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We had been growing weary of doing the same day trips to the same locations just outside of Calgary and had decided to spend a portion of the summer investigating ghost towns in southern Alberta. Thanks to a great website www. Armed with that information and the original GPS a mapwe set about doing several weekend day-rides to visit the homes of the early settlers of Alberta. In September of last year, we set our sights on the Canadian Badlands; a region known more for its dinosaurs and fossils than forgotten mining towns of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

From Calgary, there are many routes to take to the Drumheller region. One of my favourites is to head north of Calgary on Highway 2 for 57 km to the Didsbury exit Provincial Hwy and drive east 74 km. The two-lane road is relatively straight, in good condition and tours you through southern Alberta farm and ranchland, dotted with the occasional pump jack oil well.

We turned south on Highway for 13 km and followed the signs to the Bleriot Ferry. Before us stretches an immense canyon. At the bottom of the canyon, a mud-bottomed river carves its way through the valley and leaves its marks along the valley walls exposing millions of years of erosion. The steep canyon walls are striped in the reds, browns, whites and yellows of settled sand, silt and mud that have hardened to form rock over the millennia.

From the canyon floor on the banks of the Red Deer River, the ride from the Bleriot Ferry is a nice biker dating red deer alberta ascent to the top of Horsethief Canyon. If the ferry is closed, continuing on Hwy is a good second choice to follow all the way into Drumheller.

The road from the ferry becomes Hwy and gives you a relaxing tour of the eastern shore of the river while its sister road, Hwywinds across the western banks. Highways and form a loop called the Dinosaur Trail, originating and ending in Drumheller. If you get the chance, take both. The ground down here is dry with desert vegetation occasionally visible through the dust-like surface. Tumbleweeds, cactus and burnt grass can be seen mixed with the occasional shrubs and trees.

Millions of years ago, this was a flat region with near tropical weather that bordered on the Bearspaw Sea. Summers here can be hot and dry. It is not uncommon to see antelope and rattlesnakes in this area. Fossils have been unearthed to show that this region was a very popular area for dinosaurs.

After the Ice Age, and the kilometre thick glaciers melted, what was left behind was the Red Deer River Valley; a valley that exposes the history of this region in the striations and layers of rock that are clearly visible in the faces of the hills. From Drumheller, we followed Hwy 10 east for 12 lazy kilometres and found the town of Rosedale. Before continuing further, we made a brief stop at the large suspension bridge in Rosedale that leads across the river to an abandoned mine.

Eight-kilometres south from Rosedale is the town of Wayne, once a thriving coal town with a population of nearly souls into the early s. In its glory days, Wayne was once home to a theatre, school, several biker dating red deer alberta and a hospital.

What remains of biker dating red deer alberta town are the Rosedeer Hotel and numerous empty structures scattering a scenic 6. We crossed eleven wooden plank bridges as we wound our way through a valley containing prehistoric secrets in its hills of layered sand, silt and mud.

The road itself is in good biker dating red deer alberta with narrow gravel shoulders. While the road is not long, it was twisty enough to keep our eyes focused ahead helping resist the urge to gaze at the canyon walls surrounding us. The Rosedeer Hotel is still open to serve great food and cold drinks to those who visit and its walls are decorated with photos of the town that it used to serve.

Wayne is a popular biker friendly stop in the summer, so expect a good amount of bike traffic to and from the Hotel, especially on weekends. Be sure to leave time to stop at the Hoodoo Recreation Area, a must-see natural attraction on Hwy The highway between Drumheller and Dorothy was quiet and we were able to lean back and take in the surroundings under the warm sun. The road offered a smooth surface leading us through gentle twists mixed evenly with straight stretches as it hugged the banks of the Red Deer River.

The road sweeps back and forth, almost letting you get yourself into a steady rhythm as you lean from one side to the other. Once again, we were surrounded by biker dating red deer alberta valley walls on both sides. The floor around the river is dotted with the occasional house, old barn or abandoned mine building.

It is very biker dating red deer alberta to breeze right past and miss the single sign that points to the north side of the highway — marking Dorothy.

Dorothy enjoyed its greatest prosperity in the early s when a railroad was built through town. There was a school built in and there were two churches. The school closed in and the churches soon after. There are currently less than a dozen residents biker dating red deer alberta this town that once boasted a population of slightly less than The paint has faded with time and from the elements, but the structures still stand as a reminder of what once biker dating red deer alberta. While time has gradually taken its toll on these turn-of-the-century buildings, it has been gentle in doing so.

Much remains behind and the structures are relatively free from vandalism. On our visit to the town, we met three gentlemen who have taken up the cause of biker dating red deer alberta the old church and schoolhouse. They are battling the effects of time and weather on these old buildings and are doing this on their own as time permits and free of charge. Often there is far more to see by heading just off the beaten path and avoiding the traffic at the tourist traps.

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