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Dinosaur Provincial Park, Medicine Hat, Future Plans

Big Loads Laundromat in Brooks, Dinosaurs, Medicine Hat, our long road home

sunny 24 °C

Aug 24 to Aug 29 Days 93 to 99

Homeward bound, Taber, Brooks, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Medicine Hat

Distance traveled 425 km towing, 225 km local travel; trip total 14,350 kilometers

Gas prices $1.429/liter in Brooks, $1.329/liter in Medicine Hat. Our gasoline cost per kilometer traveled is $0.31

August 24

When we last left the blog, we had just awoken after a night of thunderstorms at Castleview Campground, near the Oldman River Dam. We are heading onward to Dinosaur Provincial Park, but first, we must do laundry…it is time. We are down to our last pair of undies, etc. The sheets and duvet cover need washing as well.

Castleview Campground is tucked in a ravine. We got this view from 3km away on the highway. It is a pretty spot.


Every day, from now on will bring us closer to our home in Nova Scotia. We know this trip must end someday, but it is sad that the ending is now in sight. We did a count today. Including tonight, we have slept in our little R-pod trailer for 580 nights since 2017. By the time we get home that total will be around 630. At a savings of $50 a night minimum over other forms of car travel, our benefit will be about $31,500. We paid $28,500 for the TaJ in 2017.

We’d done a bit of research and found the Big Loads Laundromat, in Brooks, near our destination for the day. With all of our laundry tucked in Sully, we headed out, on the first 285 kilometers of the day’s drive. We skirted past Lethbridge and made our way east to Taber, famous for its sweet corn. Everywhere you go in Alberta, there are trucks selling Taber corn. The town’s motto is “A Great Place to Grow”. Huh! I’ll bet they did not spend a lot of time in focus groups to come up with that motto.

From Taber we headed straight north towards Brooks. This area is full of fields of Sugar Beets. There are adverts along the road for people to work the beet processing season that is about to start. This work was a big part of the Nomadland movie that won an Oscar for best picture a few years ago. Lots of itinerant workers made money to get through the winter this way.

I will be doing a crop blog as we move east, highlighting what is grown, and why. There will be pictures in that blog entry.

The Big Loads Laundromat is amazing. Brand new machines, no coins required, all payments are made by credit card swipe. In one hour, we had washed and dried almost everything we needed to get clean, all for $15. We stocked up at the local Safeway and made our way out of town, north and east of Brooks to the provincial park.

Wow, what a surprise this place is. Down in the badlands along the Red Deer River, the campground has 125 sites. You drop about 200 feet below the level of the prairie above. It is a cool oasis along the river. Our site is shaded by Cottonwood trees. We get TaJ set up and spend an hour putting all our stuff away. Jenny gets a full cardio workout making the bed. In TaJ, this is quite the feat. Afterwards we use the showers to get ourselves clean. The first pic is TaJ on Wednesday, when we arrived, and another on Saturday, when the park filled up.


There are 2 R-pods in the campground and 4 Bolers! We’ve seen very few R-pods in our travels this year. Supper was a Caesar Salad and hamburger patties. The sun goes down behind the coulee walls early. We spend a good evening reading and watching a couple of episodes of season 2 of Fargo.

August 25

When we got up this morning, we decided we had better get in some cardio. There is a 3-kilometer road that wends though the badlands just off the campground. We walked it, and including add-ons, such as side trails, etc., we ended up with a 90-minute walk covering 5.2 km.
Lots of interesting dinosaur history here. One display is of a dinosaur fossil found in 1959, exactly in the place where it was found. It is now surrounded by a display building.

Good workout, and before breakfast. French Toast and sausages filled our bellies. We like this park. In the afternoon we took a short drive up to the visitor centre to book a guided tour for tomorrow. At the park entrance, way up on the unbroken prairie, we walked along the cliff edge, taking pictures of the vastness of the badlands.

Back at TaJ we took a break, reading and napping for a bit. We then walked up the trails through the coulee to the Visitor Centre to figure out how we would get up there for our tour tomorrow afternoon. Supper was Chicken Teriyaki. Grocery stores now sell lots of stir-fry veggie packs as well as salads. For campers it makes it so easy. Our fridge is small and we can’t buy a lot of different veggies individually, so this works for us.

