2020-2021 Experience Western Adventures & Cowboy Trails

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EXPERIENCE 2020/2021


Western Adventures & Cowboy Trails

8 Helpful Map Pages Murder in the Old West Alberta’s Ranching History Watering Holes Dining Delights Aboriginal Culture Farmers’ Markets

Reader Contests

Dream of authentic experiences? Vous rêvez d’authenticité? Hours of operation 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 11 to September 30, 2020 pc.gc.ca/baru

Heures d’ouverture : de 10 h à 17 h du 11 mai au 30 septembre 2020

Capture Your Experience for a Chance to WIN

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Penner

Photo Contest Prizes, Rules, Close Date and to Enter go to: ExperienceTravelGuides.com/Contests Follow Us on Facebook (/ExperienceTravelGuides) for up-to-date information on our prize package

Experience Western Adventures & Cowboy Trails Howdy Folks! Welcome to the eighth edition of this our annual travel guide to Alberta’s Western Heritage. Think of this as your trip planner to the unique western attractions and events in and around Alberta. We hope it becomes your travelling companion, a tool you use, reuse and share with your friends and family. In the pages ahead, to aid you on your journey, you will find engaging stories, compelling images and maps, lots of maps: because everyone loves maps. You’ll learn about the rich history of our province and some of the colourful characters who helped to shape it.

You’ll discover incredible experiences within the region, through compelling stories & images. And you’ll love our user-friendly maps! Our stories offer safe and fun activities that often contain educational components. Whether you are travelling as a couple, a young family on a staycation, with your grandchildren on a Grandcation, or just exploring on your own, we’re here to help! The themed tours in this guide will not only highlight the major attractions, but we will unveil numerous hidden gems, as well. We sincerely hope you have a magical time and are truly honoured to be of service. Bob Harris & Christine Weston

To download this, or any of our Travel Guides & Maps to your mobile device, go to ExperienceTravelGuides.com/Library

Our Contributors

Andrew Penner is

Karen Ung (aka @

Amanda Knippshild

Rob Lennard is a

Allen R. Gibson

an independent writer and photographer living in Calgary, Alberta. His work has been featured in Westworld, Westjet Magazine, Golf Magazine, Golf Tips, Golf Canada, and many leading golf and lifestyle publications. When not travelling or working, he enjoys reading, movies, and chilling out in the backyard with his wife, Dawn, and their four boys. (Authentic Western Experiences pg 14)

playoutsidegal) went on her first backpacking trip at 6 weeks old and hasn’t stopped playing outside. With her Geography degree and experience leading hikes and backpacking trips she is full of ideas on where to go and what to do. She started Play Outside Guide to showcase “adventure travel” and inspire others to get outside year-round. (Horses: Trust, Respect, and Team Work 21)

is originally from Vancouver Island, now calls Calgary home. She loves the Alberta scene, especially being outdoors with her husband Eric and their two dogs. An accomplished writer who graduated from the Broadcasting Program at Mount Royal University, specializing in the creative stream.

Calgary based historian, singer, songwriter, award winning author, and performer. Rob is the Historian at The Ranche and is responsible for its educational programming and outreach. He is also the Coordinator for the Calgary & Region History Fair which is associated with the national Heritage School Fair program. (Alberta’s Legendary Ranching History pg 32)

is a writer and marketer who’s enjoyed Western Canadian road trips since childhood. He shares his love of the west through travel writing and as a tour guide with Insight Vacations, when he’s not helping tourism businesses with their marketing.

(Historic Watering Holes 24)

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Allen can be reached at EightStarTours@gmail.com (Discover the Blackfoot Culture pg 18)

Experience Western Adventures & Cowboy Trails Welcome to the 2020 - 2021 Edition of Experience Western Adventures & Cowboy Trails Use it to plan your holiday and as your companion once you’ve arrived. Experience Publishing is a privately-owned company with offices in Calgary, AB. We specialize in the production of our Experience Travel Guides & Maps in print as well as digital formats. Printed copies are delivered to our network of distribution outlets throughout Alberta, BC Saskatchewan and into Montana. Travellers are encouraged to pick up a FREE copy through these outlets or download it, or any of our current or archived guides, to your mobile device at ExperienceTravelGuides.com/library. We wish to thank The Cowboy Trail Tourism Association, Alberta Parks, Travel Alberta, Rob Lennard (The History Wrangler), and all of our contributors, sponsors, and advertising partners for their support. Please support our advertisers and sponsors. If you get the chance, kindly mention where you saw their ad. Without their support this guide would not be possible. Founder: Bob Harris, CMI Publishing bob@ExperiencePublishing.ca Ph: (403) 259.8290

Special Thanks to: Renee Delorme, Lee Hart, Karen Ung, Stuart Watkins, Dale Shultz, Kelly & Carla Schultz

Associate Publisher: Christine Weston christine@ExperiencePublishing.ca

Cover photo: Courtesy of Andrew Penner

Designers Suzanne Griffin generationdesign@shaw.ca

Share your Experience: Upload your selfies, photos and videos to be eligible to win great prizes: ExperienceTravelGuides.com/Contests

Kris Nielson kris@krisdesign.ca Cartographer: Rob Storeshaw robstoreshaw@shaw.ca Editor: Larry Thomas larrylt2solutions@gmail.com Book Keeper: Adrienne Albrecht; adrienne@ExperiencePublishing.ca Advertising Sales Reps: Dan Clements Allen Gibson Joseph Macdonald David Saxby Nikolaus Wyslouzil Circulation Managers: Dan Clements Ian Klein Warren Pearson Dale Schultz Kelly & Carla Schultz Circulation: Free copies available through most Visitor Information Centres, AMA travel offices, retail stores, attractions, and hotels & motels in the region. For a complete list: experiencethecowboytrail.com/about-us

art, history & nature

Exhibitions Gallery Shop Summer Camps Workshops Festivals & Art Sales We hope to see you this summer! Before visiting, please visit our website or social media streams for our current operating hours.


282027 144 Street West, Foothills AB

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Table of Contents Communities Black Diamond (Diamond Valley) 30 Bragg Creek 42 Cardston 13 Cochrane 44-46 Crossfield 47 Longview & The Bar U Ranch 22 Mayerthorpe 50 Pincher Creek 12 Rocky Mountain House 50 Sundre 50 Turner Valley (Diamond Valley) 31 Waterton 12

Specialty Pages Alberta’s History Wrangler 7 Alberta’s Legendary Ranching History 32 Alberta Open Farm Days 40 Authentic Western Experiences 14 Campground Directory 48 Classic Cowboy Cuisine 36 Discover the Blackfoot Culture 18 Experience Chain Lakes Provincial Park 20 Experience Our Meaderies 37 Experience RVing 49 Farmers’ Markets 38 Historic Watering Holes 24 Historical Aboriginal Figures 16 Horses: Trust, Respect, and Team Work 21 Murder & Infidelity in the Old West 10 Photo Contest 3 Reader Survey 35 Rodeo and Pow Wows 43 TheCowboyTrail.com 26-29

Featured Map Pages Bragg Creek 43 Chain Lakes Provincial Park 20 Cochrane 45 Cowboy Trail 8 & 9 Old Forts Trail 11

Experience The Cowboy Trail

Message from

The President Neil MacLaine Welcome to the Cowboy Trail! Highway 22, also known as The Cowboy Trail, is a scenic and historic connection for the towns, villages, and ranching communities of Alberta’s foothills. Western hospitality, adventure, antique shopping, National Historic Sites, whitewater rafting, and pristine wilderness can all be found on The Cowboy Trail. Take in a rodeo, a cowboy poetry gathering, a pow wow, or a farmer’s market. Explore the trail’s 700 kilometre length and visit the setting of many celebrated movies and television series. You can spend a few hours, a few days, or perhaps a lifetime exploring the trail’s hidden gems - there are no end of unique experiences to be had. The Cowboy Trail is the ultimate “scenic route,” offering a unique and unforgettable north-south alternative to Highway 2. For travellers looking to take a day trip or weekend getaway to explore Alberta, The Cowboy Trail is well connected to the cities of Lethbridge, Calgary, Red Deer, and Edmonton, as well as a network of engaging rural communities. Visit thecowboytrail.com to plan your own exploration of the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. We look forward to seeing you out on the trail!


Neil MacLaine President Cowboy Trail Tourism Association TheCowboyTrail.com Box 285 Bragg Creek, Alberta T0L 0K0 | 403-949-3329

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Rob Lennard - Alberta’s History Wrangler

Alberta History Specialist “ A walking Alberta Encyclopedia” -Global News

Offering great interactive, musical and fun Alberta History Educational programs across Alberta for Tourists, Girl Guides, Seniors and the Public!

The Real Estate Wrangler

You’re Invited!

for more than 25 years”

Everyone is invited to The Historic Bar U Ranche on June 28th at 2:00 to be part of the filming of the YaHoo For The Bar U Music Video where we hope to set the World Record for Two-Stepping at an historic ranch! It’s a free event, to register email HistoryWrangler@gmail.com

The Historic Ranche at Fish Creek Provincial Park, The Home of Alberta’s History Wrangler

www.HistoryWrangler.com 7 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

“Wrangling Commercial Real estate

Specializing in Office/Industrial Leasing & Sales Telephone/Text: 403-607-5299 Email: CalgaryRealEstateWrangler@gmail.com www.HistoryWrangler.com



Experience The Cowboy Trail The Cowboy Trail Tourism Association was founded many years ago by ranchers, businesses and communities within southern Alberta’s foothills. Hwys 5, 6 & 22 became known as the Official Cowboy Trail. Together, they were promoted as the ultimate north-south “scenic route” in the province.

The Cowboy Trail is well connected to several major cities in Alberta as well as numerous rural communities. So in recent years, the focus has shifted beyond the trail, as folks from across Alberta come together to celebrate our western heritage.

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9 72







Water Valley












Clearwater River

NATIONAL Kicking Horse Pass


Bow Pass



Lake Louise

Panther River Red Deer River

AREA RECREATION Saskatchewan River Crossing

Ram River

Ram Falls

WILDLAND Cline River



North Saskatchewan River

11 Nordegg

Blackstone River



Innisfail Glennifer Lake

54 752




Sun Child Indian Reserve

O’Chiese Indian Reserve

620 734

Brazeau River


Red Deer River


Rocky Mountain House




Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake

Gull Lake


20 Buck Lake Indian Reserve

Alder Flats

Buck Lake


Brazeau Reservoir

Buck Creek








Red Deer






21 53 Ponoka


13 Buck Lake


Pigeon Lake


39 47



26 Wetaskiwin

616 Millet


770 Drayton Valley Pembina River



16 Edson


McLeod River


Chip Lake



21 19

North Saskatchewan River





Wabamun Lake


Wabamun Indian Reserve


Spruce Grove

37 Lac Ste. Anne Isle Lake



16 14

to Lloydminster


15 Morinville Alaska

43 Highway


Rochfort Brock Bridge Lake



751 32

to Drumheller

We embrace this change. This vision provides travellers with a scenic and historic connection to ranching communities, warm western hospitality, pristine wilderness, antique shopping, parks, National and Provincial Historic Sites, and adventure. It’s the perfect day trip or weekend getaway!

Take in a rodeo, a cowboy poetry gathering, a pow wow, or a farmer’s market. Explore “The Trail’s” 700 km length and visit the setting of many movies and TV series. You can spend a few hours, days, or a lifetime exploring the trail’s hidden gems.











