All good things come to an end, and it was time to set off for the last stop of our trip: the small town of Brooks. However, we took in a few more sights around the Drumheller area before we left.
These weird, mushroom-like rocks have been naturally eroded over thousands of years. They are beautiful, but we felt the local tourist maps over-hyped them – it’s a very small site and, well, we’ve been to Bryce Canyon.
This whole area was once a prosperous coal-mining community, and one mine, Atlas, has been preserved as a National Historic Site. I found this much more interesting than I expected and we spent a couple of hours wandering around and riding the coal train.
Star Mine Suspension Bridge
I’m letting the picture above do the explanations for me! Here’s proof that we crossed the bridge:
Last Chance Saloon
For lunch, we headed up a side road to Wayne, home of the Last Chance Saloon. A short stretch of road (6km) had 11 bridges as it crossed and re-crossed the winding Rosebud River. You can see the saloon exterior at the top of the post and below is the interior, packed with quirky memorabilia. I can’t remember what we ate: I think it was basic pub food such as burgers and wraps, but we were too busy looking at our surroundings to take much notice.
From Wayne, a gravel road took us onto Highway 56 and then to Brooks. There’s not much to it as a place, although we were thrilled to find an Indian restaurant near our hotel – curry is something we always miss when away from home, and we seek it out whenever we can. Our evening stroll also brought us to some attractive murals.
So why did we stay in Brooks? It was close to somewhere I was very keen to visit – Dinosaur Provincial Park, where many of the fossils we had seen in Drumheller were found. Coming up soon!