Fort Walsh was part of the Old Forts Trail which ran from Fort Benton, Montana up to Edmonton, Alberta and other places.
To get to Fort Walsh, we had to go down this hill, across the valley, and up a steep, winding road. This road with hairpin turns is so steep, you're advised to unhook your trailer/camper and leave it in a designated parking area for that purpose. Once you get to the top of the hills, you cross the wide plateau you see at the top of this photo. After several kilometres, you find the visitor's centre with the actual fort down in the valley below.
We took a bus from the visitor's centre down to the fort where two young Mounties greeted us. They really look young and yet this is the age of most of the recruits back in the 1870's which this fort represents.
See what I mean about the height?
Not sure if I like him in there, though.
This is an authentic cooking tent for when they were on the road. Inside is a box stove where the staff created cinnamon buns as a treat for us visitors. (Small piece, but great taste.)
An exciting part of the day was this mock trial using visitors as law-breakers. Very entertaining. The Mountie presiding over the court was an excellent actor and kept the crowd in stitches. This staff operates on a minimum staff and I was amazed at the multi-tasking and role-playing of these members. Not to mention once court is over, he does a quick change out of his uniform and into civilian clothes and then drives the bus.
JJ took advantage of the offer to test out the Mountie beds for softness. NOT!
The barrack building consists of sleeping quarters as well as a mess hall for dining and recreation.
Lookee here... I finally found someone who looks like the fictional hero of my Mountie story. His name is Michal (Me-hal) and he'll be used in all my promotional material for the character, Remy Bisset.
Thank you Michal for taking the time to pose for pics. Someone has already asked me if you were a model in your former life. *grin
This is a scale model of Fort Walsh. They have a legend with little buttons that you push and a red light will glow to show the corresponding building. Excellent workmanship but I didn't get the modeller's name.
We missed the bus after we finished taking photos and instead of waiting an hour for the next one, JJ and I walked back up the hill. As you can see, it's about a mile up. That was my exercise for the day on top of all the other walking around.
We left Fort Walsh behind and headed over to Conglomerate Cliffs to take a few photos from the top of Cypress Hills looking east...
... and looking northeast. What an exceptional view!
The trip to Fort Walsh and the Cypress Hills was so worth our time. The staff - especially Tracy and Michal went beyond any employees I've met anywhere. They spent invaluable time with me ensuring the research for my Mountie story was accurate. But the rest of the staff both down at the fort and up in the visitor's centre were welcoming and attentive to our needs. Kudos going out to the Fort Walsh National Historic Site.