12 0

Highwood River

Crowsnest Pass



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Castle River





Waterton River



Peigan Indian Reserve

Pincher Creek




2 505









Blood Indian Reserve

Stand Off

Fort Macleod

Oldman River

to Lethbridge


Hillspring Cardston Twin Butte 800



to Medicine Hat


to Drumheller





Oldman River


Bow River


Willow Creek






Beaver Mines


High River





Crowsnest River







Chain Lakes







72 Airdrie


Turner Valley

Eden Valley Indian Reserve


Black Diamond



Priddis Millarville



Sarcee Indian Reserve





Sheep River

Elbow River




Bragg Creek


Highwood Pass



Kananaskis River



Stoney Indian Reserve


580 Crossfield



Stoney Indian Reserve

Waiparous 40

Bow River





Water Valley

2 Carstairs

To ensure your Pow Wow is included please send details to info@experiencetravelguides.com

For more information, check out ExperienceTheCowboyTrail.com

Bronze Statues by Studio West

22 0


3 40


0 32






Lake Louise

Vermillion Pass


1 80

30 0



1 60

28 0

Kicking Horse Pass

0 14



2 40


Experience The Cowboy Trail

Be sure to watch for the Pow Wow Schedule in the 2021 edition.

Complete our reader survey on pg 35 for a chance to win new boots!

Murder and Infidelity in The Old West

The NWMP detachment in Pincher Creek 1895. Sgt. W.B. Wilde is seated, center. Photo Courtesy of Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village

In our 2018 edition, we ran this photo stating it was a detachment of North West Mounted Police from Fort McLeod. A reader let us know the photo was, in fact, of the Pincher Creek detachment. Little did we realize, when we asked our reader Bill Bradshaw how he knew about the photo’s origins, what an amazing story of lust, murder and betrayal would unfold!

out he went on a rampage, taking pot shots at authorities, including a constable near Cardston, and wounding several. He also began bragging to many of his tribe that he intended to kill both the Indian Agent and Red Crow, the chief of the Blood Tribe. The manhunt went on for several months but the warrior eluded both NWMP officers and native trackers.

Bill, it turns out, is a 27-year veteran of the force we know today as the RCMP, and Pincher Creek was his post in the late 1960s. “We had five policemen then,” he says, “and in my years there I never wore a gun. I knew all the people on the reserve, and they were tremendous people.”

In his memoir, A. L. Freebairn of Pincher Creek recalls John Herron, who went on to be the area’s Member of Parliament, tell the story of “following the trail down a narrow ravine into one of the river bottoms, when he noticed Charcoal standing in the brush on one side with his gun leveled right at them. Whispering to his men not to look around, they passed safely out of range. Charcoal got away again.” [2]

In the 1890’s, however, it was a different story. One that led, ultimately, to the murder of the man seated in the middle of our photo, Sergeant Brock Wilde. In 1896, a Blood Indian named Si’okskitsis (aka Charcoal) was working to supply hay to the NWMP when he discovered one of his wives was having an affair with her cousin – a wellknown lothario from the tribe. Such a thing was taboo in the Blood society, and Charcoal demanded that they stop. The two lovers refused to end the affair and when Charcoal found them together again, he shot the man and left him for dead. Fearing that he would be executed by the white man’s justice system, Charcoal went on the run. Instead of merely hiding

When Sergeant Wilde heard the fugitive had been spotted near Pincher Creek, he joined the pursuit with several native scouts, catching up with Charcoal five days later near what is now the Shell Canada complex just north of Waterton Park. The sergeant approached with his pistol drawn. It was not enough. “When the policeman got within eight feet, Charcoal turned on his horse and fired a rifle that was partially concealed under his blanket. Shot through the lung, Wilde fell from his horse and lay on the ground. When Charcoal saw Wilde move slightly, he jumped off his horse, stood over the fallen policeman and shot him again, point blank, in the

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Murder and Infidelity in The Old West Historic Forts in the Region Edmonton

after 27 years in


the RCMP and


Chief of Police in







Bill Bradshaw today,



Camrose for 11 more.



stomach. Wilde died there in the snow, while Charcoal took the sergeant’s fresher horse and rode off. His brutal murder of Sergeant Wilde only served to strengthen the resolve of both the police and Indians alike to capture him.” [1]

Pincher Creek




36 Medicine Hat 3 Lethbridge Taber FORT WHOOP-UP

Regina 1

Maple Creek 41





“Two days (after killing Sergeant Wilde), Charcoal showed up at the home of his two brothers, Left Hand and Bear’s Back Bone. He didn’t realize that the two men had promised the police that they would help capture their renegade brother. To Charcoal’s surprise, his brothers (with their wives’ help) tied him up and turned him over to the authorities. Charcoal was hanged in the corral at Fort Macleod on March 16, 1897, with a death song on his lips.” [3] From the poem ‘Charcoal’ by A.L. Freebairn: Wild tales of whiskey trading Of fearsome Indian fight. Of men who rustled horses Across the line at night. And oftimes some old timer Would tell the tale anew. Of the time they hunted Charcoal And the men that Charcoal slew. [4] Sergeant Wilde’s service, and sacrifice, is honoured to this day on plaques erected both at Fort McLeod and on Hwy 6 south of Pincher Creek. By: Allen Gibson 1, 3 source: http://www.edmrcmpvets.ca/Wall/wilde.w.b.pdf 2,4 “60 Years in an Old Cow Town“ by A. L. Freebairn. C. 2001

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Experience Waterton, Pincher Creek & Cardston

Waterton Lakes National Park may be one of the smallest of Canada’s national mountain parks, but many consider it to be the most stunning. The native plants here are so numerous, Waterton is called the Wildflower Capital of Canada. It is a peaceful place that will remain in your heart forever. At the heart of the park, the quaint hamlet of Waterton, located 57 km south of Pincher Creek and 55 km west of Cardston, is the most southerly community on The Cowboy Trail. It offers year-round hotel, dining, and shopping opportunities. Across the bay from the hamlet on a hill overlooking the lake is the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel. This park is a place of significance for Blackfoot people. Here, an Indigenous presence can be traced back for 10,000 years. There are signs of campsites, fire rings and bison drive lanes among the many archaeological sites. Horses played an important role in Waterton’s development. Trails were created to link the great lodges and pack trains of horses would deliver supplies and the first tourists. Explore on horseback and you will discover the park in a new way. Many visitors use Waterton as a base while in the region. There are several authentic western adventures here such as Alpine Stables, the Great Canadian Barn Dance at Hill Spring, the Remington Carriage Museum in Cardston, the

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump near Fort Macleod, and the incredible Thanksgiving Ranch, 15 km northwest of Twin Butte! 2020 marks the 125th anniversary of Waterton Lakes National Park, so this is the perfect time to discover beautiful waterfalls, hike the Bears Hump, marvel at the seemingly tame (but give a wide berth to) wildlife, rent a kayak, and enjoy a round of mountain golf. On a clear night, star gazing is a must! You can join this year’s celebrations in several ways such as: • Join the “The 125 Challenge”. Try some new activities in the park, in multiples of 125! Stop by the visitor centre for more information. • Take the 125th Stewardship Pledge as a commitment to protect the natural and cultural integrity of Waterton for the benefit of future generations. • Head outdoors at 1:25pm, any day this summer and sing Happy Birthday! • Follow Parks Canada on Facebook (@WatertonLakesNP), on Twitter (@WatertonLakesNP) and for up-to-date info check out parkscanada.gc.ca/Waterton. Download a copy of Waterton’s Official Visitor Guide at experiencetravelguides.com/library or visit mywaterton.ca.

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Experience Waterton, Pincher Creek & Cardston Located 2 hours south of Calgary, Pincher Creek has a deep connection with the early settlement of The West. The North West Mounted Police established a post here in 1876. Staff could retire after just five years of service, after which several constables remained in the area to try their hand at ranching. Finding good prairie grass and strong Chinook winds that kept the range open and free from snow, the area was regarded as good ranching country. By 1878, there were about 1,000 head of cattle in the Pincher Creek to the Fort Macleod area. The industry would continue to grow. Be sure to check out the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village. It’s home to a Visitor Centre, Country Store, 27 heritage cabins and two museum buildings filled with intriguing artifacts. Visit their website at kootenaibrown.ca. The Heritage Acres Museum is 17 km north of Pincher Creek, at the east end of the Oldman River Reservoir. The museum hosts several events throughout the year. heritageacres.org

Today Pincher Creek is a vibrant community of about 3,600 people, with modern shopping facilities, restaurants and hotels. Learn more about their services and recreational opportunities by visiting pinchercreek.ca Located just 10 mins north of the Montana border, Cardston celebrates its horse-drawn transport of the past with the largest wagon and carriage collection in North America. Be sure to visit the Remington Carriage Museum. One of Seabiscuit’s (a famous racehorse) jockeys started his career working in Cardston’s huge horse barns, that served the wagon trains used to supply Alberta from Montana in the late 1800s. The barns burned down, but a beautiful bronze statue of Seabiscuit and his local jockey stand outside the museum. The displays are fascinating, with everything from stagecoaches to the fancy carriages of New York high society. Check out their website at RemingtonCarriageMuseum.ca for up-to-date information.

For more Information visit mywaterton.ca, pinchercreek.ca, and cardston.ca

ALPINE STABLES Come visit Alpine Stables and experience spectacular scenery on horse back in Waterton Lakes National Park! Alpine Stables has seen a lot of changes in the last 50 years, including multiple floods, changes in Waterton landmarks and growth of our family, now in the 5th generation. One of the biggest changes being the Kenow Fire of 2017 where all of Alpine Stables’ buildings were lost. Now in 2020 we will be operating out of a brand new facility! What remains is our love for Waterton and sharing the natural and cultural history with visitors from around the world. Since 1969, we are proud to partner with Parks Canada in showcasing this remarkable place.

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RIDE IN WATERTON See wildlife habitat and wildflowers galore as you meander through wooded trails of the spectacular Rocky Mountains. Our guided rides are the ultimate western adventure for the whole family. Select hourly, half-day, full day or overnight trips. The perfect activity for physical distancing

Call to book your Adventure

403-859-2462 alpinestables.com

Authentic Western Experiences

Thanksgiving Ranch, Photo Courtesy of Andrew Penner

It was quite the spectacle - unforgettable, actually. And, as a photographer, it proved to be one of the most memorable mornings of shooting I’ve ever had. Thanksgiving Ranch was the setting; an idyllic southern Alberta ranching outpost ripe with rolling hills, stunning lakes, a rustic (yet luxurious) timberframed lodge, and situated at the base of the jagged Rockies near Pincher Creek. My objective? To photograph sixteen hundred head of cattle stampeding (well, at least hoofing it with some conviction) through the gate to reach their new unspoiled pastureland. It was a classic western shoot with all the ingredients, and then some. For anyone, especially photographers, smitten with western culture and the gorgeous cowboy-country scenes typically part of that “picture,” it doesn’t get better than southern Alberta. In fact, the classic images of cattle grazing on rolling foothills, the soaring mountains beyond, scream “Alberta.” And people come from around the world to immerse themselves in this. Unquestionably, Thanksgiving Ranch should rank high on your list if you’re looking for the ultimate Alberta “western” experience. The massive working ranch occupies over 1457 hectares of prime ranching real estate. And guests of the ranch (a two night stay is the minimum) can go horseback riding,

