The bright yellow canola crops line our highways, yet in the near distance you can see the details of our rocky mountains. From wild horses, to endless agriculture surrounding our two major cities—Calgary and our capital, Edmonton, it is the beauty outside of these cities that people come to our province to see. And much like people, among that beauty comes deep history that our province holds. Being that my most watched genre on Netflix is documentaries, I find the historical impact Alberta has made on Canada extremely fascinating. It is for that reason that I visited the Bar U Ranch last week!
A wonderful man gave me a run down of the long, yet important history that is behind this ranch. He explained to me that the Bar U Ranch is a symbol for the many ranches that helped form Alberta and our culture. Something that stood out to me within our conversation was when this man chuckled, saying that you were either stupid or brave to travel to Alberta at this time. I believe this sentence summed up Albertan’s resiliency, integrity, and dedication to our land. Many over looked Alberta for there was rivers, mountains, and land that went on for miles on top of the unpredictable weather patterns our province endured. In fact, Alberta was extremely close to becoming an American state, as most of our population was American in the late 1800’s and America had more money and governing power than Canada at this time. It wasn’t until the Canadian government saw potential in Alberta’s agriculture that anyone believed in this land. It was because of the Bar U Ranch and it’s several accomplishments, that people started to see the ability of our people and our land. From feeding our indigenous people all across Canada and workers on the Canadian Pacific Railway with it’s cattle, to earning international praises and awards for their purebred Percheron horses, these ranches made immense impact to Canada.
Aside from the incredibly interesting history included in this attraction, what I love is the site itself. You are driving through curvy back roads and are able to take a glimpse at the rivers, creeks and foothills that come with the journey to the ranch. Once there, you are able to take a horse-drawn carriage ride from the entrance to the barns where you will be overwhelmed with information, nature, and some real life barn yard animals awaiting you.
You know what is the best part?! Because it’s Canada’s 150th year, you are able to visit the Bar U Ranch for free all year! I encourage you to make the drive if you ever find yourself in Alberta, and take part in a little bit of Alberta and Canada’s history. Maybe one day, Netflix will add a Bar U Ranch documentary that I can add to my dork-filled list of faves!