Well, I left the Rockies and headed east through Alberta. I wanted to see Canada’s Badlands, as recommended, and also wanted to see kd lang’s home town – Consort, Alberta. I felt sure there would be at least a shrine or something there.
The Badlands were first. It is an amazing place. The Alberta countryside is typically flat, beautifully green throughout, and with a lot of agricultural industry. It is very similar to some parts of Queensland, in a good season with lots of rain, of course. The roads were excellent: straight and in good condition. The day was sunny and warm. It was a very pleasant ride. Here are some photos of the Alberta countryside:
So that’s the Alberta countryside. Out of nowhere, the Badlands appeared and the views changed almost instantly. The Badlands are similar, I suppose, to the scenery from those old western movies. I rode down quite a steep winding hill; the green disappeared, as did the endless views and sense of “big sky”. This is what I saw:
The Badlands is dinosaur country…well, WAS dinosaur country, once upon a time. Over the eons, glaciers followed by erosion exposed numerous dinosaur fossils. It’s a very interesting place and understandably popular with tourists. I didn’t stay as long as I would have liked, because it was early (well, early-ish for me) in the day and I wanted to make the most of the riding conditions. I spent some time here though, walking around and getting photos of some quite fearsome creatures:
I left the Badlands, which ended as quickly as they had commenced. If I am ever in Alberta again I reckon I would like to spend a day or two here. However, my destination for the day was Consort, Alberta. I remember reading a biography of kd some years ago, and among the photos was a sign on the outskirts of the town proclaiming this fact. Alas, approaching Consort there was no sign, nowhere to be seen 😦
Oh well, I thought, there must be a monument or something in the town. I got this pic, looking out from Consort to the nearby hills:
kd has to be one of my favourite singers. Julie Andrews is another whose voice I admire. I can just imagine kd, in her youth, looking out upon these very hills and yodelling her little lungs out. Meanwhile, across the seas, Julie skips down Alpine peaks with a horde of children behind her, trilling merrily, like some latter-day Pied Piper. (How could one trill merrily when being pursued by a horde of children? Beats me…)
Here is the rest of Consort. It is a very small town:
There was nothing much happening in town, except for the car show pictured above. I guess it was just a quiet Saturday afternoon. I explored the place at length, but not one shrine/monument/sign or ANYTHING did I see regarding kd! I went into a supermarket to get a few things, and asked the girl behind the counter if there were any monuments to their most famous citizen, kd lang. She didn’t know who/what I was talking about. Oh well, I thought, perhaps she’s a newcomer to the town and she was quite young, so maybe kd’s music is not part of her top 100.
Didn’t want to give up. I thought there just had to be something. Went into another shop and asked another person. “Oh no”, she informed me, “kd hasn’t been here for ages. I remember she visited a few years ago and went to the supermarket, and everyone visited the supermarket pretending to shop so they could get a look at her”.
“Her mother used to live here”, the girl continued, “she’s the loveliest lady. But no, we haven’t seen kd for a long time”.
Guess kd has moved on somewhat eh! I think she lives in LA now, and if her family doesn’t live here anymore I suppose she has no reason to visit. I just thought there would be something here to remember her.
Today I am off to Saskatchewan. Quite a number of people I’ve met along the way have said there is not a lot to see in Saskatchewan except endless prairies. Surely that can’t possibly be true! Okay, it’s flat, but there must be lakes etc and nice views. I’m looking forward to finding out!
More next time.