Alberta Mud Buttes and Diplomat Mine

The Destination:
The ultimate destination for the weekend (2014-09-01) is Regina, Saskatchewan for a Rough Riders football game. I’m not much of a football fan (or really any sports as I have never gotten into that whole sports fanatic stage), but it’s always interesting to see the support this team receives. I’ve seen people wearing the team logo all across Canada, into the U.S. and even Mexico! Not really planned, but required will be an over night stop along the way (it’s an 8 hour drive from my current home base of Edmonton Alberta). I’ve done the trip before, but always stuck to the main highways, this time I need to explore.

Map/Route:
No map was recorded, I simply started driving on a South-Easterly direction. In future trips, I’ll capture some GPS coordinates as well that will help map out some of these destinations of interest.

Day 1:
Somewhere near Forestburg Alberta I rolled past a sign about the Diplomat Mine Interpretive Site. Not knowing anything about this area, I turned around and started following the signs to get to this location.

The Diplomat Mine is a very small, but yet interesting display of open pit coal mining in this area, dating back into the late 1920’s to present day. There is some equipment here you can look in awe of it’s massive size and complexity from something built that long ago.

Just down the road is a current open pit mine and you’ll likely see the arm of the large steam shovel off in the distance. There isn’t much point trying to chase it down for a better look, once you get anywhere close security will chase you out. I managed to get no more than about 500m into the area, grabbed the following photo and was told to leave by security right after.

Open roads and blue skies – not much more to ask for!

Continuing further South-East you’ll find the Mud Buttes near Consort Alberta.

I had no idea what “Mud Buttes” are, so decided to take the gravel road to explore a bit. I’ve read a few different stories about formation of these hills, but the one that I like best is about grass fire that ignited the coal seams here. (see Neutral Hills web site  for more info)

It’s a great view, but not a large place so you likely wouldn’t want to camp here – plus the farmer nearby has cattle that roam free in this area. There are no facilities here either, so you’d definitely be ‘boon-docking’ (and avoiding ‘cow patties’ every second step).

Continuing on the back roads, I came along this gem of a farm house. I’m a big fan of abandoned buildings, and you’ll start to see more photos of abandoned places featured on my blog as I get time to add them.

Subsequent days will get a new post, I have a few more photos and discoveries on this particular trip!

Interesting Finds:
I really should have captured the coordinates of the abandoned farm, I’d love to return to this and grab some additional photos, or try to have a look inside even.

Summary:
Along not likely worth going out of your way significantly for, both the Diplomat Mine and Mud Buttes are an interesting stop if you’re in the area. I didn’t know these things even existed if it wasn’t for venturing off the main highways for this weekend trip. If I had more time, I would have liked to have hiked in the Mud Buttes a bit, there was a couple of trashed cars off the cliff (don’t get too close to the edge)!

Photo Album:
118 photos on Fickr – (click here)

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