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Southern Alberta

posted Jul 10, 2014, 5:42 PM by Michael Schwarz   [ updated Jul 10, 2016, 2:00 AM ]
Great Falls, MT - We spent a few days in lovely Great Falls stocking up on groceries, doing mass amounts of laundry and waiting for the rain to abate. The next stop was supposed to be Glacier National Park (Montana) but plans change. The park reported 16 inches of new snowfall (that made it to the national news!!). The Road to the Sun which is supposed to be a breathtaking drive was plowed only a few miles in on either end and all the hiking was either snowed in or squishy wet. Maybe next year. Sigh!

We also tried to deal with a smoking generator. Whenever it was cold, it would spit out lots of unburnt fuel. According to the service guy in Great Falls, it needed work that he couldn't do. We decided to head to Canada to see if we could get it taken care of there.

We entered Canada without any problems near Sweetgrass, MT. We stopped in at the local Cummins/Onan dealer in Lethbridge, Alberta. They took a look and decided to order parts that wouldn't be there until Monday. The campground in town was on the banks of the Oldman River (that's really its name!). Because of historic rains, it was totally under water. We drove 30 minutes west to the little town of Fort Mcleod. On Saturday, they were having a used  an antique auto show on Main St. This picture is for my cousin Michael Green.

I found it curious that they had such models on display such as, Monarchs and Fargos. Years ago, they had different model names than they did in the states. I think the Monarchs were Mercuries. The Fargos were Dodge trucks.

Much of Southern Alberta is prairie. Very picturesque, but flat.

30 miles west of Fort Mcleod is the historic Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump site. Catchy name, eh? Before Europeans showed up, there were no horses in North America. That put native Americans (or First Nations people as they're known in Canada) at a decided disadvantage when it came to hunting buffalo, who ran a lot faster. Some enterprising person came up with a great idea. How about we get the buffalo all worked up and stampede them off a cliff?

So that's what they did. Sometimes running off a cliff didn't kill the buffalo. When this happened, there were hunters at the bottom of the cliff to finish them off. Sometimes the hunters at the top of the cliff went over with the buffalo. It was a nasty business. Archeologists have estimated that there is about 20 meters of bones at the bottom of the cliff.

The Month of June is Aboriginal month and there were several dance demonstrations. What this woman did with hoops was amazing. She made wings, and a head dress and all kinds of stuff.
Lots of drums

The costumes were great especially this feather head dress
The view of the prairie from the top of the museum with the wind turbines in the distance

and a marmot. That counts as a wildlife sighting.