Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dirt Roads and Buffalo Wings

Yesterday we ventured down the LONG, pot-holey dirt road at the end of Elkford. Our goal was to get to the end of the road (approx. 70km) and then walk the 1km trail to the lake there. No such luck! The road was in pretty bad condition and we only made it about 40km... and it took us 1.5hrs to travel that far... and then another 1.5 hours back.

Here's a photo I took on our journey on the dirt road from H-E-double hockey stick! (and this was the GOOD part of the road!)

Today we ventured to Pincher Creek (an hour from home) to purchase a new computer (mine has some major things happening to it!). Instead of returning home immediately, we decided to venture on to....

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is in Alberta and it is considered a world heritage site.

The interpretive center is built right into the side of a hill. Here are Spencer and I at the entrance to the center.

The center is an education forum in Alberta that talks about the Black Foot Indians and their hunting tradition of herding buffalo over certain cliffs to kill them for food.

We entered the building and saw a 15min video about how the natives herded the buffalo over the cliffs. The history and story is amazing!! Spencer sat and watched the whole thing without a peep.

The short version of the story...
The Indians created funnel shaped runs along the plains above the cliffs using branches and piles of stones ("cairns"). The buffalo found the piles of stones and branches un-nerving so they stayed in the center of the 2 rows of "cairns" and the cairns funneled the herds down the narrowing buffalo runs and eventually they fell off the cliff to their deaths.

Some of the displays in the center were amazing! This was this one scene looking up about 3 stories from the bottom floor of the center. The 3 buffalo are being shown as just about to be herded off the 3 story cliff.

As part of the educational story, you actually get to go out and stand on the actual site where the Indians herded the animals to the edge of the cliff. According to research, this particular buffalo jump has been used for over 5000 years. The last known use of this jump was only 150 years ago.

And to show just how big some of these animals can be.... Spencer decided to pet this one!! Okay... so it's a stuffed version but look at the size of his head!!!!

We had a great day investigating the center and then enjoyed the snowy trip home to BC. We now have about an inch of snow on the ground here in Sparwood.


1 comment:

  1. Is that not the coolest place ever!!! It has been so long since I have been there.

    I am so jealous that you are getting to visit all of the places that I toured as a kid.