Thanksgiving Ranch, Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta / Katie Goldie

participate in the daily ranching activities, explore nearby attractions (such as Waterton Lakes National Park), fish troutfilled streams, go for a hike, enjoy some gourmet food, relax in the rustic lodge, and, of course, photograph the stunning prairies-meet-mountains scenes. “It’s hard to accurately express how large, how secluded, and how private this place is,” says owner, Brad Bustard. “When guests come here they will have acres and acres of elbow room. There literally won’t be another soul around for at least five miles. That’s pretty unique. There are not a lot of places in the world where you can have that space. And the fact that it’s so beautiful is the icing on the cake.” Of course, as good as Thanksgiving Ranch is, it hardly holds the patent on Alberta’s western experiences. Travel virtually any rural road in central or southern Alberta and you’re bound to see something, experience something - or, potentially to photograph something! - that speaks to Alberta’s western ways. Naturally, many of the most popular stops (think museums, interpretive centers, and so on) document the vast history, the natural beauty, and the culture that so many tourists come to Alberta to experience. For example, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo

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Authentic Western Experiences Jump, Blackfoot Crossing, and Calgary’s Glenbow Museum are world-renowned “outposts” capturing the rich, indigenous history of the Great Plains. Other notable Southern Alberta museums worth checking out include the Remington Carriage Museum in Cardston (it documents the history of horse-drawn carriages and is the largest museum of its kind in the world), the Galt Museum in Lethbridge (home to over 17,000 artifacts and over a million archival photographs and documents that capture Alberta’s vibrant history), and, of course, the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller (a dream come true for dinosaur fans!). For those who want to stick with the pioneering and cowboy themes - and experience this first-hand! - Southern Alberta has many dude ranches, horseback-riding outfitters, smalltown rodeos, and timber-framed lodges where you can hunker down for the long haul. If you’re based in or near Calgary, both Moose Mountain Horseback Adventures and Anchor D Guiding and Outfitting are great choices if you want to hop on a horse and harness your inner cowboy.

Share your Western Experience to Win a Getaway at Thankgiving Ranch

Based in Bragg Creek, a small town with a definite “western” atmosphere, Moose Mountain has been serving up splendid day rides and multi-day packtrips into the heart of the stunning Canadian Rockies since 1991. Their professional guides will ensure a safe and enjoyable ride for you and your posse. Similarly, Anchor D, which is based just to the west of Turner Valley on the edge of Kananaskis Country, has an excellent, long-standing reputation for offering visitors some of the most exhilarating horseback-riding trips in the wild west. Numerous options available include short beginner rides and advanced multi-day pack trips in rugged mountainous terrain, are going to create life-long memories. Although I have done trips with both of these outfitters, and photographed the jaw-dropping scenes at Thanksgiving Ranch, it’s difficult for me to choose a favourite. Regardless of where I am in southern Alberta - be it Sundre, Pincher Creek, Bragg Creek, or anywhere in between, the friendly, unpretentious nature of Alberta’s “western” folk always ensures it’s a trip well worth taking. And the lasting memories and beautiful pictures are just the icing on the cake. By: Andrew Penner

a luxury ranch experience like no other

Upload your photos at ExperienceTravelGuides.com/Contest thanksgivingranch.ca Pincher Creek, Alberta 403-627-1961

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Historical Aboriginal Figures Thousands of years before cowboys, chuck wagons, North ­West Mounted Police, settlers, and fur traders travelled The Cowboy Trail, Aboriginal peoples from numerous First Nations traversed the same land. East of the majestic Rockies in present day Alberta, they hunted, camped, and made war with their archenemies. This article features six fascinating First Nations characters from the past 150 years. They include 3 great chiefs; a world champion bronc rider; a brave war hero; and the very first Aboriginal person appointed to the Senate in Ottawa.

Chief Red Crow (Mekaisto) - Blackfoot Nation

Bull Head, chief of the Sarcee (Tsuu T’ina). Image NA-583-1 Courtesy of The Glenbow Museum

He was born into a family of chiefs in 1830 and was named after an honoured warrior from his tribe who was killed in battle. He was a fierce and brave warrior who participated in over 33 raids and stole 400 horses. He later became a highly respected chief of the Blood (Kainai) First Nation. On September 22, 1877, he signed Treaty 7 along with a few other Blackfoot leaders including Chief Crowfoot from the Siksika First Nation, and Chief Sitting on an Eagle Tail from the Piikani First Nation. During the Riel Rebellion of 1885, Chief Red Crow refused to let his people fight in the conflict.

Chief Bull Head (Chula) - Tsuu T’ina Nation He got his name from his brother Bull Head who was killed in a fight. A powerful, strong, and tall man, Chief Bull Head could get the attention of anyone with his loud, booming voice. He signed Treaty 7 on behalf of his tribe in 1877, and what made the signing unique is that his tribe actually belonged to the Blackfoot Confederacy in the 1800s, even though the Tsuu T’ina Nation is an offshoot of the Beaver Tribe of northern Alberta. The Dominion of Canada wanted to give the Tsuu T’ina Nation land near Blackfoot Crossing, an hour’s drive east of Calgary. But after years of complaining by Chief Bull Head, a new treaty was finally made which saw the Tsuu T’ina Nation settle on their current land, a stone’s throw from the city of Calgary.

Chief Maskepetoon (Broken Arm) - Cree Nation

Mike Mountain Horse, Alberta. March 5, 1959 Image NB-44-92 Courtesy of The Glenbow Museum

He was born in 1807 and was the chief of a small Plains Cree band. During his life, he spent time with US President Andrew Jackson, whom he met in Washington in 1831; the Swiss Prince Maximilian of Wied-­ Neufield; and John Palliser, the great explorer, after whom the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in Calgary is named. With the influence of Wesleyan Methodist missionaries, Chief Maskepetoon went from fierce warrior to a very strong proponent of peace. Whenever the opportunity presented itself, 16 | Enter Our Photo Contest

Historical Aboriginal Figures he made peace with the enemy, including inviting the killer of his own father into his lodge. Sadly, in 1869 when he entered an enemy camp to negotiate peace, he was killed by Big Swan.

Corporal Mike Mountain Horse - WWI Hero He was born in 1888. His younger brother, Albert - Alberta’s first Aboriginal recruit - enlisted in the “Fighting 10th” Battalion and died during German gas attacks. To avenge his death, his two older brothers, Mike and Joe, enlisted in the Calgary-based “Fighting 50th” Battalion. Mike recorded 12 of his war honours in the custom of his tribe, by painting them on a cowhide. Among his wartime escapades are these two: While on patrol in August 1917, he fought hand-to-hand with three of the enemy, killing two of them with his knife. in August 1918, at the battle of Amiens, a huge enemy shell wiped out all the soldiers in his section, but the corporal survived without a scratch.

Tom Three Persons - World Champion Cowboy He was the only Canadian to win a world title at the first Calgary Stampede. The coveted Saddle Bronc title included the $1,000 cash prize, trophy saddle, and gold and silver belt buckle. The tall aboriginal man with eye-­catching red chaps had to ride the legendary horse Cyclone who had bucked off 129 consecutive cowboys before Tom. Back then cowboys had to hang on until the horse came to a complete standstill! The Calgary Herald front page headline proclaimed, “All Hail Tom Three Persons!!”

Tom Three Persons with Calgary boy. Sept 1912 Image NA-3164-170 Courtesy of The Glenbow Museum

James Gladstone - Canada’s First Aboriginal Senator He born May 21, 1887, also known as “Many Guns,” a member of the Blood (Kainai) First Nation. Gladstone devoted much of his life to improving the lives of the Canadian Aboriginal people. He was president of the Indian Association of Alberta and a delegate to Ottawa to discuss improvements to the Indian Act. Gladstone was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker on January 31, 1958. His first speech was in both English and his native Blackfoot tongue, because he wanted “to place in the official debates a few words in the language of my people, as recognition of the first Canadians.” He spent all of his years in the Senate passionately speaking on issues affecting Aboriginal people and looking after their best interests. Senator Gladstone was related to the Mountain Horse brothers who went off to war. The memory and the deeds of these and other amazing Aboriginal people live on as a credit to their First Nations - and to the entire nation of Canada. By Rob Lennard

Senator James Gladstone with his horse, southern Alberta Image NA-5178-1 Courtesy of The Glenbow Museum

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Discover the Blackfoot Culture Despite decades of harsh government policies designed to destroy their languages and institutions, Canada’s indigenous people are managing to preserve some of what makes them unique – their words.

classroom to the library, the coffee shop to the world’s highest tech science facilities. And, while these efforts are piecemeal and often struggle to find funding, there are many determined people involved whose work is having a cumulative effect.

When a language disappears, so do pieces of the collective memory of the culture that speaks it, as with environmental knowledge produced over hundreds or even thousands of years.

Today, for example, it is not uncommon to hear Blackfoot being spoken at coffee shops, and the City of Lethbridge has adopted the Blackfoot hello ‘Oki’ as its official civic greeting.

The Innu language of the arctic, for example, has many more concepts for ‘snow’ than you find in English. It’s not hard to understand that for people who spent more than half their lives on snow and ice without motorized transport, understanding variations in “snow” would be important. Making your igloo out of collapsible snow could be detrimental to one’s health.

A high school teacher in Strathmore produced a Blackfoot play after learning the stories contained in the art at ‘Writing On Stone’ park could no longer be read with authority, because for so long the government refused to allow natives to access the site, and the visual language knowledge was lost.

Members of Alberta and Montana’s Blackfoot Confederacy also believe their languages contain knowledge and content crucial to their thriving as a people, and so efforts are being undertaken to preserve and restore their language – from the

One of the earliest promoters of restoring the many dialects of Blackfoot, Daryl Kipp, noted that the names for many plants in the region had been lost, and with it the knowledge of what that plant might be good for, from food to medicine. Kipp started the Piegan Institute in Montana when they were

Corey Gray and Sharon Yellowfly Courtesy National Public Radio / Russell Barber

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Discover the Blackfoot Culture down to very few native speakers, and it continues to grow. He’s passed on now, but others have taken up the cause, and today southern Alberta’s libraries are doing their part. Linda Weasel Head, an indigenous liaison at the Lethbridge public library, offered Blackfoot learning opportunities using ‘native’ puppets created on the Siksika reserve. During weekly puppet shows to teach ‘100 Words of Blackfoot,’ she smiles when she says “kids pay more attention to the puppets than to me as a teacher. To them, the puppets are as real as you are.” Representation that looks and speaks like your people can have a profound impact, and the Siksika puppets are so popular that creator Laura Asham has made a business out of producing them for many eager parents, daycares, and schools. In Calgary, the new main library has opened an Indigenous Languages Centre, featuring books in many languages, including Blackfoot. Author Latasha Calf Robe’s book “My Braids” was written for her young son to be proud of his traditional hairstyle.

Blackfoot was also featured at the highest echelons of global science! This happened when Corey Gray, who is a scientist at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory facility, signed up his mother, Sharon Yellowfly, to translate into the Siksika language the momentous announcement that the project had, in fact, discovered gravitational waves. Since the 2016 announcement was of global importance, its media release was being translated into over 20 languages, and Gray thought ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we could get this in an Indigenous language?’ Which is where his mom came in. Despite years of residential school efforts to kill the language in her, Sharon remains a proficient Blackfoot speaker. Still, the task meant days of effort coming up with new terms and concepts, like “Abuduuxbiisii o?bigimskAAsts” or “they stick together waves” to describe gravitational waves. It seems Blackfoot languages are not merely surviving, but evolving, as all living languages do. By: Allen R. Gibson.

