Saturday, 31 August 2019

Friday, 30 August 2019

Heading for . . .

. . . somewhere.

Trying to take a quick trip. It has been a lousy summer due to the weather. I have also had to reschedule plans due to my mother's health issues. Such is life.

Tired and I feel like a break. I have this weekend to myself so I will see what I can come up with.

The rail tracks are near Thorsby, Alberta.


Tiny houses are nothing new

Saw this way off the road north of Hardisty, Alberta. I believe it was a house.


A telephoto lens makes life easier. This was on a hill on the other side of a small valley.


Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Panther Falls

I made another attempt at Panther Falls last Tuesday. This time I actually got to the falls. The trail is about 1/2km from the highway to the falls.




The falls are loud. The water is not so much falling as it is exploding off the top. You can get closer than this however this is about the closest I could get a photo due to the mist in the air. I might try it again in September.


Sunday, 25 August 2019

Full Moon Rising



A full moon rising over the ridge of Crescent Heights.


- Michael Truman

Saturday, 24 August 2019

A Barn Outside Bathurst


I have no memory of taking this photo.

From the filename and the metadata, I see I took it on September 20, 2007 near Bathurst, New Brunswick. From other photos taken on that date, I can tell that I had been at the train yard in Bathurst after supper, then went out to Nepisiguit Junction to catch the New Brunswick East Coast Railway ore train there.

I photographed this barn somewhere between Bathurst and Nepisiguit Junction, so something about it must have impressed me enough to stop and photograph it.

- Steve Boyko

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Another shot of Siffleur Falls

The falls are a little deceptive. The river gets squeezed into a narrow gorge and there is a sharp drop to the bottom. I could not get a shot of of bottom to show the height of the falls.


Siffleur Falls

August 18, 2019 hike to Siffleur Falls west of Nordegg, Alberta. Hiked here with a friend.

My friend and I had tried this hike a couple of years ago. We had been at a different waterfall - Crescent Falls - before coming here. The problem was we got here too late in the day and did not make it to Siffleur Falls. We kept saying that we were going to go back and make it to the falls. It might have become a running joke between us. About a week ago I suggested it and my offer was accepted.

This is a neat hike. The suspension foot bridge is close to the parking lot. The bridge crosses the North Saskatchewan River.


Next is the boardwalk through an ecologically sensitive area.


Another footbridge.


There are signs warning you that you are in bear country. Never saw one.


The river is squeezed into a narrow space. The trail is along the top. The water does look turquoise.



The first set of falls is about 4km from the parking lot.


The trail goes on from the first set of falls.


Wonderful scenery in this part of Alberta.



The second set of falls, about 2.5km from the first set. I actually was not far from the third set which was about a further 1.5km from here. Not far from the second set of falls the trail kind of fades out. Not being familiar with the area I was not going to go through brush to see how far we could get.



The weather was great and it was a fun outing. I might have to do it again. Glad I got to fulfill this with a friend. 

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

A Rather Unusual Barn


I remember seeing this barn from the nearby highway. It stands tall enough that it pierces the horizon, leaving a silhouette that, at a distance, could be mistaken for a grain elevator. Closer investigation showed that it was in fact a barn, or perhaps a granary.

I drove up the "grid road", one of many that lay across Manitoba in one mile increments. I remember that it was heavily rutted, and I drove my car with care to avoid a wheel falling into the rut and bottoming the car out. I went as far as I dared drive, then took my photo and left.

This is near Brunkild, Manitoba.

- Steve Boyko

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

My thoughts on my 2010 Ford Ranger after owning it for three weeks

I like it.

Not quite too old for this

Last Sunday I met up with a friend from Calgary to hike into Siffleur Falls west of Nordegg, Alberta. There are three sets of falls. The first set of falls is a little over 4km one way, the second is further 2.5km, the third is about a further 1.5km. We made it close to the third set of falls. We did about eight miles that day. I was not as stiff that I thought I would be the next morning.

My friend sent me this photo of me. I was not aware it was taken until it was sent to me after we both got home. I quite like this photo. After looking at it for a bit I noticed something. I zoomed in on the photo and confirmed my suspicions. I have a very noticeable balding spot on the top of my head.

I still like the photo.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Pearson School 1920 - 1946

Former one room schoolhouse south of Wainwright, Alberta.

I read some internet sites where they feature abandoned places. A lot of people seem to romanticize old one room schools. Personally I do not think they were better back then. A lot of them had high turnover of teachers. Some operated intermittently due to lack of funds or enrollment. Many of them were very cold in the winter. Some barely had any teaching materials.

