Dunes, Dinos and Drives

Part 2 of our day with Ford was a road trip to Drumheller. I wanted to get away from town – without suffering from the return traffic of a trip to Canmore or Banff. I can’t believe it took me over 5 years to get out there, but, I am glad I finally did.

Our Ford Focus was stuffed with some of Calgary’s best treats and we were rearing to go. Playlist on, phones charging, loads of goodies, and a tank full of gas – we were ready to take on the day!

In no time we were passed the city and jetting up and down hills through what seemed like endless fields of hay bails. Between spots of sun and drizzles of rain, our Ford Focus gave us a smooth ride so we could just focus on the destination ahead.

First stop – Horseshoe Canyon. We stopped at a little spot and peered out over the landscape.

Massive sediments of rocks stared back at us, in all shapes and sizes, as crevices weaved in and out of each one. 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best weather so we quickly retreated back into the car and turned on the seat warmers – hoping that in the next few hours the sun would peek out from behind the clouds.

As we drove onward towards Drumheller, more of these rocky canyons greeted us as they lined the highway. The city itself was hard to miss, with a dinosaur greeting us upon our entrance.

Driving through the town felt like being in a movie – cheeky dinosaur sculptures took control of each corner, and everything seemed so flinstone-esq. Perfect for a little joking around.

Get in, quick!

We breezed through the city within minutes, just escaping the clutches of dinosaurs and were back on the road towards the Hoodoos.

One of the most popular sites in Drumheller, the hoodoos are sandstone structures that have been eroded away by time forming these seemingly unstable figures.

We jumped out of the car and to our luck, the sun was shining yet again. We climbed up the stairs and around the hoodoos, admiring how many millions of years had passed in order to create each one. Baby hoodoos popped out of the sandstone above, hoping that in millions of years, they too, will be admired.

The clay surrounding the walkway was unbelievably slippery and we did our best to avoid stepping on it. Literally one mis-step would send you flying into the mud – as I quickly learned.

Thankfully, they had the perfect selfie station set up – which we totally took advantage of…

Feeling a little hungry, our stomachs led the way back to the car in search of a spot to eat.

It wasn’t as easy a task as I had hoped since it had been raining steady for the past few days. However, our final stop – the Atlas Coal Mines – was nearby and they had a few picnic tables set up.

We unloaded all of our gear and quickly set up for a feast.

Stuffed full of cheese, sweets, & carbs, we purchased our tickets for the mine (at a Labour Day special price) and headed to discover the grounds. 

The guides took us on an authentic train ride around the grounds so that we could appreciate the size, before showing us the inside of the mine itself (or at least what has been restored).

You could really picture the gentleman chipping away for coal in the mine and later bounding down the stairs ready to head out for the night.

It was pretty neat to see something so historical and influential to the city of Drumheller. If you’ve got the time, I would certainly recommend it!

The day was filled of adventure and by the end of it, we were ready to pile back into our Focus and head back home to Calgary.

We sang along to my road-trip playlist and admired that we were able to fit so much into one day. And, as an added bonus – no traffic on the way home as expected.

When we went to fill the car up for the next guest, I was completely surprised that it only cost $25 for the day’s adventures! I was skeptical about the eco-boost feature, but it certainly made a difference (and helped the environment). It may not be the most powerful vehicle, but hey, they’ve got the Mustang for that. The cheap price to fill up the tank certainly left the day on a high note – and made it even that much more affordable.

Big thanks to Ford Canada for working with me on this post. I loved the car and the day was a blast!

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