The Great Beater Challenge 2017 – Day Two Part One – Dinosaur Hunting

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

The Teams

Day One Part One: Tarmac, Gravel, Tarmac and more Gravel

Day One Part Two: Out into the Prairie

Day Two Part One: Dinosaur Hunting

Day Two Part Two – Bridges, Pipes and Star Trek