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Revelstoke to Drumheller
Summer flying-tour of BC and Alberta - Days 3 and 4
August 15 and 16, 2020
A Cranbrook scene, taken just outside the Ktunaxa Nation land.
Day 3
Revelstoke to Creston to Cranbrook
For flight maps, click these links:   [Revelstoke to Creston]   [Creston to Cranbrook]   [Cranbrook to Lethbridge]   [Lethbridge to Drumheller]  
The flight from Revelstoke to Cranbrook, along Kootenay Lake, afforded us more unforgetable mountain scenery, but the highlight of Day 3 was the St Eugene Resort that we stayed at in Cranbrook, near the airport.
Revelstoke to Creston continued to offer amazing Mountain Scenes
Creston airport is located in a very pretty valley surrounded by tall peaks.
St Eugene's is a turn-of-the-century stone building which, over the years, has been a monostary, convent, and school - one of the infamous "Residential Schools". Today St Eugenes is owned by the Ktunaxa Nation (pronounced k-too-nah-ha) who have turned it into a major successfull tourism attraction as a hotel, casino, golf-course, and resort that is surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Kootanays.
St Eugene's Monastary-turned-Hotel
Day 4
Cranbrook to Lethbridge to Drumheller
We got an early start the next morning to make the flight from Cranbrook to Lethbridge - through the Canadian Rockies. We had heard horror stories from other pilots about the winds and turbulence in those mountain passes, so were a bit nerveous about it. We got up very early (before the heat and wind), double and triple checked winds-aloft forecast, double-secured everything in the cabin, talked to flight-service again about winds, and finally took-off into the pass.
It turned out to be completely uneventful - smooth and clear and easy. The scenery, however, was mind-blowing. The rockies are truly spectacular sight to behold.
The Rockies are ... well ... pretty "Rocky"
Our first stop outside of British Columbia was in Lethbridge Alberta, where got marshalled in for fuel.
Lethbridge has a funky terminal building originally built in 1940. It's a kind of cross between Art-Deco & Buck-Rogers. I had to put on a mask to be allowed inside to take a picture.
The 1940 Terminal Building at Lethbridge was just as "funky" on the inside
Lethbridge to Drumheller was a straight line north. I can't remember the last time I was able to fly from anywhere to anywhere in a perfectly straight line. In BC there is always a mountain or body of water or airspace or something between here and there ... so straight lines just don't happen.
That straight-line flight was, again, very smooth. The scenery was very different than anything in BC. Miles and miles of flat(ish) land in every direction - broken up by meandering bright-blue rivers and lots of Coulees - why this area is called "The Badlands".
We were both surprised by the number of rivers and lakes that cover Southern Alberta
These Coulees (pron. Cool-Ease) are scattered throughtout Southern Alberta. The early settlers would travel across the flat land, periodically interrupted by these "Bad Lands".
We landed in Drumheller around noon. It was already getting warm and would get much warmer throughout this day. We were too early to check in to the hotel, so we stored our belongings and headed out for a walk down to the river, information centre, and a visit with the "World's Largest Dinosaur".
Janine being chased by the worlds largest Dinosaur - and a T-Rex at that! She got away because the T-Rex sacked himself on that palm tree.