About the Book: Siipisaahkomaapi (Night Boy) is a traditional Blackfoot boy. In this story, he shares his world with his family, and the meaning and gifts of his three braids. About the Author:Latasha Calf Robe is from the Kainaiwa First Nation and a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Latasha is the proud daughter of Marvin and Teena Calf Robe. Latasha is a mother of three beautiful Blackfoot children who she raises with her partner Adam Solway. With the support and teaching from her family, Latasha is thrilled to share Niitsippooktsistaanitsi with you. Find the book in the Calgary Public Library catalogue.

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Experience Chain Lakes Provincial Park Open year-round, Chain Lakes offers 122 campsites, many of which are secluded. On hot days, enjoy the beach, or many other water activities. The kids will love the playground and the seasonal on-site concession provides hot meals and specialty coffees as well as snacks. Cell service may not be available here but there is a payphone at the concession. Located at the intersection of Hwys 533 and 22, just 75 minutes north of either the Crowsnest Pass or Pincher Creek, this park makes for a great stop from which your family can comfortably explore the southern leg of The Cowboy Trail. Day trips to nearby towns and tourist attractions include: • The Historic Bar U Ranch (27 km north) • Longview (40 km north – jerky & restaurants) • Nanton (40 km northeast – antiques & Bomber Command Museum of Canada) • Frank Slide Interpretive Center (93 km southwest) • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (120 km southeast)

Nestled between Porcupine Hills and the Rocky Mountains, it provides some of the nicest views of Alberta’s rolling foothills. The lakes are stocked with rainbow trout so bring along your fly fishing gear and your licence. Native bull trout may also be found in the lakes but they are a catch-and-release species. Numerous trails connect the camping loops to the lakefront, the main day use area and the boat launches. To stretch the legs, or to let the kids blow off some steam, grab the bikes or take a stroll across the dam to the group area then follow the road back up to the park office. Bird watchers will be pleased that the lakes and geographical location make it an excellent venue for birding. Look for longeared owls, loons, great blue herons and trumpeter swans. Wildlife viewing opportunities are very good here, as well. You may spot cougar, lynx, elk, moose, grey wolf, and grizzly bears. For more information phone (403) 382-4097. To reserve your campsite go to Reserve.AlbertaParks.ca.

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Horses: Trust, Respect, and Team Work

Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta/ Neil Zeller @neil_zee

An equine-assisted learning program is a ground-based horse course that builds confidence and teamwork through trust, respect, and problem solving. “I wanted my last breath on earth to be doing something that literally changes people’s lives while working with horses in a completely different way.” Kari Fulmek, Founder and Master Instructor at Equine Connection, shares her inspiration for the equine-assisted learning programs she has offered since 2009. Glowing testimonials reflect the life-changing impact of her horse courses. According to Colin Merrick, “this learning will be remembered and retained unlike classroom sessions.”

How does it work? With the horse as teacher, and human facilitator as interpreter, the participants work together to complete challenges or tasks. Activities are collaborative rather than competitive, with everyone working towards a common goal. A facilitator is on hand every single step of the way to assist and provide explanation (connecting experiences to behavioural profiles in an example), but most of the learning is hands-on. “Horses have a lot to teach us!” Fulmek explains. “Herds to horses are just like teams to people. Horses have natural ‘herd

behaviours’ that require trust, respect and teamwork from all members of the team.” Participants must observe the horses carefully and listen to them in order to successfully complete each exercise. “The horses’ jobs are speaking to the clients through their bodies to help bring about the changes the human needs to make. Their feedback is honest and instant.” Just when you have one horse figured out, you may switch horses with another team, so you get more experience gaining mutual trust and respect. Individuals, corporate teams, students, and patients can all benefit from equine-assisted learning. It is an opportunity to learn about yourself and others. When asked how horses teach, Fulmek says, “I have seen the power of how these horses have changed and touched every person who has come through my doors with a positive, move forward direction just because the horse was the one to tell them versus a human.” By: Karen Ung

Equine-Assisted Learning Outfits Equine Connection, Carseland: equineconnection.ca Lasting Strides Equine, Delacour: lastingstridesequine.com Higher Trails, Millarville: HigherTrails.ca

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Experience the Bar U, Longview & Kananaskis

The Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada (Bar U) is located 101 km north of Lundbreck and 15 km south of Longview, at the junction of Hwys 22 and 540. Set in the rolling foothills, the Bar U is the only historic site to commemorate the history of ranching in Canada. Established in the 1880’s, it was one of the first large corporate ranches. Pat Burns once owned this ranch and Harry Longabaugh (better known as the Sundance Kid) worked here. Parks Canada has operated the site since 1991. Discover the life of a cowboy from the late 1800s. Ride on a wagon pulled

by Percheron horses. Wander through the rustic old buildings. Try your hand at cowboy skills. Pick up quality western gifts for your buckaroo! Enjoy an authentic ranch house meal. Open daily from May to September. 10am - 5pm. Located 45 mins south of Calgary, the scenic drive from this city to Longview makes for a pleasant getaway. And there are tons of reasons to stop in this quaint little western community. Longview was established at the turn of the century to service farms and ranches. The area is rich with oil and gas history and at its peak it’s believed that the population was about 2,500. The community was known as Little New York, a name that still sticks when it comes to the celebration of “Little New York Daze” an event typically held annually during the summer. You will be pleasantly surprised by the number of restaurants here, as well as the quality of the food. The Little New York Bistro, the Longview Steak House and the Historic Longview Hotel are just three and they all get rave reviews. But you’ve also arrived at the mecca of cowboy snacks – the legendary Longview Jerky Shop.

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Experience the Bar U, Longview & Kananaskis Who might guess that a chewy, sometimes salty, sweet, spicy or smoky concoction could have such a huge fan following? But don’t take our word for that. Clint Eastwood special ordered jerky to the set while making his film Unforgiven, nearby.

The landscapes in and around Longview are breathtaking. If you are looking for serenity, Kananaskis Country (Kananaskis) is the place for you. This large tract of land consists of many provincial parks, wildlands and other recreation areas.

In addition to superb culinary treats, you may be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the work of the local artisans. Debra Garside’s passion for horses has always matched her love for art. Acknowledged as one of Canada’s top equestrian coaches in the 1980s, she transitioned into photography and has won numerous awards. Debra spends much of her time following wild horses and is one of the few photographers granted access to Sable Island. debragarsidephotography.com

Kananaskis Country was first identified as a place worthy of being preserved, more than a century ago. In 1902, parts were included in the Rocky Mountain National Park (now Banff National Park), but they were removed in 1911 and eventually turned over to the Alberta Government in 1930.

Longview Leather purchased the inventory of Caledon Leather Sales in 2014. For over 26 years, they were Western Canada’s leading supplier of leather and leatherworking supplies. Since then, they have added hundreds of additional products that will definitely interest to leatherworkers and saddle makers. Whether you are a professional or hobbyist, be sure to say hello to Daniel and check out longviewleather.com

For more information go to village.longview.ab.ca


To enter Kananaskis, drive west along Hwy 541. Watch for sheep, elk, moose, deer, bear (both black and grizzly), coyotes, wolves and other wildlife. The Highwood and Cataract Creek Areas are located 35 km west of Longview. These areas offer great fishing and camping experiences, numerous hiking and equestrian trails. If you’re looking for a great day trip, go south from Cataract Creek along Hwy 40 (note this section of gravel road is closed December 1 to June 14 due to snowpack and wildlife calving). Then return to Hwy 22 by following Hwy 532, past the Indian Graves campground to the north end of Chain Lakes.

Dare to try!

Hours of operation 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 11 to September 30, 2020 pc.gc.ca/baru

Finely Cut Strips of Roast – Juicy and Tender Marinated in our Outstanding Secret Family Recipe Baked to Mouth Watering Perfection – Simply Irresistible We Use Only 100% Alberta Beef

You must visit Longview and experience our world famous Jerky. A true taste of Alberta! 148 Morrison Road (Hwy 22 - The Cowboy Trail) Longview, Alberta

403-558-3960 longviewjerkyshop.com 23 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com


Heures d’ouverture : de 10 h à 17 h du 11 mai au 30 septembre 2020

Historic Watering Holes

Powderhorn Saloon

With the Rocky Mountains rising up majestically in the west

homemade food and friendly faces. It is a great place to enjoy

and the rolling, sweeping prairies sprawling to the east, The

live music every Friday night and jam sessions on Thursday’s.

Cowboy Trail is a 700 km scenic route along Hwy 22, running

New acts are welcome and the first Saturday at 5pm of every

through the breathtaking foothills of the Alberta Rockies.

month, James Roy hosts jam sessions for any brave enough to take on the mic. A bit off the beaten track, the Powderhorn

Winding along this significant portion of Alberta’s west region,

Saloon is a must see for both tourists and locals alike.

starting north of Edmonton in Mayerthorpe, The Cowboy Trail is a narrow ribbon of highway, slicing through forests and

The Black Diamond Bar and Hotel is a historic beauty built

ancient native grasslands, ending far to the south in Cardston.

in 1929 and remains the centre of the town’s entertainment with great food and live music. The hotel sits on the corner of

The old west of Alberta is still very prominent, offering many

Hws 7 and 22 and though it has undergone renovations over

sights, attractions, history and culture, but best of all, it offers

the years, and survived the fire in 1949, it’s still a very popular

unique acoustic, hidden gems one dare not pass up. Family

venue and is renowned for their Saturday night jams.

owned ‘watering’ holes, coffee shops and general stores offer a lot. This includes, artists entertaining, serenading listeners

Cozy up next to a fireplace or pull a seat up at the ‘wood’,

with all genres of music, as they sip freshly brewed coffee or

the Black Diamond Bar is a hub of activity with pool tables,

a pint from a local brewery, while snacking on home cooked

TV’s and even a jukebox. Enjoy your evening and relax with

delights many of these joints offer.

live country music, in an ambient atmosphere with friends.

The Powderhorn Saloon in Bragg Creek has been a landmark

The Twin Cities Saloon and Hotel in Longview is a rustic and

to many in southern Alberta, with a cozy atmosphere, great

quaint watering hole to locals and tourists, offering a home-

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Historic Watering Holes made menu with ingredients acquired from local farmers and

Situated in downtown Rocky Mountain House, The Music

handcrafted beer. Built in 1938, it is a historic and prominent

Shop Concert Theatre & Soup House is a unique, old-town

landmark within the town and a favourite to all. Popular bands

feel venue. It’s a soup house for lunch Tuesday to Saturday

play every Friday night, Saturday’s are for jam sessions, which

where homemade soups, chilies and grilled cheese sandwiches

always brings new talent to the stage and Sunday afternoons

are available. At night, though not every night, it transforms

are unplugged jam sessions. With its character and history, the

into a concert theatre where artists take the stage. It’s a rare

hotel is hard to pass up, especially for those who love to hear

experience with musicians from around the world performing

stellar old country music.

monthly. Visit themusicshoprmh.weebly.com.

On the prairies between Pincher Creek and Waterton, the

The Waterton Lakes Opera House opens seasonally between

Twin Butte General Store opened in the 1930’s with two gas

May and October and is renowned for its live performances,

pumps and an office, supplying fuel to farmers. Since then, it

big screen film presentations, events and upcoming movies.

has grown into so much more than a mere general store.

