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Mon Jul 23 2012: Big Muddy Badlands

Our route through the interior provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We tried to stray off the main TransCanada Highway often, or we would have died of boredom! The fierce headwinds of the prairies really affected our fuel economy. With our large panniers and my huge Aeroflow windshield, our frontal surface area resembled the shape of a brick, and our range plummeted from about 350 kms/tank to 250 kms! Speed limits on the prairies are 110 km/h, which also contributed to our poor fuel mileage... :)

Saskatchewan's license plate reads, "Land of living skies"

We took a break off the boring flatlands of the Prairies and headed south towards the US border to an area called the Big Muddy Badlands. The town of Coronach runs a van tour that hits most of the touristy areas, but since we were mobile, we just visited them on our own. Most of the places on their web site are not that interesting anyway, and we saved ourselves $75!

Taking a break on the gravel roads of the Big Muddy Badlands

The Big Muddy Badlands are these outcroppings of rock that look like they belong in a cowboy movie. You know the ones where the outlaw is running away from the US Marshalls, takes refuge in a cave in the hills and is in turn ambushed by Indians, and then all of them are chased by alien bounty hunters that look like Olivia Wilde...

Castle Butte in the background

We spent most of the afternoon walking around Castle Butte, a large outcropping of sandstone and clay in the Big Muddy Badlands. It's the largest structure in the valley and was used by early settlers as a navigation landmark.

Bikes in front of Castle Butte

Exploring the spooky caves at Castle Butte
This one reminded me of the movie The Descent. Scary!

The badlands extend south into Montana, which boasts more desert landscapes, and is more typical of Western movies. Saskatchewan only has a tiny area of badlands north of the Canada/US border.

Neda's butt walking around Castle Butte

Neda surveying the view on top of Castle Butte

Walking along the spine of Castle Butte

Bikes in the background below

GQ, here I come!

Leaving Castle Butte

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