Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Maybe I will keep the truck

It allows me to get to places like this.

Crescent Falls, near Nordegg, Alberta, June 17, 2018.

Located at:   52.387350, -116.355745

Abandoned barn

Saw this while zipping through rural Saskatchewan. 

I thought I would try it in black and white.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018


I've passed by this one many times and finally took a picture this past weekend.  Yes, that metal pole is attached to the truck cab.  One day it'll get zapped! 

- Michael Truman

Dirt bath

Relieved there was a fence between us. This bull was in a field south of Hazlet, Saskatchewan enjoying a dirt bath. I stopped to get a photo and got stared at for interrupting.

Monday, 18 June 2018


I do not like shopping for myself. Clothes in particular.

I seem to have a popular shirt size since I can never find my size. I prefer solid colours. No stripes or designs, solid dark or darker blues, grays, or black, sometimes white. Same with ties, I like plain solid coloured ties with nothing to break up the colour. Shirts that are not white and solid colour ties are hard to find for some reason. Shirts seem to be wearing out faster so I am buying them a bit more frequently. When I do find something reasonably close to what I am looking for I usually buy two or three at a time. I would buy more but that seems to be the most I can find at one time that fit. I do this with shoes, usually buying a couple of pairs at a time.

On weekends I am usually wear jeans with t-shit or sweatshirt. I threw out some sweatshirts because they were past their useful lifespan. Last Saturday I went shopping for replacements at the local mega-mall just outside Calgary. That was aggravating. It is near impossible to find a sweatshirt that does not have a hood, does not have a zipper, and has a crew neck. A simple sweatshirt that you can pull on. I know they exist as I discarded some. After checking out at least twenty stores in the mall I do not find what I am looking for and I find myself wondering if clothing stores understand their clientele or maybe I do not understand clothes these days. The last store I checked I found two different examples of what I wanted that was in my size. They were overpriced and they only had one of each. I took them as I was desperate and paid with the hope that I would not have to do this again in the near future.

I might have to start shopping online.

Cathedral of Saint Helena

From one extreme to the other . . . most of my posts are about long forgotten places but this one is certainly to the contrary. The Cathedral of Saint Helena is alive and well and located in the city of Helena, Montana.

One doesn't often get a chance to see this level of opulence and splendor in this part of the world. Enjoy!

A pilot on a training flight during World War I decided to take a chance and fly his plane between the twin two hundred and thirty foot tall spires. Needless to say, that stunt wasn't well received by anyone else at the time. Grounded!

Some of the elaborate decoration on the exterior of the church.

First look inside.

The light from the stained glass window behind the bronzed and gilded altar. Simply spectacular!

There are fifty-nine large stained glass windows in the cathedral.

Much of the decorative stenciling was added during a renovation completed in the late 1950's.

The granite columns are massive and topped with gilded capitals.

The current lighting fixtures were installed during the 1950's renovation.

The huge rose window above the main entry doors.

The gilded crucifix above the altar.

A rear view of the church.

A side view of the cathedral.

Looking at the cathedral from Last Gasp Gulch.

- Michael Truman

Sunday, 17 June 2018

McConnell School

This is north of Oyen, Alberta. It is just a little west off Highway 41 down a dirt road. Well, more dirt than gravel. I am not a fan of dirt roads. Even in ideal conditions they can be a pain. 

Small one room schoolhouse that I managed to get to just as the sun was going down. I love how the historical society in this area went to the trouble of tagging school locations with markers in out of the way places that few people would ever see. It is a simple square building.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Last day on the job after forty years

Crossed the South Saskatchewan River on the Lemsford Ferry in Saskatchewan on June 9, 2018. The ferry operator told me it was his last day on the job and he had been doing it for forty years. He has a farm and runs that when he is not running the ferry. Nice guy. I suggested that maybe at the end of his shift they would show up with a cake to give him a send off. He laughed and said what would likely happen is that when his shift ends he would just hand off to the next guy and drive home. There are worse ways to end a job.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Abandoned in Battrum, Saskatchewan

Battrum, Saskatchewan is a ghost town. 

I am not sure if this is an old school or church. It is on farm property so I did not get close up. Looking at the photo later there might be a cross above the door. I did not see a name on it.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Trinity Lutheran Church at Simmie

I spent four or five days in the Shaunavon area last fall checking out the sites and just enjoying some time off. On my way home I passed through Simmie, Saskatchewan and found this long abandoned church on the west side of town.

A very steep roof on this church with a matching bell tower above the entryway.

Our gracious host, Mr. Bandy, must have been in a bit of a hurry when he passed through town because he completely missed the church marker, a rather large stone adorned with two plaques: one for Trinity Lutheran Church and the other for Simmie School (which no longer exists).  And now Mr Bandy has to drive all the way back to Simmie because I know he collects photos of signs and markers. Ha! Ha!

The History Book Club has also marked at least one other school in the area. Good for them!

A small house next to the church which may have been the parsonage. Love the chimney design.

- Michael Truman

Abandoned church in Simmie, Saskatchewan

Simmie, Saskatchewan, June 9, 2018. Right beside it on the right just out of view is a yard full of junk. Someone is using this old church as storage space. I do not know what church or denomination. I wish it could have had a better fate.

I should have spent a bit more time checking this out. I knew there was a storm forecast and there were a few places I wanted to fit in before it hit. I found out that Michael Truman had been to this area and was nice enough to email photos of this spot. I asked him to write up a post since his photos were better than mine. His post follows this one. His post is better than mine.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Congregational Church Cemetery

A long abandoned cemetery in the Rural Municipality of Enterprise, Saskatchewan. The fence is in disrepair, the wooden cross fell down long ago and there are no marked grave sites. 

And the view in all directions goes on will the spirits of a century past. 

- Michael Truman

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Soon to be gone

It looks like the grain elevator in Simmie, Saskatchewan is being demolished.

There are some fairly dedicated people that travel to get photos of grain elevators. I informed a couple of people I know that are fans of this type of prairie architecture about its demise. I have been known to travel a ridiculous distance just to see a particular grain elevator and get a photo. More modern and efficient structures are replacing them. Some are no longer needed as rail lines were taken up years ago and will never be replaced.

With the loss of these, and other old buildings, towns are losing their past and their character. When you travel the main routes these days you see largely the same stores, same hotels, same services. Everything has a sameness about it. Simmie is a small place, there might be less than twenty people living there now. At one time it was different, every town at one time had character, there were stores, elevators, the usual businesses, but they were all different.

I am not longing for a past that I never knew. I do lament that pieces of the past disappear and we lose some of what made places unique.