Travelling north east of Calgary, we soon arrive in Drumheller, Alberta. Located in the Badlands of the Red Deer Valley, Drumheller was once a booming Coal town with over 100 active coal mines in the region. Now, it is best known as the home of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.Royal Tyrrell Museum was named after, Joseph Burr Tyrrell, a geologist who accidentally unearthed the first dinosaur fossil in the Red Deer Valley in 1884 while searching for coal seams. Royal Tyrrell opened in 1985 and is a world renowned museum boasting over 130 000 fossils and one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex) skeletons in the world.This afternoon we continue through the Badlands to the golden prairies as we cross from Alberta in to the province of Saskatchewan known as Land of Living Skies. Saskatchewan is primarily known for its agriculture production but also has significant oil reserves and is the world's largest producer and exporter of Sylvite, commonly known as Potash.We arrive in Saskatoon, a bustling city with a thriving art scene on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River late this afternoon where the evening will be at your leisure.
This morning we travel a short distance north of Saskatoon to Wanuskewin Heritage Park, a place steeped in Aboriginal history. Wanuskewin, which means Gathering Place, is an ancient site dating back 6000 years where nomadic tribes who roamed the Northern Plains came together to hunt, gather food and shelter themselves from the frigid winters. Archaeological sites at Wanuskewin date back 6000 years which make them older than the Egyptian Pyramids. Much of Wanuskewin has been unearthed and preserved, and continues to be discovered with active archaeological digs but a great deal remains undiscovered.We continue onto Batoche National Historic Site, originally a Metis settlement, it has become known for its role in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. The Northwest Rebellion was a brief uprising by the Metis people, led by Louis Riel and ultimately ending in the definitive battle at the Siege of Batoche. Discover the story of this important moment in Canadian history at Batoche, where bullet holes from that fateful battle can still be seen today.Travelling back in to Saskatoon, we discover the inspiration for the city name, the Saskatoon Berry at a local berry farm. Saskatoon berries are grown primarily in Western Canada and north western regions of the United States. A sweet, dry berry, now used locally for baking and preserves, was once used by Aboriginals to make pemmican, historically, a staple of their diet.Our day ends with a peaceful dinner cruise on the South Saskatchewan River, under the lights of downtown Saskatoon.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Departing Saskatoon this morning we travel south to Regina, the capital city of Saskatchewan. The home of Saskatchewan's government, Regina was named originally names Wascana, Cree for 'Buffalo Bones' before being renamed Regina, Latin for 'Queen' in 1882 honouring Queen Victoria.We explore Regina on a city tour featuring the Saskatchewan Legislature, Government house, and the Wascana Centre. Wascana Centre is the largest urban park in North America, more than double the size of Central Park in New York City, honours the original city name and has become an important community space for Regina residents.Our tour of Regina ends at the RCMP Heritage Centre and Depot Academy, the home of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), where RCMP members have trained since 1885 and even today remains the only RCMP training site in Canada.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Heading west on the Trans-Canada Highway, we arrive in Moose Jaw, a small city with a big history. Moose Jaw, home of Canadian Forces Base Moose Jaw which is the base of the world renowned Snow Birds, an Air Force aerobatic flight team. Moose Jaw is also famous of the Tunnels of Moose Jaw, prohibition era tunnels used by Al Capone himself between Chicago and Moose Jaw, which we explore on a guided tour.Continuing west the flat prairie, turns in the rolling hills as we once again cross the Saskatchewan, Alberta border as we arrive back in Alberta and in the small city of Medicine Hat. Home of the 'World's Largest Teepee' and perched along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, Medicine Hat is a thriving small city.In Medicine Hat, we visit Medalta Museum, showcasing the history of Medicine Hats clay industry. Beginning in 1885, the clay industry in Medicine Hat produced bricks, tile, pipe and cement for much of western Canada and was one of the few industries that managed to survive labour shortages created by WW1.
Overnight: Medicine Hat
Following breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow travellers as you begin your return journey.