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  • Writer's pictureKatie Smith

Canada Trip 2019 Highlights

We have recently returned from our trip to Canada, being half Canadian and having a large proportion of my family living in Alberta we try to take regular trips to visit everyone there – this was my 29th trip so it’s fair to say that we have our favourite things that we like to fit in while were over there and so I thought I would share some of the interesting places we went to and things we did while we were over there this year – and just some of the interesting things we saw. These were all specific to Alberta (and the Grande Prairie area in most cases) but I would imagine you could find similar experiences across Canada. 

The Calgary Stampede was on around the time we were travelling to Canada and coincidentally we flew into Calgary before taking a couple of internal flights, so when we first arrived in Calgary International Airport it was full of cowboy hats (more so than the usual White Hat volunteers you would see!). However, the best thing I saw in the airport was this cat called Taz that was dressed up in a cowboy hat. After having a quick snuggle with the most adorable cowboy cat I had ever seen, the lady told us that they were with the Pet Access League Society (PALS) and that once a week they volunteered at the airport for a couple of hours and greeted the arrivals. I thought it was a great idea personally and it definitely set our trip off on a high. Although we didn’t make it to the Calgary Stampede while we were there we caught lots of news about it and it always looks like a great event so would definitely be worth going to, there’s so much to see and do there!

Although we didn’t get to the Calgary Stampede, we went out to the Teepee Creek Stampede while we were there. Teepee Creek is a Hamlet with 7 homes and a population of about 20 people, but the annual Stampede draws in up to 4000 people each year. It is one of the longest-running rodeos and chuckwagon races in Alberta. We had a great day at the stampede watching the rodeo events and even seeing some events we had never seen before such as wild milking and mounted shooting. Visiting a rodeo or stampede is a must for any summer trip to Canada, especially if you have never been to one before! I ended up going back to the stampede the same night with my cousin for the beer gardens, this was something I had never done before but we both had a great time. There was some great live music from Dan Davidson too!

Another new experience for me this year was going to the horse racing at Evergreen Park in Grande Prairie. I have been to Evergreen Park a few times before at Christmas time for their drive-through Christmas light display but never for the horse racing before. We really enjoy going to point to points at home and generally enjoy any equestrian events so flat racing was sure to be a good evening out. We really enjoyed it so I would definitely recommend it to anyone that was in the area.

We also spent a few days at Shaw’s Point which is a resort on Lesser Slave lake. My family has a seasonal lot there where they have a cabin and spaces for a few trailers or motorhomes as well as a full outdoor cookhouse where my Grandma makes sure we are all well fed. They recently upgraded the old boat to a new Lund fishing boat with a live well so we had lots of great trips out on the lake fishing, we got to visit with some family friends too which was really nice. Shaw’s Point has had lots of upgrades in the last few years with the store being remodelled, the restaurant being taken over by some new people and it looks great. There’s lots to do for families and they put on family fun days and live music throughout the summer too which is great. 

Another place I wanted to give a special mention too is the Crooked Creek General Store, this is on the way from Grande Prairie to Valleyview and it’s a very unassuming looking store and gas station that sells the BEST fresh doughnuts you have ever tasted. So if you’re ever making that trip I would definitely recommend stopping there for some doughnuts!

I hope some of that has been useful or at least interesting to anyone planning on going to Canada! There’s so much to see and do I would definitely recommend it as a travel destination.

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