Saturday 28 February 2015

Rowley, Alberta

I did a quick drive through Rowley on my way to Calmar, Alberta on February 14, 2015. It was not on my way but I had the time and I really felt like taking an out of the way detour. Plus I read about this place and I really wanted to see it. Apparently Rowley has an official population of eight. There used to be rail service through here, the rail line is abandoned. There are numerous buildings. It was a film location for "Legends of the Fall". You can tell that someone is trying to fix the town up and create a tourist attraction. I hope they succeed. 

I would have did a bit more exploring. The snow had drifted in some spots and the tires on the trusty Impala are not quite as good as I thought. A return visit is in order.

I hope someone gets around to fixing Highway 56. The sheer amount of cracks makes me hesitant to drive it again.

Approaching Rowley, Alberta

Abandoned rail line
Rowley train station
Bank building
One of the many buildings

Friday 27 February 2015

A milestone of sorts

Just over 10,000 page views. I am a bit surprised and thankful that anyone bothers to read any of this.

Thank you one and all.

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Just west of Calmar, Alberta. Taken February 14, 2015.

Thursday 26 February 2015


Last year during the summer I found myself having a few drinks one night at the Oil Country Taphouse in Drayton Valley, Alberta. Great food by the way, if for whatever reason you happen to find yourself in Drayton Valley I recommend stopping in. Regardless, I was there one night by myself for reasons I no longer recall when a guy at the bar who had more than a few drinks decided to be my friend and strike up a conversation.

I managed to find out that he had a trucking company, had been in the area for about twenty years, and spoke with a Slavic accent. As an aside, I always wonder why people who move to another country and have lived there for a number of years don't work to lose their accent. I digress. I had somewhat recently moved to the area from another part of the province. We had a few drinks, then he started asking me about who I knew in the area. I told him I really did not know many people in the area, I was from somewhere else. Then he got a slightly serious look and asked how I ended up there. To which I replied “Everybody has to be somewhere.”

He seemed to find this uproariously funny.

Thus a name was born.

Highway 585, Tolman Badlands, Alberta

February 14, 2015

Just outside Trochu, Alberta

These things are starting to show up all over the place.

February 14, 2015

To sleep, perchance to dream

For some unexplained reason I was dreaming I was eating breakfast. Now I am wide awake at three in the morning craving orange juice, coffee, bacon and eggs. 

Wednesday 25 February 2015

The odd things that you find on the internet

I was searching Google for information on some Alberta history. On Google Maps on satellite view some nights ago I found photos of a one room school in a very rural part of the province. The dumb thing was I did not mark the location. I thought I could find it again by doing a search for “one room schoolhouse Alberta”. Instead I found a book that someone had written that was scanned and posted online where the author listed every Alberta one room schoolhouse they could find, the location, and a brief history of it. I spent a couple of hours scanning the book because I have weird interests. I have to admit I admire the dedication of the author to have published a book of over six hundred pages on a fringe subject. Not to mention that the subject matter was never going to be a bestseller.

If anyone is remotely interested, here is the link:

Old International truck

This was sitting on someone’s private property so this was as close as I could get. This is near Lundbreck, Alberta on January 24, 2015. For some reason most of my photos in winter seem to have a bleak washed out look. It would make a decent restoration project for someone.

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Between Airdrie and Edmonton the mind wanders


I have driven to Edmonton and back twice within the last few weeks. Close to three hours one way.

I like to drive. I like to drive alone. It’s a form of meditation. Distance does not matter. There is time to think. My own music gets played with no complaints. I can transition from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” performed by The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields to Scandinavian Death Metal. Why Scandinavian Death Metal? The iTunes Genius recommended it. Maybe it knows something I don’t. The jury is still out.

I just love heated seats. Especially when the car heater wants to blow only cool air.

Why do so many drivers hog the passing lane? The QE II (Queen Elizabeth II) Highway in Alberta is largely a freeway with two, sometimes three, lanes in either direction and filled with drivers lacking sense and etiquette. I freely admit I tend to speed. I pass someone by pulling out into the passing lane, zipping by, then back into the right lane. People irritate me by driving mindlessly for miles in the passing lane and clogging traffic. Not to mention those who when passing barely increase their speed and ever so slowly inch past their target.

I kind of like gas station hot dogs. Got to have mustard. That part is a deal breaker. Come to think of it, you never see gas station salads.

Gas prices are all over the map. I left Airdrie on Friday night and gas was 84.9 cents per litre. I get to Edmonton and it is seven cents per litre higher.

Johnny Cash is a must for any road trip. Mary-Chapin Carpenter got some serious listening.

Why can’t car manufacturers put the hazard light switch where you can easily punch it in an emergency? I am driving at night and a semi hits his brakes and is flashing all his lights and I see it will be blocking my lane in a matter of seconds. I am far enough away that it is not an issue, I quickly check the rearview, drivers behind me are a ways away but I want to warn them. I look for the hazard button to flash them a warning and spend a few precious seconds before I see it hidden from my line of site behind the wheel of the steering wheel. All of the stereo stuff is easily accessible, the important stuff not so much. Priorities.

