Saturday, 24 June 2017

Prairie Circle Cemetery June 17, 2017

Northwest of Hemaruka, Alberta (which is very population challenged) in a quiet rural spot. I do not know if anyone looks after this place. There appears to be twenty-eight burials from 1917 to 1940. Some of the burials note that people were living in Zetland and Fenner, Alberta in addition to Hemaruka. I had never heard of Zetland or Fenner. I was able to find them on a map and nothing exists of them anymore. Both places were in the vicinity of Hemaruka.

There is a bench hidden back there in the growth. I took a short walk around the perimeter. It was hard to see anything in the grass and I did not want to step somewhere and damage something.  

Friday, 23 June 2017

Highway 317, Saskatchewan south of Fusilier 7:30pm June 17, 2017

Road trip? I will likely take out the motorcycle and stick to pavement this weekend.

Some highways are paved. Some are gravel. This one is dirt. It had rained in the prior few days. It was bad enough driving on it when it was dry with ruts and a washboard surface. There is no way I would want to drive on this in the rain.

Evening at Dry Island Provincial Park

On a whim I decided to drive out here after work on June 22, 2017. The prairie can be an interesting place that seems to hide features. You can have flat areas extending for miles suddenly interrupted by a valley. This is a buffalo jump, now a park, where natives many years ago used to kill buffalo by stampeding them off a cliff. There are a few sites like this in Alberta.

This is east of Huxley and the Red Deer River is in the valley below. The road goes down a steep hill and ends on the valley floor. I did not drive down. There are warning signs that the road cannot be driven when wet and that due to the grade vehicles may have difficultly pulling trailers up it when road conditions are good. The road was in fine shape. The only thing that really stopped me was I was the only one there at the time and I was driving a car.

Standing right on the edge of the jump. It is hard to tell but there is a steep drop off to the bottom. You can see the road continuing down at the bottom where it ends. 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Evening at Elbow Falls June 20, 2017

This is not that far from Bragg Creek, Alberta. Sometimes you have to get on the motorcycle and take it for an evening ride. Elbow Falls is not very big. It is a nice spot.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

In search of . . .

A live voice when I call a business. If you are like me you loathe getting an automated phone menu. As soon as I get a recording I start mashing "zero" until I get a live person. I do not believe recordings and menu options make your company more efficient. People like to talk to actual people when they phone a business. Companies do not seem to get this simple fact.

I phoned the Apple Store in Calgary. I immediately got a recording and I started hitting "zero" to get a live person. I like Apple and I like their products even if I do find them overpriced. I find their customer service has always been great. The problem is that they want you to make an appointment if you have a problem. So I tried to phone for one.

I eventually got a live person who was pleasant. When I told her I wanted to make an appointment to get my phone fixed I found out she was in some kind of call centre. Even though I called the store I got bumped somewhere else. She did transfer me to the store and I got my appointment. All this after twenty minutes. I honestly think nonsense like this costs businesses money.

Range Road 50 along Sounding Lake, Alberta

I was looking for a cemetery on a county map along this road on June 17, 2017. I did not find what I was looking for so I decided to park and spend a few minutes with some horses. The little ones are cute. One mare eventually came up to the fence for a scratch behind the ears. That lasted until the stud noticed what was going on and decided that had to end.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Tuesday evening bike ride

Highway 66 west of Bragg Creek, Alberta. 

Neutral Hills School June 17, 2017

A lot of times you will find a marker with a bit of information about the school. There is nothing marking this site. This former school is a little northwest of the junction of Highway 599 and Highway 41 in Alberta and is pretty rural. From what I could find online it operated from 1913 to 1943.

Monday, 19 June 2017

So I got to meet an author . . .

Doing this blog is fun. I have never found it a chore to write a post. I fully admit having to occasionally scramble for material to come up with a post a day.

Part of the fun is also meeting people. A lady commented on a post of mine a few months ago and I responded to her email address. We have been irregularly corresponding since. I found out that she writes magazine articles and is the author of at least four books that I found online. She and her husband founded a magazine back in 1971. I found out she was going to be in Longview, Alberta. I asked if she would mind meeting. She was up for it so I met her for dinner at the Twin Cities Hotel in Longview, Alberta after work on June 16, 2017.

For privacy reasons I will not mention her name. She is older, a widow, and reminded me of my grandmother. She is an adventurous type who thinks nothing about driving for hours by herself along remote rural roads. She lives in British Columbia and for all of her travels in southern Alberta, which are extensive, she missed a few spots that I had visited. It was a fun visit having dinner with a few drinks and listening to live music in the hotel. With luck I might get to meet up with her again sometime. I will be on the lookout for her upcoming book about her travels in southern Alberta.

Flat in the Hat

Saturday June 17, 2017 I stayed overnight in Medicine Hat, Alberta. I did not mean to stay overnight there, I thought I would be able to make back home. I got kind of sidetracked driving down back roads. I got in Medicine Hat after eleven and it would have been another three hours home. Best to grab a room for the night. The odd thing is that when I do go out to explore southern Saskatchewan and Alberta I frequently end up in Medicine Hat for some reason.