Situated in the heart of beautiful Waterton, it is a 100-yearold movie theatre transformed into a multi-functional venue

Customers can mail a letter, buy a souvenir or pick up general

where they offer movies and live performances daily.

supplies, but they can also enjoy the experience of the store. While trying the mouth-watering, Mexican influenced menu,

There are countless places to explore and history to discover

visitors can listen to the musicians and touch up their Alberta

Throughout Southern Alberta. Take the scenic drive along The

two-step to a variety of live music from top-notch performing

Cowboy Trail and get lost in the history, culture and music

artists. Tourists are drawn to the charm of this quaint town and

each unique town has to offer.

the ‘country general store’ ambiance, well worth visiting.

By: Amanda Knippschild

Twin Cities Saloon and Hotel

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Boundary BoundaryRanch Ranch

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Providing Providinghorse horseenthusiasts enthusiastswith withthe the opportunity opportunitytotoenjoy enjoysome someofofthe thebest best riding ridingininWestern WesternCanada Canadasince since1991. 1991.With With well-conditioned well-conditionedand andresponsive responsivehorses, horses, our ourteam teamofofknowledgeable knowledgeableguides guidesseeks seeks totoensure ensureevery everyrider riderexperiences experiencesthe thebest best ofofAlberta’s Alberta’sunspoiled unspoiledbeauty. beauty.Join Joinus usfor foraa few fewhours hoursororaafew fewweeks. weeks. Day Dayrides ridesare areoffered offeredfrom fromour ourbase baseatat the theM&M M&Mranch, ranch,less lessthan thanan anhour hourfrom from Calgary Calgaryand andonly onlyminutes minutesfrom fromBragg Bragg Creek. Creek.Reservations ReservationsRequired. Required. www.packtrips.ca www.packtrips.ca 403-949-3329 403-949-3329

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Restez encore un peu Passez la nuit dans un tipi, une tente de trappeur, une cabane de piégeage, un VR ou une tente. Pour Pour obtenir obtenir des des renseignements renseignements àà jour jour sur sur la la planification planification d’un d’un voyage, voyage, les les activités activités offertes, offertes, les les événements événements spéciaux spéciaux et et les les dates dates clés, clés, consultez consultez le le site site suivant suivant ::


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Experience Diamond Valley

Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta A Family is having ice-cream at Marv’s Classic Soda Shoppe in Black Diamond.

Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta / Colin Way Couple drinking beers on the patio at Westwood.

Located at the junction of Hwys 7 & 22, just 15 min north of Longview and only 35 min SW of Calgary, Black Diamond is 5 min east of Turner Valley. The Chamber of Commerce here represents both communities and combining the names of the two towns, goes by the handle of Diamond Valley.

That’s the term we use because “Diamond” may refer to the many wonderful gems you’ll find here: artwork, jewellery, hand-crafted home decor, specialty clothing and fantastic restaurants. The pace here is much calmer. At the turn of the 20th century, settlers moved here because high grade coal was discovered in the area. Even though coal is no longer mined here, “the world’s largest black diamond” is displayed on Centre Avenue. Rub it for luck! Time stands still at Marv’s Classic Soda Shop. It’s a 50s diner and authentic soda fountain. The ambience will stir the heart of any senior and all those who enjoy a handmade hamburger and home-cut fries. You may not find a better milkshake! Right across the street, the Soft Rock Bistro offers a selection of staples, including a chicken bacon wrap, quesadilla, and beef dip and but they specialize in French Canadian cuisine: poutine, Montreal smoked meat, and even tourtiere.

find your WOW factor

134 Centre Ave East, Black Diamond, Ab 403.933.5356 Open 10-5:30 daily

Unique Teak Furniture & Carvings, Exotic Stone Sculptures Bathroom Fixtures, Tables & Desks Blown Glass, Tribal Carpets

Visit us online

BlackDiamondGallery.com @blackdiamondgalleryalberta


Looking for Vietnamese? Be sure to visit the Saigon Moon as it will not disappoint, just be sure to start with their salad rolls! And for those craving their double-double, you’ll find a Tim Hortons on the east side of town. Rusty Davidson has been travelling the world for over 40 years. He and his brother started importing the indigenous art styles of the Middle East, Asia, and South America before adding Teak

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Experience Diamond Valley Root furniture, colourful kites and bright children’s clothing from Java, Bali and Indonesia. Their collection changes so be sure to stop at the Black Diamond Gallery, regularly. The Bluerock Gallery is another example of the many fine small businesses in Black Diamond. It is owned by local merchants who carry unique high-quality handmade crafts that are created by Alberta artists. Browse the jewellery, cards, books, and exhibits to your heart’s content. You’ll discover an eclectic mix of paintings, and works in fibre, metal, clay, glass, and wood. The Bluerock has partnered with the Leighton Art Centre, Firebrand Glass Studios, Eversfield Ceramics, the Kristoferson Studio, Mady Thiel-Kopstein, Lineham House Galleries and the Okotoks Art Gallery to establish The Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta. The towns of Black Diamond and Turner Valley are located right on The Cowboy Trail and are steeped in western culture. In addition, this area is also surrounded by various recreational opportunities and is an important gateway to Kananaskis Country. Bring your bike, tent, kayak, or horse and get “Back to Nature” in Turner Valley!

Chuckwagon Cafe Here is one of those terrific hidden gems along the Cowboy Trail. Winner of “Calgary’s Best Burger” awarded by Avenue Magazine for 2 years in a row. Featured for their “Flat Iron Eggs Benedict” on the TV Show “You Gotta Eat Here” produced by the Food Network Canada.

Look for the little red barn at the 4-way stop in Turner Valley. Open at 8 AM daily. Ph: 403-933-0003

Didn’t bring your horse? Or don’t have one? No problems! Located just 11 mins west on Hwy 546, Anchor D Outfitting has the right horseback vacation to satisfy your inner cowboy. From a 2 hour trail ride to a 7 day adventure, Dewy has the guides and the horses for you. Many local events in Diamond Valley are held at Millennium Park which is located in downtown Turner Valley. Right next door, you’ll find the Sheep River Library and the Visitor Info Centre. Stop here for more info about upcoming events. Turner Valley is also home to several restaurants, including the Chuckwagon Cafe which has received Calgary’s Best Burger award, twice. Conveniently located just kitty-corner from the library, the Chuckwagon Cafe’s Flat Iron Eggs Benedict was featured on “You Gotta Eat Here”. This cafe is a very popular spot for breakfast and lunch. American tourists love it because you’ll receive a fair exchange rate on your US dollars, too. Have a hankerin’ for Mexican? MotoBurrito is just 2 blocks east. Another hidden culinary gem is the Turner Valley Golf Club. You don’t have to golf to enjoy the homemade food and spectacular mountain views at their Royalite Grill.

Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta / Roth and Ramberg Friends looking at a map on main street in Black Diamond

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Alberta’s Legendary Ranching History

Photo Courtesy of Sierra West Cattle Drive

In the entire province of Alberta, there are over 18,000 beef cattle producers today. Long before the catchy slogans “I Love Alberta Beef” and “If it Ain’t Alberta It Ain’t Beef” became popular and Alberta beef began gaining a global presence, there wasn’t a cow in sight, only buffalo, hundreds of millions of buffalo roaming the great Canadian Plains. In 1874, after the buffalo herds had all but disappeared and three years before Chief Crowfoot signed Treaty 7, in large part due to the disappearance of the buffalo, a gold prospector joined Methodist missionaries John McDougall and his brother David in bringing north cattle from historic Fort Benton in Montana to the settlement of Morley west of Calgary, marking arguably the first historic ‘Cattle Drive’ in Alberta. The cattle drive consisted of the 25 Texas Long Horn cattle. They belonged to the gold prospector and four cows and their calves owned by the McDougall brothers.

This number was eclipsed by a man named John Shaw who, the next year, drove 450 cattle through the Rocky Mountain passes to Morley and ended up selling his cattle to the beef loving Mounties at their newly constructed fort, Fort Calgary. In 1876 a dairyman from Fort Benton drove dairy cattle to an area east of Fort Macleod in southern Alberta and established the Pioneer Ranch. He was able to supply fresh milk to the Mounties to help “wash down” their great tasting, though yet to be known as, ‘Alberta beef’. By 1878, a large number of Mounties, who had served their 5-year terms, left the service and took up cattle ranching. They become Canada’s very first cowboys. A case in point is Robert Patterson; he went into partnership with fellow constable Jim Bell in 1879 and started a ranch near Slideout. Incidentally, in 1911, Robert was elected to the Alberta Legislature. Sam Steele, the legendary Mountie and his partner Percy Neale

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also went into ranching together, albeit a part time livelihood for the Mountie who was knighted years late by the King of England on January 1, 1918. In 1885 the largest cattle drive in Canadian history took place and it consisted of 100 Cowboys, 15 chuck wagons full of food and supplies, and 60,000 head of cattle! Next, this article would not be complete without mentioning two of the distinguished ranchers of the Historic Bow Valley Ranche, William Roper Hull and Senator Patrick Burns. When the North-West Mounted Police needed horses at Fort Calgary, William and his brother John drove 1200 horses from British Columbia through the Rocky Mountains by way of the Crowsnest Pass. The Roper brothers also drove a large number of cattle and sold them to the Bar U Ranch. They also landed lucrative contracts to supply all the beef for the Canadian Pacific Railway, during construction of the national railway. The brothers used the profits to purchase a new ranch called 25. In 1892 the brothers bought the Bow Valley Ranche from the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec and two ranches close to Nanton and by 1888 they owned the largest meat business across BC and the North-West Territories.

William Roper Hull, Calgary, Alberta Courtesy of Glenbow Archive; PB-896-3

Patrick Burns, Canada’s undisputed “Cattle King” and Alberta’s first millionaire, bought the historic Bow Valley Ranche from William Roper Hull in 1902. By 1912, Burns was running six large cattle ranches, large enough that he could travel from Cochrane to the U.S. border without leaving his land! That year he also found time to be one of the “Big Four” to finance the very first Calgary Stampede. In 1931 his friend R.B. Bennett, then the Prime Minister of Canada, appointed Burns as Senator on his 75th birthday. Finally, between the bitter cold 1906-1907 winter, referred to as the “Killing Winter” that killed thousands of cattle, the breakup of the large ranches and the settlers settling on what was once open cattle grazing grasslands. The Golden Age of the cowboy on the Canadian prairies came to an end. By: Rob Lennard Special thanks and acknowledgement to Mr. Hugh Dempsey, “Alberta’s Mr. History” who wrote The Golden Age of the Canadian Cowboy in 1995, the principal source of information in this article. He is a mentor of ‘The History Wrangler’. 33 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Pat Burns. Courtesy of Glenbow Archive; NB-16-150

Experience a Country Vacation

You can find it all, from the prairies to the Rocky Mountain foothills Imagine yourself taking the best vacation of your life

or freeway within sight or earshot. Others are

at a ranch, in the backcountry or a country vacation

amazed at the peaceful silence.

venue. The cool, fresh mountain air, the open spaces, the feel of a steady horse beneath you as you top the

Let’s not forget the possibility to master the “art

next rise…relaxing in the warmth of the setting sun

of relaxation”. When you find yourself surrounded

as you wait for the dinner bell call…shared time with

by natural beauty, slow down, breathe deeply and

family and friends.

appreciate it. Watch a sunset, wait for the cattle to come to water, go bird watching, take a walk through

Some guests say it’s an awesome experience to be

wildflowers, nap in a hammock, listen to livestock,

surrounded only by wilderness without a street light

or just sit quietly and let your mind wander.

The meals are scrumptious and the accommodations range from rustic cabins and cozy teepees to pampered retreats Close your eyes and think of the Canadian West Rocky Mountains horseback pack trips working guest ranches cattle drives clean clear, wide open spaces

Contact us today to plan your dream holiday.



