I'm just back from a few days' vacation in the southern part of Alberta. Although we were only away for 5 days, we managed to pack in a lot of activities - and even a few quilt shops!
On our way south from Calgary, we stopped in at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. This interpretive centre is located on the site of a large buffalo jump. What's that, you ask? Well, up until the late 1800's, it was a site where the natives would hunt the buffalo by chasing them and running them off a cliff. They could then butcher the animals and have enough food to survive the winter. Okay, that's a pretty simplified version, but it gives you an idea of what the exhibit is about.
From there we went to Frank slide, where over 100 people died in 1904 when a part of Turtle Mountain gave way and came crashing down on the mining town of Frank. We walked around the area there and went through the new interpretive centre. As the tons of rock are still there on both sides of the highway, you almost feel like it just happened. We drove through some intense rain getting to Frank, but missed the hail that fell just to the east while we were in the centre.
So far we had seen some interesting, although a bit grisly, sites, but no quilt shops. Don't worry, they were coming up in the next few days. As a matter of fact, I actually visited two stores in one day: Hopscotch Quilt Shop in Coaldale and The Fabric Addict in Lethbridge. I managed to sandwich these visits in between the Birds of Prey centre in Coaldale and the Galt Museum in Lethbridge.
The next day was spent on a horseback trail ride at Mountain Meadow Trail Rides and visiting the town of Waterton, close to the U.S. border. Very picturesque, especially this year as the wildflowers were all still in full bloom since we've had so much rain - and hail. Again, no quilt shops, but gorgeous scenery.
Finally, on the last day of our trip, we went to Coleman, close to the B.C. border and I visited Cozy Corner. In fact, I spent so long chatting with the owner, Pam York, that my husband sent my kids in several times to see if I was done yet (are you ever done in a quilt shop, really?!). I finally joined them for lunch at a local restaurant after I'd finished shopping - and chatting. From there it was home to Calgary to start planning the projects for the fabrics I'd bought.
It seems that I'm never able to visit a quilt shop without buying something. I love seeing the different fabrics and patterns that individual shops carry. I always manage to find something that I haven't seen before - and that I just have to have! This trip was no different. Thank goodness that we drove down and have a van so that I was able to pack all my purchases home.