Dating is an interesting experience. I am on a dating site and a lot of women’s profiles say they have degrees or are professional and yet are incapable of simple sentence structure, grammar, and spelling. I must be missing something.

These are the days of winter that I have a hard time liking. The temperature warms up for a few days and then a day or two of light snow. I can’t ride the motorcycle just yet. Still traces of ice and loose gravel. Going to the rural areas makes me hesitate with the freeze/thaw. Winter is losing its grasp but refuses to die. Just die already, the open road is trying to call.

There is nothing like a comfy bed. The bed in the guest room at the cousin's place is absolute Nirvana. A great mattress, a feather duvet, a good book, decent pillows, I have a hard time justifying getting up. My needs are simple.

South of Highway 9, somewhere near Drumheller, Alberta

I just liked the look of this farm. They even have their own grain elevator. 

February 22, 2015

Monday 23 February 2015

St. Thomas' Anglican Church at Dinton, Alberta

I stumbled across this on Google Maps. The church is right on Highway 547 between Highway 799 and Highway 24 southeast of Calgary, Alberta. Dinton does not show up on any map but there was a community there at one time. There is a graveyard right by the church and that is really all that remains of the town. The church has kind of a weathered look to it.

I drove there February 8, 2015. The church was apparently built in 1906 and according to the sign services are still held there. When I did a little bit of research after my visit I found that this church was a location for one of the scenes in “Brokeback Mountain”. 

There are a lot of spots in Alberta that have been used as movie locations. Calgary and the surrounding areas show up a number of times in the first Superman movie.

Updated with a map for my favourite reader.

Sunday 22 February 2015

So I have that going for me

I was a guest at my cousin's place on the weekend. Her dog and I got along very well. 

Benj the dog


Did mine tonight and thought I was getting a refund. After quadruple checking the numbers I actually owe about $49.00.  

It could be worse. 

Vanishing prairie architecture

You used to see these all over Alberta, these days you still see them, just not as many. It was common for even the very small towns to have two or three. Technology made grain elevators obsolete and they were declared a liability hazard and were increasingly torn down. Many of them seemed to disappear overnight. You can still see a few in unexpected places, where towns used to be. In some places the rail lines were torn up, the towns slowly died, and the buildings will fall in time. Pictures were taken August 31, 2014. The first is near Drumheller, the second is at Dorothy, Alberta which is close to being a ghost town.

Saturday 21 February 2015

On the road

Off and running this weekend. I received an unexpected invite to a hockey game for Saturday night in Edmonton. Therefore I will be piloting the trusty Impala north for three hours. My Oilers have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs for some time now however a new coach seems to have righted the ship. I rarely go to the actual games because the cost is atrocious. Otherwise it came down to doing my taxes this weekend or a hockey game. The hockey game won out, Revenue Canada can wait. I have lots of time till the tax deadline on April 30.

June 22, 2014

Thursday 19 February 2015

Ghost towns of Alberta

Not my creation and not a complete list. I thought a few people might find this interesting. Some of these places are not exactly ghost towns and some of them are on their last legs. I appreciate the effort that someone put into this and I think more people should see it. 


Highway 791 north of Highway 582 Alberta February 15, 2015

Wednesday 18 February 2015

And to you as well

I just received a greeting from my friend in Brunei wishing me a happy Year of the Sheep. To everyone who celebrates this new year may the coming year be bright and prosperous.

Days of farming past

You see these all the time driving by farms, usually in a pile of junk on someone's land. It is kind of rare that you see one in decent shape, let alone being displayed. This was high technology at one time.

Lonely barn

On Highway 40 November 1, 2014. Sometimes in very rural areas you see things in unexpected places. Highway 40 is referred to as a highway although it is largely gravel with a number of Texas gates that crop up. There was this barn and no other buildings that anywhere around. No pasture either, everything is heavily treed. If someone has free range cattle in the area it would be a chore to round them up just due to the rugged landscape. The barn had power running to it so I suspect a guide and outfitter.

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Bridge near Lundbreck Falls, Alberta

This bridge is on a section of old highway just off of the Crowsnest Highway near Lundbreck, Alberta. I have not found another bridge like it in the area and it looks heavily overbuilt. I would have looked for a plaque stating when it was built but it was too chilly with the wind. The structure has a unique look to it.

January 1, 2015

January 1, 2015

January 24, 2015

Monday 16 February 2015

When in Longview, Alberta . . .

Always stop for the beef jerky. 

Seriously good stuff.

January 24, 2015

January 24, 2015

January 24, 2015

January 24, 2015

Sunday 15 February 2015

Lundbreck Falls

This is a mix of photos taken January 1, 2015 and January 24, 2015. I keep looking at these and I am not happy with the results. The light was fine both times, they just turned out looking too washed out and devoid of colour. I was there about two in the afternoon both times but looking at these you would think I was there at night. I thought I would put them up anyway, sometimes the failures are as interesting as the stuff that turns out right. This place is a nice little spot and is just barely off of the highway on a side road. I will try again in the summer.