Submit a photo of your authentic western experience for a chance to WIN See pg 3 for details 34 | Enter Our Photo Contest

WIN: A Gift Certificate for a NEW Pair of Cowboy Boots courtesy of Alberta Boots, Calgary ($300) www.albertaboot.com You are reading the eighth edition of Western Travel Guide. We’d like to know how we did and learn how we can better serve your needs. Please complete and return the following short questionnaire for a chance to Win. Where did you pick up this travel guide?

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Classic Cowboy Cuisine

Keeping the cowboys properly fed was a critical job of the old west. This task was entrusted to the camp cook. Hugh Dempsey, in his book The Golden Age of the Canadian Cowboy, describes how the chuckwagon had a leading role back in the late 1880s as cattle began to move in and through Alberta on drives and roundups. “Chuckwagons usually went ahead of the roundup to the next camping place and had a meal ready when the tired cowboys came off the range,” writes Dempsey. Quoting reports of a visiting journalist, Dempsey describes the typical chuckwagon

food. “For breakfast, he said the cowboys had steaks, buns, jam and coffee; for lunch and dinner, beef, canned tomatoes or corn, rice pudding, prunes, pie, bread, butter, jam, coffee and tea.” One of the cooks said his job “was to keep the belly wrinkles out of the crew.” In more modern times, the menu might vary some, but the objective remains the same. Brad McCarthy, ranch wrangler and cook at Homeplace Ranch west of Millarville a few years ago shared his Shepherd’s Pie recipe in Cooking the Cowboy Way, a cookbook written by Grady Spears By: Lee Hart

Shepard’s Pie Recipe Ingredients:


2 tsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat the vegetable oil in a large

1 lb ground sirloin

skillet, over medium heat and add the meat and onion.

1 medium yellow onion, diced

Cook until the meat browns and the onion is translucent,

3 cloves garlic, minced

about five minutes. Add the garlic, green beans, carrots

1 cup green or yellow beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths

and corn; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the

2 cups peeled, sliced carrots

with salt, pepper, and herbs and stir. Remove from heat

3 ears corn, shucked and kernels removed

and scoop the mixture into a six by nine inch buttered

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

casserole dish. Cover with the mashed potatoes and

3 tsp dried thyme

bake until browned at the edges - about 30 minutes.

3 tsp dried rosemary

Serve with brown gravy, if desired.

vegetables are just tender, five to seven minutes. Season

3 cups mashed potatoes

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Experience Our Meaderies “Mead of Poetry” is a Norse legend illustrating the reverence people had for this drink. Long ago, a war between gods ended when both enemies sealed a pact by spitting in a vat. The disgusting spit concoction created Kvasir, the wisest, most learned and artistic human to ever live. Unfortunately for him, he soon fell victim of two cunning dwarves who killed him. The dwarves poured his blood into a vat of honey creating a mead giving Kvasir’s wisdom and knowledge to anyone drinking it. The tasty elixir became known as the “Mead of Poetry.” Eventually, the dwarves surrendered their mead to the son of a giant they had previously slain. Next, Odin, a Norse god, stole the Mead for his own use. If Odin were amongst us today, he certainly would be impressed by Alberta’s wonderful mead offerings. The advent of science coupled with our producers’ talents and artistry certainly qualify Alberta’s meads as “Meads of Poetry.” There are five meaderies along The Cowboy Trail producing outstanding honey wines. As well as tastings, some offer fun experiences like Chinook Arch Meadery’s ‘Horde at the Hive’ (usually held in June, visit website for dates) where visitors can experience the culture of a Viking Village complete with performers. These meaderies rival each other in originality and quality in their mead products, using local fruits and other ingredients to create uniquely Albertan wines. You can visit their tasting rooms to discover their products. To help you with mead terminology we list below some of the mead styles on offer. Taste, ask questions and learn. Our mead producers will love you for it. “Skol!” By: Renée Delorme



Hydromel: Basic light mead

Tamarack Jack’s “Buzz Saw”

Sack mead: Sweet/ dessert style mead

Grey Owl’s “Cranberry”

Rhodomel: Honey infused with rose petals

Spirit Hills’ “Wild Rosy”

Melomel: Honey fermented with fruits

Spirit Hills’ “Saskwatch” or T amarack Jack’s “Tillicum”

Cyser: Honey fermented with apple or apple juice

Grey Owl Meadery’s “Apple”

Metheglin: Honey infused with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves

Chinook Arch’s “Fire ‘n’ Spice Mead’

Bochet: Mead made with caramelized honey

Chinook Arch’s “Vanilla Bochet Mead”

Session: a low alcohol, carbonated mead

Fallentimber’s “Hopped Mead”

37 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Chinook Arch Meadery

Experience Our Farmers’ Markets

There is always something new to discover at Granary Road, one of the newest market attractions near The Cowboy Trail, just southwest of Calgary. As Granary Road prepares for its 4th season, this year-round farmers’ market is just one feature of a diversified education and entertainment facility that offers something for every age group and interest, says Charlene Delisle, general manager. Located on a 16 hectare site, just off Hwy 22x, in the Red Deer Lake area east of Millarville, Granary Road began with the outdoor Active Learning Park operating only on a seasonal basis, but soon added an extensive indoor market and dining facilities that are open year round. “With 20 permanent vendors with as many as 50 pop-up or daily vendors (depending on the time of year) the Granary Road market is open year-round and offers fresh produce, artisan cheeses, pizza, tacos, handcrafted home goods and much more,” says Delisle. The 2,300 m2 market is open Friday through Sunday - fall through spring - with extended summer hours. Visit granaryroad.com for details.

The Active Learning Park provides an interactive, educational and fun experience for all ages with almost a dozen themed exhibits, including a petting zoo along 3.5 kms of trails. “It is a fun adventure area, that also has a clear educational message helping to connect nature, animals and farming practices to our daily lives,” says Delisle. A new attraction at Granary Road for 2020 is an aquaculture exhibit showing how nutrient-rich water from fish farming can be recycled to produce crops. Along with being a weekend destination for families, Granary Road also serves as a perfect venue for all types of corporate functions from corporate family days, corporate retreats and team building. “Accompanied by breathtaking landscape, our active farm, upscale market, and beautifully rustic dining and event spaces, our facilities can be tailored to suit a company’s needs,” says Delisle. Programs can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 3,000 people. As you’re travelling the scenic Cowboy Trail, Granary Road is just one of more than two dozen seasonal farmers markets showcasing local, high quality Alberta-grown products. By: Lee Hart

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Experience Our Farmers’ Markets Pincher Creek - Memorial Arena Fridays; June to September

Banff - Bear Street Wednesdays; June to October

Rimbey - Pask-a-Poo Park Saturdays; May to October

Fort Macleod - Fort Historic Site Thursdays; July to September

Canmore - Civic Centre Thursdays; May to October

Rocky Mountain House - Museum Saturdays; Year Round

Claresholm - Downtown Wednesdays; July to September

Crossfield - Community Hall Thursdays; June to September

Clearwater Market - Main Street Thursdays; May to September

Nanton - United Church Saturdays; June to September

Carstairs - Curling Rink Tuesdays; May to August

Caroline - Caroline Museum Fridays; May to September

Millarville - Millarville Fair Grounds Saturdays; June to October

Didsbury - Curling Rink Wednesdays; July to September

Spruce View - Spruce View Hall Mondays; May to September

Okotoks - 2 km north on Hwy 2A Fridays; June to September

Olds - Cow Palace Thurdays; May to September

Drayton Valley - Mackenzie Centre Saturdays; February to December

Granary Road - NE Black Diamond Thursday - Sunday; Year Round

Bergen - Bergen Hall Saturdays; June to September

Edson - Royal Canadian Legion Fridays; April to December

Calgary - Blackfoot near Heritage Thursday - Sunday; Year Round

Bentley - Curling Rink Saturdays; June to September

Evansburg - Tipple Park Museum Saturdays; May to September

Cochrane Ranche Historic Site Saturdays; June to September

Sundre - Curling Rink Fridays; May to September

Hinton - Community Centre Thursdays; March to December

Dates are subject to change, for more information on these and other markets visit albertamarkets.com

Photo Courtesy of Evergreen Market in Drayton Valley

Photo Courtesy of Evergreen Market in Drayton Valley

39 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience Alberta Open Farm Days

In the hilarious Hollywood movie, City Slickers (you should

toast? Quite possibly the same farm! That beer you had at the

see it), a trio of stressed-out city boys embark on a comical

brewpub yesterday evening? You get the idea.

cattle drive to find themselves. And, you guessed it, in the end, through much adversity - including nasty storms, stampedes,

And, with over 100 farms and various businesses participating,

and trailside calf birthing emergencies – the main characters

the opportunities and the variety of these “connections” are

(Billy Crystal and Daniel Stern steal the show) have an amazing,

substantial. From dude ranches to fruit wineries - and every-

life-changing experience. Everything that is truly important is

thing in between - the experiences are going to be interesting

put into proper perspective. The catalyst? The great outdoors

and eye opening. And they can have a dramatic and positive

and ranching ways, of course!

impact on how you live. What food and drink you choose to buy. Understanding this and appreciating the work involved

In many ways, Alberta Open Farm Days - a late-summer,

can go a long way to nurturing a healthy lifestyle that will

weekend-long opportunity for city slickers to visit farms and

affect not just your immediate family, but generations to come.

connect with various agricultural enterprises - strives for something similar. True, you may not have an opportunity to help

Sadly, many people – especially city slickers, will never pull a

a calf enter the world during your experience (although, you

carrot out of the dirt, wipe it clean, and crunch the goodness of

never know!), you are guaranteed to have a ton of fun and

the ground from where it came. It puts a different spin on food;

learn plenty of things about stuff you really should know. Stuff

to see it, taste it, pure and completely unprocessed. And it’s the

that, whether you realize it or not, you are deeply connected

simple experiences like this that make the Alberta Open Farm

to. These farms, ranches, and ag-tourism operators are the

Days an event you want to mark on your calendar.

places, and the people that truly sustain our society. Since its inception in 2009, the Alberta Open Farm Days has The milk you dumped on your cereal this morning...Yes,

grown substantially. In the first year only a few farms participated.

indeed that came from a dairy cow. The butter you put on your

Now, in 2020, over 100 farms and ag-tourism operators will

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Experience Alberta Open Farm Days nch

open their doors to the public. It’s a province-wide initiative supported by key partners and sponsors. It’s grown to include not just farms and ranches, but restaurants, craft breweries, wineries, distilleries, tour operators, and culinary events. Many locations - such as the Calgary Stampede’s historic OH Ranch near Longview - offer multiple attractions and activities depending on your age and interest. The OH Ranch has a variety of activities, such as rope making, livestock viewing, and various riding games, all geared for kids. Adults (and kids!) can enjoy a guided tour of the ranch, learn about sustainable ranching practices, and visit the historic Northwest Mounted Police cabin, and much more. Purchased in 2015 by the Calgary Stampede, the historic OH Ranch is a fascinating piece of history to explore. The setting in a pretty aspen-coated valley at the base of the Rockies is stunning. Like many of the venues on Alberta Open Farm Days, the most powerful memory can be leaving the city behind and immersing yourself in idyllic Alberta countryside. Unquestionably, planning your weekend and your route, is not likely going to be an easy task. And, try as you might, visiting more than a handful of spots (they are all worthy!) in one day is unlikely. Thankfully, if you visit the albertafarmdays.ca, you can do some research on the locations and make a plan. The interactive trip-planning map allows you to choose your host farms, review your trip, and get directions to every location. And participation - thanks to the parent organization, Ag for Life, and many corporate sponsors - is free. The exception would be some of the more popular culinary events where early registration is highly recommended. Wherever the road takes you on Alberta Open Farm Days, know this: you are going to meet plenty of friendly folk who have a passion for what they do. You’re going to have fun. And, even if you don’t help bring a cute little calf into the world, you’re going to gain a wealth of knowledge on the rural ways that truly sustain our society. Photos and Story By: Andrew Penner 41 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Courtesy of OH Ra

Experience Bragg Creek

The River Dragon Fly, Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Hertz

Scoops and Snacks, Photo Courtesy of Renee Delorme

Bragg Creek is a quintessential hamlet tucked in the forest on the edge of towering mountains west of Calgary along The Cowboy Trail. The meandering Elbow River, a stream with inviting rocky shores, and plenty of deer give the hamlet that rustic woodsy feel. The local community is proud of what it offers - peaceful living away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Despite temptations for commercial exploitation, the people of Bragg Creek have maintained the celebration of country living, communion with nature and an offering of quality arts, crafts, and food artisans. Stroll down Bragg Creek streets and take your time. It is yours to discover.

and connection, away from a busy life. Take time to sip a cup, browse their offerings of craft, or take in the sun on their patio.