To me it is amusing that I like to travel to old schools at this stage in life since I hated being in school in my younger days. Back then I did well and enjoyed learning, the problem was that I was frequently bored, and I was likely no different from school kids years ago. These days when I do run across something like this miles from anywhere I do not think about the school, I think about what people did back then to build for the future and try to improve their lot in life and for their children. Old schools were part of that.




Sunday, 18 August 2019

Sunday shrine

A few miles north of Carmel, Saskatchewan (where there is not much) sits a shrine on top of the highest hill in the area. In some lonely and out of the way places in Saskatchewan I have run across shrines. I do not know why they picked this spot other than it has a commanding view of the countryside. 

I stopped here on April 20, 2019.


Saturday, 17 August 2019

Biodegradable Guard Rails


Ozone friendly and biodegradable guard rails along a road near Fox Valley, Saskatchewan.  If you're heading for the ditch it will be with a splash of fresh hay!

These are the small rectangular bales that were common in the somewhat distant past.  I hoisted a lot of these when I was a kid.  Don't see them so often anymore.


- Michael Truman

Friday, 16 August 2019

Porter Lake School 1928 - 1952

This is an old schoolhouse in rural Alberta somewhat close to Edgerton, Alberta. The last time I was here was last winter and it was freezing cold. It looks a lot better in the summer.


They is one of the better rural schools. A lot of them were small and not well built. It was likely a community centre after it ceased being a school. At one time there must have been a lot of children in the area to warrant a school this size. 




You can get in the school. There are some chairs and some old stools as well as an old piano and stove. The structure seemed safe enough. I thought about checking out the basement and passed on that. When I was outside again I noticed the basement walls were starting to bow so not going into the basement was a good idea.



I have a weakness for window photos.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

I might be getting too old for this . . .

This last Tuesday I had the day off. The weather looked like it might be decent so I wanted to take the motorcycle out on the highway. A friend of mine came with me on his motorcycle.

From Edmonton we took the highway to Rocky Mountain House, to Nordegg then up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper then took the Yellowhead Highway home. Highway 39 to Highway 22 to Highway 11 to Highway 93 to Highway 16 home if you are inclined to look it up. The trip was about 900km. We left just after nine in the morning and got back after eleven at night. We got rained on a couple of times. Stopped at a few places for food and walked in to a couple of waterfalls at different stops.

At Evansburg on the way home it was starting to get dark when we made our last stop for gas. That is when I discovered that my headlights were not working. After fiddling around with things for about half an hour my lights starting working. The motorcycle had developed some interesting electrical issues. On the plus side I can now start my bike without having to press the start button. 

I was still an hour from home. On the highway in Alberta in August at ten at night it is chilly.  It is dark, a little foggy, and you have to be vigilant for suicidal deer. When I finally got home I peeled my clothes off and left them where they fell. I was stiff and chilled and took a hot shower before turning in. The next morning I was damn stiff.

My friend, who is the same age as me, remarked a few times during the ride that he wants to take long trips like this, his body however does not want to co-operate. I might have to agree with him. I was never in the greatest physical shape but I could do long rides with few problems. Now it is becoming a different story. We are getting older.

I have a hike with another friend this coming weekend. I will see what kind of condition I am in after that.

A Barn in Marquette


I was in Marquette, Manitoba one summer evening and photographed this classic old barn. I recently learned that this kind of roof is called a gambrel roof.

The barn still has a bit of red paint clinging to the wood under the edge of the roof, but most of the paint has worn off over the years.


- Steve Boyko

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Alberta ghost town

Cairns is a ghost town. I had made a couple of attempts to get here over the last few years. Part of the problem was I was not exactly sure where it was and it was not the place to take a car. The road is not rough, it is soft. The road in is dirt and almost sandy in spots. It is not a road that is used regularly.

There is a plaque not far from the town marker. It reads in part:

“The Cairns area was first settled by homesteaders in 1907. Later that year the Canadian Pacific Railway surveyed the rail line, laid out the townsite and named it Cairns. Trains started running in 1910, and Cairns became a bustling hamlet, the hub of a closely-knit agricultural community. Drought, depression, influenza and two world wars took their toll. In 1959 when the post office and store closed, Cairns silently became a ghost town.”

There are no residents and only two buildings left.


I believe this is the old hall that was used for church services.




I think this is the old store/post office. I could get one good angle to get a photo of this building. It was behind a fence, obscured by some trees, and I had to walk up a short bank to get a decent view.


A number of prairie towns started and disappeared without a trace. Nice to see they put up a marker to remember it.