Last Friday I left work to drive over two hours to meet up with a friend. Saturday and Sunday was spent exploring backroads in southern Alberta with some walking on the prairie and in the mountains. Sunday night I drove home and arrived about nine at night. Thanksgiving Monday I drove an hour in the morning to meet up with my sister and mother. Then back home to unpack, do the laundry, and get set up for the work week.
This morning I reached into the dryer for socks and felt a unpleasant twinge in my lower back. I have been moving gingerly ever since. Laundry must be to blame.
This is a twenty-four hour on demand cable ferry that carries ten vehicles. Once you cross there is nowhere to go. There are homes on the other side and the ferry is the only way in and out for those on the other side. The ferry was operated by one person who never left the control room who also set the ramps and the gates. Crossing is less than ten minutes.
The only bridge was burned in 1995 when the local Indian band protested against a recreational development on the lake. Hence the establishment of the ferry. Some of the ferries in British Columbia, including this one, were subject to possible strike action. I asked one of the locals and was told that there were currently contract negotiations and any strike would have been preceded by seventy-two hour strike notice. Which means I got to ride the ferry with no interruptions.
You can see some interesting thinking when the railway was first built through the Roger's Pass. The valley is narrow with steep grades. The railway was built with some tight loops to gain elevation to make the grade and to also avoid avalanches.
On March 4, 1910 a massive avalanche near the top of Rogers Pass killed fifty-eight workers that were there to clear a prior avalanche. This event caused the Canadian Pacific Railway to construct an eight kilometre tunnel under Mount MacDonald in order to bypass Rogers Pass. The tunnel opened in 1916 and the original railway line through the Rogers Pass was abandoned the following year.
Driving through the Rogers Pass you drive through a series of concrete snow sheds that are there in the event of an avalanche. The red line shows the original rail line, the blue line shows the current line.
These columns that once supported a rail line is what remains of the original line. Saw this on September 28, 2019.
We were in Scandinavia this past September, on a combination of a work trip and some vacation. While en route between Sweden and Norway, I captured a few barns from the train, just for this blog. I hope you like them!
Continuing our trip, we depart the Shaftesbury Ferry after a pleasant crossing and return, and proceed north on Highway 684 to Grimshaw, Alberta. Great looking old barn just south of Grimshaw and a unique building that I think was a granary just to the west. Grimshaw’s claim to fame is that it is mile zero on the Mackenzie Highway.
Continuing west on Highway 2 we stop in Brownvale, Alberta. There are two old churches in the hamlet and a number of abandoned commercial buildings. Brownvale is famous for the large mechanical bronco bull and rider which is located on the grounds of the North Peace Agricultural Museum. The mechanical bull was built for the Alberta Government in 1986 for the Alberta Pavillion in Vancouver at Expo 86. It stands 15 feet high and is constructed of wood, metal and fibreglass.The rider was supposed to be Brian Mulroney who was PM at that time. The museum acquired it after the expo and it is still functional.
We continue west on Highway 2 and stop for a quick look at the St. Teresa Parish church in Whitelaw, Alberta.
Back on Highway 2 to Dunvegan, Alberta. We do the self guided tour of the historic site.This is a recommended stop and more information available here: historicdunvegan.ca
Back on Highway 2 we cross the Peace River on Alberta’s longest suspension bridge. This bridge was constructed in 1960 to replace the ferry service and is 750 metres long.
Next stop is Rycroft where we had a look at the St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church (1930-2003). Stopped in Woking to see the Russian Greek Orthodox Church but learned that it had been moved to Sexsmith in 2017 by the Sexsmith Historical Society. Spotted a unique cemetery beside the highway in Webster. If you are into cemeteries, this one is a must see.
Last stop of the day is Sexsmith. Sexsmith has an interesting main street as well as a number of historic buildings including the church from Woking.