Curiosity takes me to Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park
Growing up in Ontario, my perception of the wild west came from books and I always dreamed of coming out west and horseback riding. A friend of mine and I went to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park this week and it was as if I were back in that time riding in a wagon train, or, as many ancestors of Mormons who live in the area, pulling a handcart.
I missed the turn to the park, and that was fortunate as we were lucky to see pronghorn – Canada’s antelope. In the background is part of the Sweetgrass Hills in Montana which are a small group of low mountains rising out of the plains.
The information centre was not open yet, but there were plaques around the park explaining some of the history and information on the Alberta Environment and Parks website. The Blackfoot have camped along the Milk River for centuries and Writing-On-Stone is a sacred place. It is where first nations people would come to find out about their future and it is said that the spirits are so strong that they would not be able to stay for long. The Battle Scene petroglyph is believed to represent an actual battle fought in 1866. It contains over 250 characters and is the most complex rock art scene in the northwestern plains. Sadly, they have had to put a fenced structure around it to protect it from people carving graffiti into the rock.
We walked the Hoodoo Trail which wound its way through narrow openings for about 2 kms along the river.
It is still early spring, but we saw a few flowers (even a cactus), butterflies, a number of different types of birds. There were Canada Geese perched up high on rocks. We both commented that we could spend hours finding animal shapes in the rocks.
On the drive back to Calgary, we saw signs for Coffin Bridge and Creepy Hollow that made us curious. I’m not sure where the name Coffin Bridge came from, but Creepy Hollow is a haunted mansion that hosts murder mystery nights. Sounds like fun! All in all, a great day!