Badland Adventure

Lance Edwards-Hampton
http://www.insaneshotsphotography.com

Spent yesterday with Dani, exploring around the badlands.

With the many dozens of times i’ve been to the Drumheller area, there’s still a lot that I hadn’t yet experienced. Had never been to the Royal Tyrrell Museum before.  I know that’s probably most peoples express-purpose of traveling to Drumheller, but even at a young age when my grandma used to take us through the area, we were always more interested in hiking in the canyons than we were going to the museum or doing anything in town.

The main point of this trip was I wanted to do some astro-photography in Dorothy and East Coulee. It had been a few years since I was last there, and with a new moon figured we should go in the daytime to scout out the locations since there is no moon light to let you see in the dark and help figure out what you’re doing and looking at. First stop was the hoodoos, which I’m glad we stopped at before dusk because my astro-photography there was twice thwarted by clouds. Next was the East Coulee bridge. Last time I was there I don’t think it was fenced off as extensively as it now is, and decided not to bother going back at night. I would have had to trespass to get a great photo. Living where I do in Alberta, surrounded by nothing but farm land, no parks, no recreation area, no public land at all, I have to try extremely hard to not trespass for my photography. I have to drive for a good hour in any direction to come across some quality public land use areas, and figured since I had done just that already, may as well not end up trespassing regardless. We didn’t scout out Dorothy in the day light, although I kind of wish we had because as ridiculous as it sounds I couldn’t find the grain elevator I wanted to photograph. Don’t underestimate the darkness in the country during a new moon. Also couldn’t find the road going the churches, so had to walk a bit and make my way there on foot. I probably could have kept driving around looking for the road and elevator, but there’s a few houses with a few people who live right there and I didn’t want my lights to annoy them too much. We ended up talking to one of the locals, and apparently they’ve had a lot of vandalism recently. That bothers me a lot. A historic area, open to the public 24/7 full of historic buildings that the locals spend a lot of time and effort maintaining for tourists pleasure, senselessly vandalized and disrespected. Alberta, and Canada in general doesn’t have a lot of history that’s still standing. I did lots of stupid stuff when I was young, but damaging something that cannot be replaced takes stupidity to a whole new level. Here are my shots of the Milky-Way over Dorothy and my Hoodoo picture taken before the sun went down.


The next set of pictures were taken earlier in the day than the above ones, but the ones above are the more artistic (less touristy) ones and are the focus of this post so I figured I’d post them first. This was my first time at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and I enjoyed it. Nothing super exciting to say about it though. Not being allowed a tripod inside inhibited my abilities to get a great shot of Dani and I together in front of some cool fossils, or take any sort of awesome artistic photos for that matter. After the museum and before making it to East Coulee, we stopped at the Rosedale Suspension Bridge. Dani is terrified of heights (although I keep making her do things that involve being high up) and was really impressed by how far she made it out. We snapped a few pictures and walked out on the bridge, but didn’t completely cross it, or stay for very long because I was anxious to head further East while there was still some sunset-light in the sky.  I’m pretty sure I started this post by saying I’ve been to the Drumheller area dozens of times, and every time I go instead of feeling as though there’s nothing left to see, I always come back feeling like I want to go again because there’s always more to see. Drumheller is just the surface of the Alberta badlands. They stretch for hundreds of kilometers along the Red Deer river valley, and included in my travel desires is a road trip south to Dinosaur Provincial Park, Writing on Stone, chase down some Prong horns by Medicine hat. The list goes on and on of wonderful things to do in this province, without even having to go to the mountains.

Lance Edwards-Hampton
http://www.insaneshotsphotography.com

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