Dinosaur hall has over forty dinosaur skeletons on display including this Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Inside we had a dinosaur quiz to complete for additional scavenger hunt points.
There is a viewing window to see new specimens worked on. The museum is a world hub for research and science.
With the quiz now complete it was now time to hunt for dinosaur statutes in the town center of Drumheller.
They are all over town and we managed to find thirty nine of them. I believe I overheard another team that found an amazing fifty nine.
One of them had even managed to find himself or herself a motorcycle and sidecar.
This one is actually the world’s largest dinosaur statue. The fiberglass dinosaur stands an impressive 86ft tall and you can climb up inside to get a view of the whole city.
So we did. An unusual view for sure.
We even managed to find a few automotive dinosaurs like this air cooled Volkswagen Beetle.
Or this pair of ’57 Chevrolets.
As well as a few rugged trucks outside a service centre.
Birds of a feather flock together. We even managed to come across an almost equally large winged Dodge Stratus sedan. Sadly no hood paint tray on this one.
After a quick bite to eat it was time to hit the road again. We were in search of the ghost town of Wayne and eleven bridges.
The whole series:
Vehicle Selection and Preparation
Day One Part One: Tarmac, Gravel, Tarmac and more Gravel
Day One Part Two: Out into the Prairie
Day Two Part One: Dinosaur Hunting
Your wing is bigger. Boo-yah !
I wish I were there with you ! .
? How many miles in total ? .
Around 700 miles or so
Whew ~ no wonder you break it into two days .
I’m good for 350 / day then I hit the wall .
The ferry is fascinating. In my midwestern US there are bridges everywhere and ferries nowhere.
It is a bit of a tourist attraction now. In part two we got across the area with the most bridges per square km.
In New Brunswick there is a distinct lack of bridges on the St John River for 60 miles upstream from the city of St John. There are a surprising number of ferries along that stretch, and they’re free. I wanted to take one when I was visiting, but it was stormy and I chickened out. There is nothing like that in Maine. The only ferries here go between the mainland and the islands.
There is a ferry across the St. John’s river just outside of Jacksonville, Florida. It isn’t free but the charge isn’t very much. The river isn’t particularly wide there so the crossing only takes a few minutes. Apparently they still have the ferry there because a bridge would need to be high enough to allow large ships to pass and the approaches to any bridge would be impossibly steep.
There are quite a few across the Mississippi between Missouri and Illinois, as well as one between Missouri and Kentucky (only way between those two states, by the way). In addition, there are two more across the Illinois River and one between Kentucky and Illinois.
We had the chance to take this ferry in 2015, after travelling to Newfoundland and Vancouver Island the 2 years prior (with 7 hour and 90 minute crossing, respectively). My kids were pretty excited to take “another ferry.” They found this little thing pretty amusing!
Yep, yep yep, doing this next year. Someone hold me to it.
Also, I believe there is an International Harvester truck museum in lethbridge? A possible double whammy.
It is more of a private collection but I know a few people who work there. We’ve covered it here.
Oh yes, thanks.
” From the campground we travel west to Drumheller ” I think you meant east. Enjoying your posts, it sounds like great fun. I drove part of your route almost 37 years ago driving a truck and camper on a vacation. And my sister and BIL live in the next province, Saskatchewan.
Thanks – yes west.
Awesome 🙂 The K5 Blazer is a neat find 🙂 Also, the winged Dodge is an Avenger. But, still quite a picture 🙂 I love reading about these beater road trips 🙂 Are any of the other teams bloggers/writers/photographers? And was the Explorer part of your rally?
Yes – you can see the teams here – https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/road-trip/the-great-beater-challenge-2017-the-teams/
More great shots. Haven’t been to the badlands since 1995 or so.
I recall when in Drumheller with my parents in 1979 there was an awesome junkyard full of 1930s &1940s cars, they charged admission so I couldn’t go.
Bet there’s a photo of that in Dad’s slides somewhere…
I’m enjoying these posts every day — besides some great car stories, the scenery is terrific as well. I actually never realized that there were badlands in Alberta.
And of all the people who have shown interest in your wing, it’s too bad the black Dodge’s owner didn’t get to see the two cars next to each other. Somehow I suspect he wouldn’t be quite so amused.
This is great. I’ve driven most of these roads, but not in this sort of style!
I am surprised that there is a ferry. There is a bridge about 5 or 6 miles north (10 Km) and another about 15 miles south. So my question is who runs the ferry, private enterprise or government?
Provincial government agency of some kind. There was no cost to taking the ferry.
Thank you. I googled Alberta ferry and found that there are 7 in operation, summer only I think, ending date is sometime in November but not specified for all. I suppose when the ice or snow starts it’s time to quit. Three are way north of Edmonton which is way north. I have been there (by air) at least once.