The Heart Cafe is nestled amongst the evergreens across

is hidden off White Avenue, also known as “Heritage Mile”, on Burntall Street. There, amongst the spruce trees, the glass studio has operated for 38 years and the shop for 23 years.

the street from the hamlet’s commercial core. It offers top quality coffee and tea, and fresh baking created on location with healthy ingredients. In 1965, this cabin was the home of the Merryfield family. Today, the family-run cafe and the associated Yoga Studio’s mission, is to be a place for respite SUNCATCHER’S DESIGN STUDIO &

The River Dragonfly

Korner Kitchen is one of the newer family restaurants in town. Unassuming yet well-rooted in the community, the ‘Kitchen’s’ owner Sean Birgit offers delicious pizzas as well as hearty German and English inspired cuisine. The restaurant is located on the “sunny side” of the mall. That is where you must stop for a solid meal and pint of craft beer after a day playing in Kananaskis Country.

SunCatchers Design Studio and River Dragonfly

This inviting cluster of buildings has created a sanctuary for arts and crafts. At its heart is Elizabeth Hertz, a well-known stained glass artist. Her partner Rod, oversees the boutique filled with a treasure trove of antiques, jewellry, stained glass and clothing. Be sure to check them out.

Scoops and Snacks is the town’s “cherry on the sundae.” A



refreshing summer treat located in a small, somewhat tired yet charming old, log cabin half way down White Avenue. It boasts as many as 50 flavours of ice cream, yogurt or sherbet and, on those warm days, you can expect a bit of a line up. Check them out on Facebook for more information. By: Renée Delorme

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Experience Rodeos and Pow Wows 3 40


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Paddy’s Flats Aspen Creek


Some spectators attend to witness the gut wrenching, down in the dirt action, up close and personal. Pancake breakfasts, parades, barbequed beef, dances, mutton bustin’, and pony races all make today’s rodeo a family-friendly experience.

Photo Courtesy of Gordon Hodgkinson

When we launched this travel guide in 2013, we recognized that a Calendar of Events for both the Rodeos as well as the Pow Wows in the region would be of real value to our readers. The typical rodeo in Western Canada is a competitive sporting event that occurs during a specific weekend within a given community, between May and October. Cowboys and cowgirls test their skill and speed working with horses and livestock in activities that mirror working practices of cattle herding.

The term Pow Wow (or powwow) is used to describe a social gathering of First Nations people. Events vary in length and celebrate their rich culture. Competitive dancing is featured. Contestants dawn colourful traditional dress and utilize hoops, chanting and drums in their performances. Unfortunately, at the time of printing, it seems like all public events have been cancelled or postponed for 2020 - even the Calgary Stampede, the largest outdoor rodeo in Canada. First launched in 1912, this event typically runs for a full 10 days, starting the first Friday of July. In Bragg Creek, the Tsuu T’ina Pow Wow & Rodeo usualy takes place the last weekend of July. It is one of the largest First Nations rodeos in Canada. Watch for full Calendar of Events in the 2021 edition of this magazine outlining all the Rodeos and Pow Wows in the area.

43 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience Cochrane

Photos Courtesy of Town of Cochrane and Jo-Anne Oucharek

Ask any true Albertan, our “western” ways are a major part of our collective DNA. From rodeos and Rockies to horses and cattle-peppered hills, “the west” is who, and what, we are. The town of Cochrane, perhaps better than any other community in Alberta, represents our western ways and heritage. Located just half an hour northwest of Calgary on The Cowboy Trail, Cochrane (pop. 25,853) is a charming community with plenty of appeal: rodeos, festivals, street markets, beautiful parks, riverside paths, and a historic downtown core teeming with eclectic shops and art galleries celebrating “the west”. Cochrane has something for everyone.

Not surprisingly, Cochrane has a rich ranching history. The Historic Cochrane Ranche Site, located near the intersection of Hwy 22 and Hwy 1A, was the site of Alberta’s first large scale livestock operation. Founded in 1881, the idyllic setting of this ranch is still enjoyed by thousands each year. The ranch is a 55-hectare (136-acre) public park with picnic tables, fire pits, walking trails, and an outdoor stage that has been the site of numerous events. While the pristine natural setting of the ranch is obviously one of its main draws, it’s also home to historic buildings, a museum with numerous displays and artifacts, an indoor theatre, corporate meeting space, as well as the town’s administrative offices.

Spring Hill RV Park

All amenities on site including gas station, propane, convenience store, fast food, liquor store, laundry, power/water/sewer to each site, dump station, pull through sites, showers and laundromat. Located 7 km north of Cochrane on the corner of Hwy 22 and Hwy 567. Reservations recommended.

Phone: 403-932-2010 www.springhillrvpark.ca 44 | Enter Our Photo Contest

Experience Cochrane Located just seven minutes north of the Ranche Site, at the junction of Hwys 22 & 567, Spring Hill RV Park has become a favourite stop for travellers who rent their RV in Airdrie. Kick back and relax. This full-service park has everything: gas, food, supplies and a brand-new playground for the kids, too! MacKay’s Ice Cream is unquestionably the most popular place to meet downtown. Indeed, after any activity, there is nothing like a delicious ice cream cone at this legendary “cool down” spot. A Cochrane institution since 1948, MacKay’s handmade ice cream, made with high-quality butterfat cream, is dense and delicious. Although their maple walnut is a real classic, you must try their chocolate, bubble-gum, vanilla, chocolate fudge chunk, strawberry...you get the idea, the choices abound.

Create Your Own Brand & Bring History Home With You! See Cowboy Art & Bronze Castings, Vintage Cowboy Hats & Saddles,

For many, ice cream is reason enough to visit Cochrane, but there are certainly many others!

Spurs, Horseshoes, Barbed Wire, Books & Magazines On Cowboy Culture

Spring Hill RV Park


RanchHouse Road RanchHouse Town Office


Bert Sheppard Library Archives

For example, the historic Rockyview Hotel is an ancient wild west enclave, that’s actually the third oldest hotel in Alberta. It tells the story of how Calgarians used to jump on their horse and come to the hotel for a drink. (continued on pg 46)

Stockmen’s Foundation and Archives

Historic Cochrane Ranch





Cochrane Tourism Assoc.




Rockyview Hotel MacKays Ice Cream










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Big Hill Pool

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RCMP Studio West Bronze Foundry & Art Gallery Griffin Rd E

Eco Centre Half Hitch Brewing Co.

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Bow RiversEdge Campground



Bragg Creek Calgary


Fire Station

Bow Valley Trail

A Little Taste of Country Firs t St E Krang Distillery

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Experience Cochrane

Tim Hall/ Cochrane Tourism Association

Cochrane Tourism Association

In fact, it was one of the few places where it was actually legal for men and women to sit together in the same room and enjoy an alcoholic beverage. Not surprisingly, the “sinful” activity would lead to singing, dancing, and, well, who knows what else. The wild west had to be populated somehow, I guess. Nearby Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park should also be on your radar if Alberta’s colourful ranching history is something that interests you. The park, which opened in 2011, is home to jaw-dropping mountain vistas, an extensive trail network, old ranch buildings and ruins, and much more. While there are great photo opportunities at nearly every turn, a couple of standout spots for shutterbugs are the views from the Park Center and the Yodel Loop. For people looking to wheel through the classic “western” scenes, a rewarding way to enjoy the incredible countryside is a biking tour on the many secondary roads that meander in the Cochrane area. This region is renowned for its rolling road biking routes that capture the essence of what wild west landscapes are all about. Located just west of town, the loop that follows Horse Creek Road to Grand Valley Road is always

a popular choice. This gorgeous 50 km trip will take cyclists through pastoral ranch land dotted with farms and acreages on winding roads with gentle grades. For more information on biking in the area, visit the Bike Bros bike shop in Cochrane. The friendly staff there will tell you everything you need to know about this cycling hot spot. Sticking to the “wheel” theme, the Cochrane Youth Park features one of the best skate parks in Western Canada. The 1,300 square metre concrete park, beautifully positioned on a hillside overlooking the valley, was professionally designed with plenty of awesome features such as bowls, pools, ramps, walls, rails, and informal seating areas. If skating isn’t your thing, just watching the action is a sport unto itself! No matter if you’re hiking, biking, skating, golfing (The Links of Gleneagles is laced with postcard-pretty holes!), or if you’re just sauntering along the streets of the historic downtown, Cochrane should be part of your western travel plans. It’s filled with interesting shops, galleries, cafes, saloons, and restaurants. By Andrew Penner

STUDIO WEST Art Gallery & Bronze Foundry Large Selection of Sculptures & Western Art A SCULPTURE EXPERIENCE See the lost-wax bronze casting process

205 - 2nd Ave E, Bow Street & 2nd Ave E, Cochrane 403-932-2611 www.DonBeggStudioWest.ca 46 | Enter Our Photo Contest

Experience Crossfield Crossfield is located 45 min northeast of Cochrane at the junction of Hwys 2A and 574. Access into Crossfield is easy as it is also adjacent to Hwy 2, the main north-south corridor between Calgary and Edmonton. You’ll find the town about 20 min north of CrossIron Mills mall in Balzac. This community’s roots run deep. Mrs. Hannington opened a stopping house, on the Calgary-Edmonton Trail in 1890. Two years later, the C & E Railway linked these two large centres by rail and a siding, 29 miles north of Calgary. That siding became identified as Crossfield, named in honour of Mr. Crossfield, an engineer with the CPR survey crew. With a population of 2,983 residents, facilities now include a splash park, library, parks, rodeo grounds, curling rink, fish ponds, golf course and wetlands. The Pete Knight Memorial Centre is named after a famous rodeo star. It is a venue for winter sports like minor hockey and hosts a Farmers’ Market. Pete Knight Days run in early June. It features a Demolition Derby and the Pete Knight Rodeo. The Wild, Wild West! starts at 6pm Friday (1pm on Sat). There’s a dance on both nights at 9pm, a parade on Saturday and fireworks at 11pm. Numerous services are available in the Town of Crossfield for travellers, including several restaurants, hotel, groceries, pharmacy, gas bars and lots more. However, one of the major retailers in the area became so big that they had to get out of town. You will find Irvine’s Saddles & Western Wear about 6 km NE of Crossfield, and it is worth the drive. Irvine’s prides itself as being Canada’s Largest Western Store. They were established as a family run business in 2004. With over 100,000 sq ft of retail space, they carry more inventory than most other western stores. You will find everything from western apparel to saddles and from giftware to all your rodeo gear – if it fits the western life-style they have it! (See pg 52) Where are you heading next? If you’re off to explore Alberta’s Special Areas, head north to Township Rd 292 and follow it and Hwy 575 east, past Acme and Carbon to Drumheller. To learn more be sure to pick up a copy of Experience Southern Alberta. Heading to The Cowboy Trail? Follow Hwy 574 west to Hwy 22 (it’s just a 30 min drive) and then drive north towards Cremona, or south to Cochrane. 47 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Campground Directory NOTE: For 2020 open and close dates are subject to change as well as the number of available sites. Visit AlbertaParks.ca for up to date information

