Friday, July 22, 2011

Pincher Creek ~ Fort Macleod, AB., Canada

We’d spent the day driving from Creston, BC and then sightseeing the Frank slide and the Lundbreck Falls with Karen's cousin and friends. Once we'd seen these great falls we went into Pincher Creek to the restaurant to have dinner before calling it a day. We planned on staying here overnite before going onto Radium, BC the following day. But plans change……….

Lifesize if not bigger

The road off Highway 3 into Pincher Creek, Alberta has several silhouettes of cowboys and horses, roping and riding ! It is a great welcoming committee to this part of the country.

Great welcoming committee
We really didn’t even get into Pincher Creek, as we stopped at the first intersection that had hotels, fuel and eating spots and it wasn’t till later that I realized we should have driven further to see the townsite. I am sure there must be more ! But we were now onto another adventure.

                                                    Mountains seen across Plains of Alberta

After a delicious dinner with Karen’s cousins and friends, we decided to carry onto Ft. Macleod to spend the nite so we'd have an early morning start to our next stop. We had been told by many that if we were going to be anywhere close to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump that we were not to miss it, so we’d decided to heed their advice and include that in our trip. Why not ?? So we headed to Ft. Macleod after a late dinner, thankful for long summer evenings.

                                                       Downtown Fort Macleod, Alberta
Getting a motel around 9 pm at nite turned out to be a challenge. Part of that being because there was road construction being done thru town, and although it was not working hours, the paving crew had closed off the two blocks where most of the motel choices were, with no room made for local traffic ! We did manage to get a room and the motel manager kindly walked down the street to remove the barricade for us to get into his place. We had a decent room and internet, too.

                                                  The Empress Hotel in Fort Macleod, AB
The Empress Theatre opened in 1912 and is the oldest continuously running theatre in Western Canada. It has a summer program that would be great to see but we were too early in the season to see it. There are dressing rooms that have signatures on the walls from 1913.

The most famous attraction in Fort Macleod, AB is the Fort Museum of the North West Mounted Police. They’re now known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP. The Musical Ride was first done in Fort Macleod in 1876. The riding tradition performs daily in May and June.  Click here for more info.

The Provincial Historic Site of 1884 Barracks has period displays of firearms, medicine room, prison, gallows and saddlery.

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