Continuing on with My Rare One's and my recent adventures in southern Alberta --
We traveled down near the American border to visit Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. It is a small badlands coulee of sandstone cliffs and hoodoos found along the Milk River. For untold generations, it was a gathering place of the Blackfoot people.
It has hundreds of spectacular hoodoo formations created by time, wind and erosion. If you're familiar with southern Alberta, just let me say that the hoodoos of Writing-on-Stone put the hoodoos of Drumheller to shame. There's no comparison!
But what makes Writing-on-Stone even more special are the ancient petroglyphs (drawings) carved into the cliffs by the Blackfoot people. This awesome art was made before the days of first contact with Europeans and tells the stories of epic battles and buffalo hunts. To protect the petroglyphs from being vandalized, entry to the area where they are located is restricted and the petroglyphs may be viewed only under the supervision of a park guide.
Southern Alberta has the reputation of being the redneckiest part of Alberta so just to reinforce that stereotype, here's a photo of a lovely handcrafted antler display that we saw in the nearby town of Milk River. Love the howling wolf garden ornaments beneath it too!
Next we visited Fort Macleod, original home of the Northwest Mounted Police. This paramilitary force was created in 1873 and sent west to control the worst excesses of the frontier whisky and fur trade. Later on, the NWMP was renamed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Fort has excellent displays of pioneer artifacts and NWMP history.
Local students portray the NWMP and perform a Musical Ride several times each day. As you can see, Mounties originally wore white British pith helmets instead of flat-brimmed brown Stetsons. But the red serge jackets and single-stripe cavalry pants are essentially the same (dress) uniform still worn today by the RCMP.
[All photos © My Rare One, August 2014]