Nobody here but us chickens.

Man imitates chicken
Oh dear, I've fallen in love with another bit of Canada again. I'm in the Canadian Badlands in Alberta and have just been to my first ever Pow-wow at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park. The strangely named World Chicken Dance Championships attracts First Nations people from across Canada and the States. The chicken refers to the grouse family and not the domestic chicken.

Here's my one minute video on everything you need to know about chicken dancing....

The dance, which portrays the mating ritual, is said to have healing properties. I felt as if we had been let in to a secret world and we stayed for hours watching the flamboyantly dressed competitors and listening to the drummers. Before each man danced the chicken dance a bio was announced and it was fascinating to hear how many of these feather-clad chaps enjoyed time on the golf course.

Dinosaur Provincial Park
The Badlands were so named because of the poor farming potential of this rocky terrain which has been eroded over time. They are unbelievably beautiful and have spiritual significance for the first peoples to live there - the Blackfoot. As well as the rocky hills and hoo doos there are miles of prairie peppered with grain silos, ancient barns, wetlands and birdlife. (we've seen pelicans, herons, coots and hawks).

Tonight we ate at a rough and ready steak pit (The Patricia Hotel) with a great atmosphere, locals in cowboy hats and pets wandering around the bar. We were served raw buffalo burger and steak (you cook it yourself) and ate heartily with the chap above looking on.

The dirt road from Finnegan.
Our drive to our  upscale B&B in Drumheller (Heartwood Hotel and Spa) was one of big skies and a surprising ferry crossing at Finnegan. Our ferryman was eating supper when motion sensors ring a bell in his home and he races down to the Red Deer River to see you across. Back at Drumheller B&B owner Zeke served me tea in a pot (earning top marks obviously for the pot and the boiling water on the tea) despite us rolling up at 10pm.
Read Badlands ghost town.


  1. Funny, I've just been to my first pow wow as well, last weekend in Ottawa. I loved it!

    The picture of the dirt road is amazing. Looks like an endless road.

  2. Yes lots of roads like this in the Badlands. Reminded me of the straight Roman roads in Northumberland. More videos soon on the whole trip.


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