Picked up a bottle of forty year old Taylor Fladgate Tawny Port.
Think I will crack it on Christmas Day.
After all, I have been (reasonably) good.
It seems to be an annual event for the high school graduation students in Kerrobert, Saskatchewan to celebrate the occasion by repainting this old barn.
Chances are grad was a non-event this year but at least the kids were able to enjoy this annual tradition.
The barn is located on the northern edge of town where Atlantic Avenue turns into Ontario Avenue.
The St. Paul's Anglican Church near Poplar Point, Manitoba is a nice little country church. I've photographed it a few times as I passed by it chasing trains. I think it is still in use; at least it is well maintained.
The drone photo above is from July 2020 while the winter photo below is from November 2019.
Finally, here's another ground-level photo from July 2017.
There's a small cemetery adjacent to the church.
The church is on Google Maps and has 3 reviews - two five star reviews and one four star.
I am not on board with restricting people's freedoms and forcing businesses to close.
If it does happen I have eighty rolls of toilet paper and food on hand. I am better prepared than last time.
Except for alcohol. I need to stock up. I keep drinking it.
Guest post from Dale Redekopp.
Hagen is a hamlet in Saskatchewan. It had a population of 39 in the 2006 Census. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) constructed a Relief Aerodrome for RCAF Station Prince Albert near the town during WWII. There is no evidence of this airfield that I could find. There is not much left in Hagen. The Pool elevator was built in 1930 and is in poor condition. The Saron Lutheran Church is located a few KM to the southwest of town. The cemetery contains the graves of many Hagens, but not Festus.
The ferry south of Ainsworth departure times for the morning are 6:00am and 8:10am from Balfour to Kootenay Bay, British Columbia if you are going to take the southern route. My friend and I debated about going back the same way we came and due to the rumoured snowfall we decided to take a different way home. I said we should catch the early ferry crossing. He said the one after eight was fine.
Set an alarm which was not needed as I have a habit of waking up early, or in this case a bit after six. My friend woke up, looked at the time, and said he thought we were taking the early ferry. I said I wanted to take the early ferry and that he wanted to take the later one. We already missed the first ferry of the day.
After checking out he said he was driving. From Ainsworth to Balfour to catch the ferry is less than fifteen minutes. Got in line waited. There is usually a coffee stand open at this time where you wait for the ferry. Nothing was open. I kind of need my morning coffee. My friend does not drink coffee so you already know there is something suspect about him. At least it was not snowing and it was supposed to be a sunny day.
Drive onto the ferry and of course due to COVID you have to stay in your vehicle. There is kind of a little diner on the ferry but that was not open. Nothing to do but stay in the vehicle and enjoy the ride. It is about a forty-five minute crossing. You cannot run your vehicle and vehicles do not retain heat so you could feel the inside get incrementally colder as you cross. On the other side nothing was open either. Fifty-five miles south to Creston where I could get a decent cup of coffee.
Highway 3A to Creston goes through lots of little settled areas, hugs the side of the mountain and lake, has lots of twists and turns, and in many places the speed limit is 60km/h. There is some snow and ice on the road. I drive to road conditions, my friend thought it would be fun to drive as fast as possible. I am not against speeding however I do not like driving really fast on a road like this with snow and ice on it. I mentioned it a couple of times. It did not make a difference.
No photo stops. It would delay the trip back. The road along Kootenay Lake has great views. One of my favourite roads in British Columbia.
Creston is big enough to have a couple of fast food chains so I snagged coffee and a breakfast sandwich and he filled the truck with gas that we had in the back. When you go inside to order there is a plexi-glass shield and the young lady behind it is wearing a mask. Trying to figure out what someone is saying when everything is muffled is a pain. After correcting my order three times I got what I wanted. Coffee was worth it.
Highway 3 from Creston all the way into Alberta. Only slushy spots were by Yahk and Sparwood in British Columbia. Otherwise the highway was bare and bare all the way home. Nice sunny day as well. Once in Alberta it was Highway 22 north all the way to Highway 39 and then home. Highway 22 north to Longview was very windy but it always is. Lots of hunters were out south of Longview.
There were some minor disagreements. I had a faster route plotted. He wanted to take Highway 22 all the way. I said that since he was driving he made the decisions. About eleven hours from hitting the road to the time I was home. It was good to get an extended visit, catch up, and discuss some stuff. It was a good trip. I had all day November 15 to rest up before work on Monday.
I would do it again.
The last Friday the thirteenth in March of this year the world went to hell. If the same thing was going to happen in November when Friday the thirteenth hit I was damn well not going to be a work this time.
I am not superstitious. I just wanted to get away to someplace nice. Ainsworth Hot Springs in British Columbia is a nice place. If you are going to hide from Friday the thirteenth this is one of the places where I prefer to hide. Apparently the population here is twenty people. There is the resort, a small motel, a few houses, and that is about it.
There is some upside to COVID. Less than half the resort was full and the hot springs were closed to the general public and were reserved for hotel guests only.
There of course multiple downsides to COVID. You could not get breakfast at the resort restaurant because they were not serving it. They have in the past. If you wanted breakfast there you could go to the main lobby and grab a paper bag that contained a muffin, an apple, and container of juice.
I wake up way too early at this point in my life. I was up at about six. Did some reading. Looked out the window later and someone was in the parking lot beside their van enjoying their bong. He was taking hits and then looking around to see if anyone had saw him. Whoever he was he was too dumb to consider someone might see him from their room. I rapped on my second floor window which caused him to turn around and see where the noise was coming from. He could not figure it out. No one can tell me the best and the brightest do drugs. For my own amusement I reported him to the front desk later.
