Tuesday 31 March 2015

Delia, Alberta

About a two hour motorbike trip on March 14, 2015. The weather was warm enough for this time of year, just very windy. The temperature was supposed to be 18C. The less said about that, the better.

A few months ago I was watching the movie "Knockaround Guys" (Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper, John Malkovich, Seth Green). Somewhat recently I was reading up on some small towns sort of near me and while reading about Delia I read that some scenes from the movie were filmed here (on a cursory glance I did not recognize anything from the movie while there).

The ride was a little on the cold side and getting there turned into a bit of a test of endurance. Just getting there became the goal. Once I there the whole place seemed to be deserted, even though a few people were out and about. Personally I should have stayed indoors as well. I will have to go back when the weather is warmer. There are lots of old buildings and someone got the great idea to put up historical markers all over town. You can read the entire town's history just by walking around and reading little biographies on signs. More places should do this. I walked in the general store and it has a wood floor and looks original. Kind or rare these days. Due to high wind warnings I cut my visit very short and did very little in the way of exploring. 

Monday 30 March 2015

I see these places on side roads

The location does not matter but it was between Drumheller and Delia. You see abandoned places in bleak settings. I often wonder if one day someone just gave up and left. The line in the photo is a powerline running by a secondary highway.  

Sunday 29 March 2015

Auction in Water Valley, Alberta

Friday night March 27, 2015 I dragged a friend to the Water Valley Stud Auction in Water Valley, Alberta. The whole thing is a community fundraiser and is held in the Water Valley Saloon. From what I could tell, there was stud fees from only one horse up for auction. There was a live auction, and a number of items up for the silent auction. I left with nothing simply because there was nothing I wanted to bid on. My cousin and her significant other came down from Calmar, Alberta to join me. The place was absolutely packed. It was fun, some drinking, some redneck humour, and some interesting stuff. I have plans to do it again next year and try and get more people to go.

The asking price is $729,000.00 Canadian. Good food. I don't know if you can actually get a room.

I really need to invest in a cowboy hat. Most were wearing one.

A bit of auction action.

I have no place to put a hay bale.

I forgot to go back and bid on this. I have been to Dogpound, Alberta. There is not much there.

The carrot cake went for $105.00. The eggs went for $110.00. 

The whip sold for $85.00. 

The place was still packed when I left after nine.

Saturday 28 March 2015

Tofino, British Columbia July 24, 2013

Simply because I need to see something resembling summer.

Friday 27 March 2015

Scenes from the road

The August long weekend in 2014 I decided to venture out for a road trip. For no particular reason I drove from Airdrie, Alberta to Babb, Montana. The weather was fine until I got the the border crossing at Carway on the Canadian side. The forecast had been for clear sunny weather.

Forecasts sometimes lie.

Before the border crossing I started to get rained on. Then hail. I crossed with no issues. The rain and hail petered out quickly on the Montana side. I pulled into the parking lot of Throndson's General Store in Babb, Montana to try and dry out.

On the other side of the road a very large and very tall stereotypical outlaw biker type with a Harley locked onto me and started crossing the road. I am just under six feet and he was well over that. I thought, well, he can't be coming for me. Then when it was obvious that he was coming for me, the thought was that I could not remember running across anyone on the highway, I was the only one on the highway.  Not to mention he was already parked when I arrived. No idea how I could have made this guy mad and he did look that way. If nothing else, this could be interesting.

He got close and asked me where I came from. I told him and asked why. Apparently he and his buddy had crossed into Canada a little earlier on their way to Pincher Creek and turned back due to encountering golf ball sized hail. I told him the way seemed to be clear enough now to make a run for it. So what the hell, I asked if he minded taking my photo. 

This may be the one of the only photos of me to appear on this site. When it comes to me and pictures this is about as good as it gets. There are so few photos of me out there I might have a problem proving I exist.

The clouds in Montana had a decidedly filthy look about them and the novelty of getting further pounded by rain and hail had already worn off. It was back to Canada shortly after this.