Bow River 12 Three Sisters Lac Des Arcs 5,6 Bow Valley 5,6,9,17 Willow Rock 5,9,12,16 Sundance Lodges Mt. Kidd R.V. Park 1,5,6,19 Eau Claire 5,12 Sibbald Lake 5,7 Dawson Equestrian Canyon 5,7 Elkwood 5,6,7,9,17 Boulton Creek 6,7,9,16,17 Lower Lake 5,13 Mt. Sarrail 12 Interlakes Spray Lakes West 7,12 Beaver Flats Gooseberry 5 Little Elbow 6 Little Elbow Equest. 4,6 McLean Creek 5,6,9,18 Paddy’s Flat 5 Mesa Butte Equest. 4 North Fork Fisher Creek Bluerock Bluerock Equest. 4 Sandy McNabb 5,18 Sandy McNabb Equest. 4,18 Cataract Creek Etherington Creek 6 Etherington Creek Equest. 4 Greenford Indian Graves Regular 5,10,11,14 Indian Graves Equestrian 3,5,10,11,14 Strawberry Regular & Equestrian 4 Burnt Timber 7 Fallen Timber South 7 North Ghost 7 Waiparous Creek 7 Ghost Reservoir 2 Red Deer River North 7 Red Deer River South 7 James-Wilson 7,15, Fallen Timber North 7 Cartier Creek 7,

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May 3 | Nov. 18 Apr. 13 | Nov. 18 May 3 | Sept. 2 May 3 | Oct. 7 Apr. 19 | Oct. 21 May 17 | Sept. 22 Year round May 15 | Sept. 2 May 3 | Oct. 7 Year round June 14 | Sept. 2 May 9 | Oct. 14 May 9 | Oct. 14 May 15 | Sept. 15 June 21 | Sept. 2 May 15 | Oct. 14 May 15 | Sept. 2 May 15 | Sept. 3 May 1 | Oct. 8 May 15 | Sep. 16 May 15 | Sep. 16 Year round May 15| Sept. 17 May 15 | Sept. 10 May 15 | Sept. 10 Year round May 15 | Sept. 17 May 15 | Sept. 17 May 1 | Oct. 8 May 1 | Oct. 8 May 15 | Sept. 2 May 16 | Sept. 15 May 16 | Sept. 15 May 15 | Sept. 2 May 16 | Sept. 2 May 16 | Sept. 2 Sept. 2 | Nov. 30 May 1 | Sept. 3 May 1 | Oct. 8 May 1 | Oct. 8 May 1 | Oct. 9 May 1 | Oct. 14 May 1 | Sept. 16 May 1 | Sept. 16 May 1 | Sept. 16 May 1 | Oct. 8 Apr. 28 | Sept. 18

Discount of 10% to all senior citizens (65 years and older). Discount of $2.00 to Alberta seniors. Plus $6.00 per corral (will accommodate 2 horses). Price includes fee for two horses, each additional horse $6.00. Playground available. Reservations taken with $12.00 reservation fee (includes GST). Opening dates subject to snow levels. Price includes firewood.

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$28/$40 66 $26 36 $26 28 $26/$40 173 $26/$33 124 $31.50 30 $32.50/41/43/48 229 $26 51 $26 134 $26 10 $26 50 $26/$40 130 $26/$39 118 $26 95 $26 44 tent $26 48 $26 50 $26 55 $26 85 $26 94 $32 46 $26/$33 170 $26 98 $33 15 $26 34 $26 30 $26 66 $33 17 $33 112 $39/$40 41 $26 102 $26 61 $33 10 $26 13 $26 32 $26 6 $26/$33 20 $308 30 $308 55 $308 169 $308 53 $26 80 $308 14 $308 50 $308 17 $308 34 $20 12


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Coin operated showers available. Firewood for sale off service vehicle. Off season reservations may be considered. Food lockers available for cyclists. Walk-in tenting sites closed. Reservation fees is $ 5. Cancellation policy: no refunds but reschedule to another date without additional costs, provided notification received for weekends before Friday noon.

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403-673-2163 403-673-2163 1-877-537-2757 1-877-537-2757 403-673-2163 403-591-7122 403-591-7700 403-591-7226 403-673-2163 403-673-2163 403-591-7226 1-877-537-2757 1-877-537-2757 403-591-7226 403-591-7226 403-591-7226 403-591-7226 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 1-877-537-2757 1-877-537-2757 1-877-537-2757 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-591-7226 1-877-537-2757 403-591-7226 403-591-7226 403-995-5554 403-995-5554 403-591-7226 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-851-0766 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198

Reservation ONLY. Power is 15 amp only. Discount for 2nd unit in a power and water site is $4/day. Discount for 2nd unit in a power site is $2/day. All reservation changes are subject to a non-refundable change fee of $5.

Experience RVing If the price tag on a brand new recreation vehicle (RV) has you running for the exit, stop and look at the facts. You just might be pleasantly surprised. RV vacations continue to be the most affordable way for many families to travel because of the tremendous savings on air, hotel and restaurants. Believe it or not, gas is not the biggest expense on a road trip. Lodging is. For instance, a standard room during the summer is typically $250 per night. That compares to about $35 for a nice campsite. Plus, the cost of dining out is significantly higher than preparing a healthy home-cooked meal in your RV. And with the money you save, you can see more attractions, stay longer, or take a second vacation! The pace is more leisurely, so there is more time for family activities. You make happier memories while gathered around a campfire roasting hot dogs than you do sitting in an airport.

If the idea of driving a large rig is too daunting, start with a smaller unit. Some motorhomes are the size of large vans and travel trailers are petite enough that you’ll barely notice you’re towing anything at all. If you’re buying or renting your first RV, here are a few good questions to ask before you commit: • Will the sleeping quarters be adequate for your family? • Is the holding tank large enough for your RV lifestyle? (you don’t want to have to empty it every other day) • RVs come with 30 or 50-amp electrical service. Which is better for where you want to camp? • Will you need a generator? • A 6-gallon hot water tank is pretty standard. Will it be large enough for your family? • How heavy is this unit (can your truck tow it?)

RVing. It’s a great way to experience the west!

Featured Campgrounds Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site reservation.pc.gc.ca/rockymountainhouse | 1-877-737-3783 Open May 22 – September 30 45 Sites | Fees: $26.06 Ammenities: Flush Toilets, Showers, Disabled Access, Interpretive Program, Firepits Historic fur trade post along the North Saskatchewan River. Immerse yourself in stories of Indigenous Peoples and legendary explorers. Camp in your RV or tent. Spring Hill RV Park, Cochrane springhillrvpark.com | 403-932-2010 Open Year Round | 121 Sites | Fees: $42 Ammenities: Flush Toilets, Showers, Sani Dump, Disabled Access, Firepits. Located 7km north of Cochrane. See page 44 for more information Adanac Adventures, Crowsnest Pass adanacadventures.com | 403-399-2331 Open Year Round | 10 Sites | Fees: $25 Ammenities: Firepits Clearwater Trading, Caroline clearwatertrading.ca | 403-722-2378 Open Year Round | 47 Sites | Fees: $25-$35 Ammenities: Flush Toilets, Showers, Sani Dump, Firepits. Proud to offer you a separate, private venue for all your events’ needs. Call us today! Check us out on Facebook @ clearwatertradingevents

49 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience The Northern Leg Rocky Mountain House has been tagged the “Gateway to Adventure” and there are hundreds of miles of wooded foothills and front-range mountains to explore. Hook up with a well-established outfitter to try your hand at working cattle, backcountry trail riding, canoeing rivers, or just relaxing.

Mayerthorpe is affectionately referred to as the “Trails End” because it is located at the northern terminus of the Cowboy Trail. This is where Hwy 22 intersects Hwy 43, which is also known as the CANAMEX Trade Corridor (a key route that connects Canada to Mexico).

Fur traders put Rocky Mountain House on the map 200 years ago when the North West Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company established trading posts on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. The trading post fort was deserted in 1875, however it lives on today as a National Historic Site that commemorates the era of the fur traders and explorers.

This town took its name from “Mayer,” an engineer who homesteaded close by in 1908. Be sure to check out the Ol’ Pembina River Ferry Crossing, the Rochfort Bridge, and the Elevator Museum.

Stroll through archaeological remains of the four forts at the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site. Your kids will love the pint-sized play fort, puppet theatre, and real live bison. Stay awhile to discover the Métis skills of the fur trade. Camp in Indigenous trapper’s tents and tipis. Dive deeper into the past and the stories of this place. Book a hands-on experience for your family. All supplies are included in the program fee. Make your own woolen moccasins, or dream catcher. Work alongside a blacksmith to create a lovely candlestick holder for the traditional candle you just made from beeswax. Learn how their hunting tools and weapons evolved from throwing knives to flint lock guns to the cannon. Try your hand at throwing, firing, and even cannon blasting! For more information and to book call 403-845-2412.

Mayerthorpe is an agricultural community. It provides an abundance of western experiences such as horseback riding, ag fairs and cowboy heritage. Ranching is important to the economy here and to the preservation of the rustic ranching lifestyle that is so much a part of Alberta’s ranching heritage! Mayerthorpe’s Fallen Four Memorial Park commemorate the sacrifice of 4 RCMP Officers who died in the line of duty March 3, 2005. It pays tribute to all fallen peace officers and first responders. The park is visited by 7000 people each year to pay their respects. The Fallen Four Memorial Park is open to the public 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. The Visitor Information Center and gift shop are open each summer until the end of September. You can make an appointments for a guided tour by phoning (780) 786-4990, or simply by writing to info@fallenfour.ca.

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Sample Lodging Special MyMayerthorpe


Our Local Businesses and Attractions Welcome You... Mayerthorpe is proud of its community. Surrounded by picturesque rolling hills, steeped in rich agricultural history, and bustling with friendly businesses and engaging recreational activities – this town truly is Everybody’s Community. While in town check out the Fallen Four Memorial Park, the Cowboy Trail Storyboard located along Highway 22 or our outdoor swimming pool and waterslide open June 1 - August 31.

Don’t miss our upcoming events Indoor Rodeo: May 22 - 24, 2020

Culture Days: September 26, 2020

4-H Beef Show & Sale: June 1, 2020

Kin Club Christmas Market: November 21, 2020

Agricultural Fair: August 8 - 9, 2020

Christmas Light-Up: December 4, 2020


Canada’s Largest Western Store with 1400 saddles and 100,000 sq feet of shopping under one roof!

A l , b d e l r e t a f s 1-877-946s o r C 5 0 3 9494 Exit