Going back to sleep was not possible. Some zealous type decided to clear the parking lot with the snowplow, which was a plow attached to a pickup. Snow had fallen during the night but it was wet slushy snow that was mostly water than snow that might have been an inch in total.
I grabbed what passed for breakfast and made some coffee with the coffeemaker that was in the room. Of course with COVID everything comes in prearranged packages and you have to contend with powdered creamer. Nevertheless I was in the pool as soon as it opened at nine.
During the day it snowed, rained, turned to sleet, or decided to do a combination of those. For the entire day. If you are sitting in outdoor hot springs why would you care? I sure as hell did not. Two hours of this was perfect. There were so few people using the pools at times that we were the only ones in it. If you want to get your heart rate up there is an ice cold pool that you can plunge in after getting out of the hot pool. Once was enough.
Out of the pool, grab some food since the restaurant was open and serving actual food. Took a quick trip down the road to cross taking the Harrop Ferry off my list then back to the resort and in the pool. Few hours of that, then dinner. Bacon wrapped rib-eye again simply because it was so damn good the night before. Then about two more hours in the pool to close out the day. The nice thing about coming here is that there really is not a lot to do so you are kind of forced to do nothing. With everything going on in the world I was fine with that.
A few months ago I had booked a three day trip. About a month ago it came up in conversation with a friend of mine that I had this trip booked and he kind of invited himself along. He said he needed a break and really wanted to go. I really needed a break, this year with all that has happened and with personal issues a few days away was essential for my sanity. On one hand I had other plans in mind for this trip, on the other hand expenses would be split down the middle. Being cheap won out.
This is a friend that I have known since high school and we see each other on an irregular basis. There may be some changes coming up in his life that may make it harder for us to meet up in the future. It looked like this might be our last chance for quite some time to get together for a few days. I was able to juggle a few things so he could come along.
The plan was to get to Ainsworth Hot Springs in British Columbia. My friend lives on a quarter section (160 acres) outside of Edmonton. This was to happen on November 12 and a snowstorm had gone through our area the prior weekend and hung around for a bit on the following Monday. Distance is about 880km one way.
I am one of those types that likes to hit the road early. Very early. I like there to be a cushion built in for travel time just in case something goes wrong or there is a delay. Of course my friend had to volunteer for overtime and worked the night shift. He was off work at seven in the morning. I was at his place on time and wanted to leave right away however we had a disagreement over which vehicle we would take. I wanted to take mine, he wanted to take his 2002 Ford F150 4x4. I pack light, he packed enough for what looked like a week. Arguing wastes travel time when you are trying to leave on a trip so I caved. I drove because he had worked the last twelve hours and I was not going to let him drive. On the road at 8:15am.
I would have rather taken my car. My ride had new winter tires and the brakes had just been serviced. I drove all day in his truck that had a check engine light constantly on with a few other minor issues. Most of the time the idiot light means nothing however those things bother me. I really did not want to take his vehicle however he brought beef jerky for the trip so that helped me overlook a few things.
My friend is one of those who has extra gas on hand. Gas in my area is 82.9 cents a litre. Once you get into British Columbia you are paying thirty to forty cents a litre more. My friend had ten five gallon jerrycans that were full in the back of the truck so we did not have to pay their prices. Instead of stopping for gas, there were stops at the side of the road to fill the truck from five gallon containers.
Highway 39 west of Edmonton, south on Highway 22 to Highway 1 then west. Quick stop to top up the gas. That part of the trip was largely uneventful until Highway 1 west heading towards Canmore we encountered absolutely brutal headwind that faded away when we got into Banff National Park. Then it was fine all the way to Revelstoke. The highways were bare.
Then from Revelstoke south on Highway 23 to the Shelter Bay Ferry. There was a quick stop because my friend wanted to put gas in the truck. I did not want to stop because I wanted to make the ferry. There was lots of gas in the tank, it read about half full. We ended up stopping. After filling the truck he asked for the keys to drive, I declined. The comment was made that "I do not get the keys to my own truck to drive?" to which I agreed. I needed to have something in the win column. Besides, I am a lousy passenger, I like to be behind the wheel.
We get to the ferry landing and it had already departed. If we had not stopped we would have made it. We had a little over half an hour to wait for the ferry. I was stretching my legs and got conversing with the guy in the vehicle parked beside us. There was a joke made about marijuana for some reason and he said he was on a buying trip for a marijuana business he was involved in. I mentioned that I knew one of the founders of Aurora MJ, one of the companies involved in the business in Canada. He said he was one of the founders. We both knew the same guy. He was no longer involved in the company at this time. As an aside, what are your chances of meeting someone in British Columbia involved in the marijuana trade? The chances are damn good. The guy lives in my part of Alberta and I gave him my card.
South on Highway 23 to Nakusp, then Highway 6 towards New Denver. Of course it was night and pitch black with no moonlight before we got to Nakusp. The road to New Denver was fine however there are many twists and turns on this road all the way to Ainsworth because you are in the mountains. You have to be careful at night due to the abundance of wildlife. At New Denver it was Highway 31A to Kaslo and then south to Ainsworth. As soon as we passed New Denver it started to snow and snowed all the way to Kaslo. It snowed just enough to cover the highway with a thin layer and it was snowing heavily. There was close to zero traffic which was fine because I could not see where my lane was due to the covered road and falling snow reduced my visibility and speed to about 60km/h. To make it easier I just drove down the middle of the highway.
Once in Kaslo it was about 21km to Ainsworth. No snow and clear sailing. It was also over eleven hours travel time for the day. Just a wee bit longer than I thought it would be. Ainsworth is a small place and I had the foresight to make dinner reservations at the resort weeks before. Bacon-wrapped rib-eye with a nine ounce glass of wine is a perfect way to finish the day.