Sunday morning after getting coffee and filling up with gas I was ready to hit the highway. As I was leaving the gas station a driver in the parking lot shouted out that I had a flat tire. I found a spot where I could pull over without blocking anyone and sure enough I had a flat.

It had been years since I had to change a tire. Then I started wondering if I even had a spare and a jack. I bought the 2003 Impala used a couple of years ago and I bought it in a hurry because I needed quick transportation as my prior vehicle needed to be scrapped. I never bothered to check if I had the items to change a tire or if I even had a spare. The good news was all the stuff was there.

There is no denying that cell phones in this day and age are handy. They can inform you via a quick search that any place to get a tire fixed is closed on Sunday. I could have called someone but there are some things you should be able to take care of on your own. Anyone I do know there I do not know well enough to impose on them anyway. A quick look at the emergency spare told me it needed air. In the past I have had to change tires in the rain and in the snow. In the space of one month years ago I had three flat tires. At least the day was warm and sunny. The tire came off with a bit of persuasion and the spare went on easily.

Of course these days you they want to charge you for using an air hose. I did not have any choice in the matter so I had to get change to activate the air hose to pump up the spare. Then I drove three hundred fifteen kilometres back at a much slower speed than I am used to driving. There were a few stops to get out and make sure the lug nuts were tight. At least it was a four lane highway all the way so I was not impeding anyone. I got to listen to a lot of talk radio on the way home.

St. Stephen's Church June 3, 2017

I posted this place before and some places deserve to be seen again. The last time I was here is was sort of winter and so windy you could hardly stand. This time there was no wind and it would be hard to get a better day for taking some photos.

This church is just a little south of Cardston, Alberta almost at the intersection of Township Road 20A and Range Road 262. It has been built three times. The first two times it was destroyed by wind. The last time it was built in 1907 it managed to survive until present day.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Bleriot Ferry, Alberta June 7, 2017

This one gets a lot of traffic as it is only a short distance north of Drumheller, Alberta. The ferry runs across the Red Deer River and only takes a few minutes. This spot is very popular with tourists.

Looking east across the river.

Looking west. The operator told me he was doing a dozen crossings an hour one day.

Get some sleep

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Chief Mountain June 3, 2017

Along Highway 17 in Montana to the Chief Mountain Border Crossing there are some great views of Chief Mountain. If you are ever in this area take this road. The border crossing is only open in the summer.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

A personal favourite

Beaver dam June 10, 2017

You see a lot of beaver in the northern half of the province because the northern half of the province has trees. This was near Lindale, Alberta. The water is a little high and flowing right over the top of the beaver dam. I would have loved to get closer. The ground is very wet and spongy. I have walked on a few dams. This one does not look that sturdy yet.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

One of those posts

The well of post material is running dry and inspiration has evaporated. You lucky people get this instead.

It is a wet start to summer

It has been a late spring and a damp start to the summer season. I have seen lots of soaked farmer's fields with sitting water and evidence of stuck farm equipment. This was out by Drayton Valley, Alberta this last weekend. More rain is in the forecast. This may turn out to be a wet summer.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Taking care of the mundane

The reality is that practically everyone's life is a lot of routine. A lot of our time is filled with work and minor responsibilities that are not that exciting.

This last weekend I drove up to see mom and make sure everything is okay. It would be better if mom lived closer instead of just over three hours away. I would like her to move closer however at this stage I do not expect her to suddenly become more accommodating. Regardless I try to make it up to see her as much as I can. It is one of those responsibilities you find yourself with as you get older. I took her out for breakfast and once we got back to her place I took care of a number of personal matters for her. My sister got her a new phone and a new electric kettle. The new phone got plugged in and I made sure that the old items were destined for the scrap heap as mom has a tendency to hang on to stuff. I took out all of her garbage to the bin on my way out. I will be back to see mom in July if not before.

I have a friend in the area. I stopped by his acreage to swap one car for another. The 2012 KIA Rondo was swapped for the 2003 Chev Impala. I need to get rid of the Impala sometime as I do not need it. The problem is that I like it. The gas gauge on the Impala does not work. I cannot be bothered to fix it so I keep track of how much gas I have in the tank by resetting the trip counter every time I get gas. The air-conditioning stopped working so I just roll down the windows. There are likely a few more issues to be discovered. Nevertheless I would rather run the Impala over the gravel roads during the summer months. I feel kind of guilty subjecting the KIA to the back roads of Alberta. I kind of consider the Impala disposable if something happens to it. The bigger leather seats and the 3.4l V6 just makes driving feel better and more comfortable.

I took my good buddy out for dinner. This was done as a thank you for letting me park a car at his place and it was recently his birthday not to mention that I drink a fair amount of his beer when I am in the neighbourhood. So we each had a ribeye steak with a healthy sized glass of wine and discussed the usual guy stuff. Sometimes you just have to spend some time catching up and maintaining friendships. A lot of times we do a lot of minor boring activities. That does not make them less important.

Shelter Bay, British Columbia July 1, 2016

I need to go back to this place.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Abandoned places are where you find them

St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church estabished 1921. When you are out exploring it is fun to find places unexpectedly. May 20, 2017. This is near Derwent, Alberta. It is boarded up. I love the look of this place. 

Simple and effective.