We went back up to the Park Entrance just before dusk to get some pictures as the sun sets. Coyotes howling to meet the night accompanied our visit. A long and enjoyable day comes to an end. This park is one we would definitely come back to. Our GPS watches were just breaking over 14,000 steps for the day.


August 26

Up and at it early once again. We do two shortish hikes before the sun gets high in the sky. It is warm, but not oppressive. We hike the Fossil Trail, where fossil hunters in the 1910’s found some of their best specimens. The end of the trail is a quarry where several prime specimens we taken. We learned that more than 300 dinosaur fossils from this area are in museums around the world.


We also hiked he Badlands Trail, one of the few spots here that you are allowed to hike. Most of the preserve is closed to all but paleontologists, botanists and other scientists from the Royal Tyrell Museum. In total we did 85 minutes and about 3.2 kilometers to start our day. We settle in to Taj and Jenny downloads the cameras, sorts pictures and I work on this blog.

At 2:30pm we join a small guided tour into the Badlands. We drive about 5 kilometers into the restricted area of the park and our guide takes us over hill and dale where we learn loads about the badlands.


The tour ends with this fossil, discovered a few years ago, and still unexcavated. Who knows how much of what remains buried in this hillside.


We’ve now completed most of what we wanted to accomplish here and will move on to Medicine Hat tomorrow.

August 27

We are up early and eager for some cardio before the heat comes on. We leave TaJ and walk the Cottonwood Trail along the Red Deer River. There are lots of animals about and the trail is littered with the scat of those that were out here overnight. We had to step lively in a few spots to avoid soiling our shoes. We finish our walk in an hour and have another 4km under the belt. A good way to start the day.


By 11am we are packed and ready to roll. It is only am short hop today to Medicine Hat, one of our favourite cities on the prairies. We’re booked into the Cottonwood Coulee Golf Course RV Park, and arrive, get set up. Next to us is an Alto lightweight trailer, which is being towed by a Tesla! Nice people, we chatted with them and had a looksee in their unique trailer.

The rest of the day was a bit of shopping. Our short queen fitted sheet is nearing the end of its useful life and we struggle to find a replacement. The short queen mattress is 6 inches shorter than a standard and sheets are not readily available. The struggle will continue, it seems, as we could find nothing appropriate.

The rest of the day was quiet, we read, watched a bit of Fargo, Season 2 on download from Netflix.

August 28

We polished off a load of laundry at the Posh Wash, our favourite laundromat. We are heading out to Grasslands in a couple of days and thought it wise to get clothes up to date.

I spent much of the morning working on a route plan home. We will be without internet once we leave the Hat on Tuesday and I’ve been anxious to plot our way back to Nova Scotia. After much discussion, we’ve decided a complex route, through North Dakota and Minnesota to Duluth. We will then return to Canada at Thunder Bay and go over the top of Lake Superior to Sault Ste. Marie, before dipping down through Michigan and a return to Canada at Sarnia. A 3rd visit to the US will be through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. We will return to good old Aylesford Nova Scotia on October 20. We plan to give that ArriveCan app a thorough workout!

We spent the afternoon and evening with our friends, Bryn and Mike, who are living in a trailer at the golf course for the summer while their house is being built. We had a tour and it is going to be fantastic when finished.We caught the end of the Tour Championship on a big screen TV at Bryn’s son’s house. On the road, we watch virtually no broadcast TV so it was nice to see a bit of golf.

We had a lovely supper with Bryn and Mike. Steaks, baked potatoes, brussels sprouts and a Caesar Salad, and between the 4 of us, 3 bottles of wine disappeared. A great visit and we hope to see these folks again on the East Coast.

August 29

I was up at the crack of dawn and off to Great Canadian Oil Change, where Sully got his 3rd oil change of the journey. we are closing in on 15,000 km to this trip, and even though the oil changes are rated for 8,000 km, with the amount of towing we do, 5,000 km between changes makes sense.

Today, we have to get our US money organized, get groceries and get prepared for 3 nights at Grasslands, West Block. There are limited services and we will need our food with us, as the closest grocery store is 40km from the campground.
The next blog will be from Medora, North Dakota is about a week’s time. Life is good, life on the road is better. Onward to the next!

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 16:41 Archived in Canada Tagged medicine_hat dinosaur_provincial_park

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