Roadside attractions are awesome. Time them right and it’s an interesting place to stop, stretch your legs, have lunch, and add another unique piece of human engineering to your lifelong scavenger hunt.
When the largest plane in the world landed in Calgary, we were there to watch it take off.
So when I had a chance to have dinner inside the Saamis Teepee in Medicine Hat, Alberta, I jumped. It is 20 stories high making it the tallest teepee in the world, another item on the scavenger hunt.
The Saamis Teepee was built for the opening ceremony of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. At the end of the games, it just sat there. There was no plan for it. In 1991, Rick Filanti, a Medicine Hat businessman, bought the teepee hoping it would help attract tourism and commercial business to the city.
The colours of the structure are symbolic, white for purity, red for the rising and setting sun and blue for the flowing river. It is the World’s Tallest Teepee standing over 20 stories high, weighing 200 tonnes and capable of withstanding 150 mph winds. Which is good on the Canadian prairie.
It now stands on the side of the Trans-Canada highway on the south side of town next to the tourist office. It’s a perfect place to stretch your legs and explore an historical Blackfoot buffalo jump into the Seven Persons coulee below where experts believe over 83 million artefacts are buried at the former meat processing site.
At 3 hours from Calgary, and 2 hours from Swift Current, it’s the perfect distance from another stop to stretch your legs, go to the bathroom and see an amazing roadside attraction.