Planning a summer trip this year? Why go far when there is so much to see and do in our own backyard. Here is a fresh idea if you only have a day or a weekend.
TransAlta has created a self guided tour of the wind farms in southern Alberta. Visit the following website to print out a map and download the audio track that accompanies the map, to your computer (to burn to a CD) or your ipod. The audio tracks are designed to be listened to at specific points along your journey.
When my parents were visiting last year from Ontario, I downloaded the map and burnt a CD from the site and we headed out for a day of learning and adventure.
We started by driving to Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and had a lunch stop in Fort Macleod . Unfortunately, since it was winter when we went, other tourist attractions such as The Fort (Museum of The North West Mounted Police) were closed. The drive home up Highway 22 was beautiful.
The trip was a long day but well worth it. There are many campgrounds in the area if you have a weekend.
We learnt a great deal about wind energy as a renewable resource and how the windmills work. It is humbling to stand at the base of these gentle giants. My Mother remarked how quiet they were, in stark contrast to what she had heard opponents of wind energy claim.
Can't take their self guided tour, then you can also take their virtual tour, located at the same website.