Me, August 3, 2014 Babb, Montana with helmet hair

Thursday 26 March 2015

In with the newer

 Had the bike out for a short highway run. The prior one did not have ABS brakes. I found out you can stop damn fast if you need to.

March 11, 2015
This is one of the reasons I am a fan of this bike. You can store lots of stuff under the seat.

Wednesday 25 March 2015


My employer - great guy by the way - gave me four tickets to the lacrosse game Friday March 20, 2015 featuring the Calgary Roughnecks and the New England Black Wolves. Lacrosse is the other Canadian national sport. I had never been to a game before. A friend, the brother-in-law, my nephew, and myself took up the seats. Great seats too, second level mid field. The nephew bought a hat and already has a jersey. I am obviously behind the times. 

It is a fast and high scoring game. Calgary won 20 - 9. These guys work hard and have to be dead at the end of a game from running up and down the field. This is a second job for most, if not all, of the players. No one gets rich in lacrosse. The crowd was into it, the music plays all through the game, breaks are short. I would have been yelling and cheering like the rest if my cold had not fried my voice. Fun time.  

The good guys score.

Frequent cheerleader breaks.

End of the game.

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Mortal thoughts

The scariest thing that I ever did was take a life insurance class when I was in my twenties.

We studied the history of life insurance and various types of coverage typically offered. Then we got into mortality tables. Neatly laid out tables of different scenarios for men and women of one hundred people from ages zero to one hundred and how many were expected to die at various stages along the way. Sobering stuff.

I could not sleep that night. I could not sleep for a few nights after that. In the back of your mind you always know it but then one day the realization hits you; everybody dies. There is no escape, no one lives forever. People will die of the expected and the unexpected. Once we pass a large number of us will be forgotten with the incremental passing of time. Being an adult means you have to confront and accept some unpleasant truths.

That was years ago.

I got my will updated today. Not one of those fun things to do however it is one of those things that needed to be done. Everything is clearly laid out and everything will be easy to find and deal with should, I mean when, something happens to me. The fun stuff can wait for the weekend.

Chancellor, Alberta

Named in 1913, obtained a post office in 1918, lost most of the buildings in a fire in the 1930's that were never replaced. Most of the residents moved to other nearby towns like Hussar and Standard. There once was a railway line. The memorial hall is the only original building still standing and really all that is left. You can see the outlines in the ground where there were buildings. There is a grain elevator that looks like it is being used by someone. Someone is building a new house close to the old hall. I was a bit surprised to find a sign showing where to turn just off the gravel highway.

Chancellor Memorial Hall, March 8, 2015
Abandoned rail line, no tracks, leading up to and past a grain elevator

Monday 23 March 2015

David Thompson country again

I was driving along the highway mentioned in yesterday's post on that same day and there was wildlife on both sides of the highway and some up on the hill. This is a common sight near the mountains and in and around the parks. I got out of the car to get some photos. I did not get a lot of co-operation, they were too intent on eating. Otherwise I would have got some good head shots. There was a mix of sheep and goats, probably between thirty and forty in all.

Sunday 22 March 2015

Abraham Lake, Alberta

Highway 11 in Alberta is known as the David Thompson Highway. David Thompson was a famous explorer and cartographer and he managed to accomplish a few other things as well. The highway takes you through some spectacular scenery. I took the long way home from Drayton Valley, on March 8, 2015. I took Highway 620 south, Highway 11 west, Highway 93 south, to Highway 1 (The Trans Canada), to Highway 22 back to Airdrie. The photos are of a stretch of road by Abraham Lake.

Saturday 21 March 2015

Very late night thoughts

I rarely lend stuff out. Mainly because nothing of mine is appealing enough for anyone to want to borrow. 

I have been ill the last few days. When I am sick my mind dredges up random archived thoughts. Thoughts like "I think I used to have an Ofra Harnoy cd". 

I used to have this one. 

After a bit of searching I remembered I lent it to someone. Due the current state of our relationship I am not getting it back.

Replace via iTunes? Not available in Canada.

This could be a problem. 


I drove between Airdrie, Alberta and Drayton Valley, Alberta on the March 7/8, 2015 weekend.There are hundreds of these scattered all over.