You can go any direction from Calgary and find a great adventure for a daytrip. You can head to the mountains, to a lake, to the badlands, or the foothills. Drumheller, Picture Butte, Black Diamond, Canmore, Vulcan, and Nanton all offer great adventures for a full or half day escape from the city.
This weekend we headed for Nanton. It was a chance to visit the Bomber Command Museum Of Canada. They were doing some spring cleaning and moving the inventory around. When we arrived the huge Avro Lancaster was in the parking lot and the big hangar doors were wide open.
Zacharie had his camera along for the day too, and ended up taking some cool pictures of the planes and their .. tires. He found them fascinating. By the way, all these photos weren’t touched or cropped. Zacharie loves to zoom in when he’s taking his pictures and has a unique way of framing things, so I leave them be.
Geocaching is a wonderful way to explore. You can be guaranteed to find a few just about anywhere you go, and if they’re not in the center of your itinerary, you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you wander off your planned path just a little bit.
One of the caches we found on the way home was in Cayley, Alberta. I’ve seen the sign to the town driving down the Deerfoot, but I had never venture the 2km west to see the small collection of houses next to what used to be a main rail line.
Cayley, at one point, was the cattle capital of Alberta. Animals were brought here to be loaded on to trains and sent to market. Cayley was the loading point because it is the highest point between Fort Macleod and Calgary, making it a downhill ride and easier on the engine to haul a full herd.
I found that from a geocache. And the trip to the cache took us past an old run down auto shop. Alec’s Auto Service in Cayley was perfectly preserved from history.
Another one we picked up was in downtown High River. While I had seen the devastating headlines about High River and the floods, I’d never ventured past a few highwayside gas stations and coffee shops. But, chasing a geocache, I discovered a beautiful historic old town. The Museum of the Highwood is an old train station. There’s a cafe inside an old dining car. The sides of the businesses are adorned with some of the best chuckwagon drivers on the circuit that call High River home.
I only found both of them because I cracked open the geocaching app and was willing to take the short distance between two points and extend it a bit in the name of adventure.
The next time you want to take a daytrip from Calgary, decide on a direction and then pop open your geocaching app and follow the treasures. You never know what you’ll discover.