Sunday 31 May 2015

Spotted in Drayton Valley, AB May 10, 2015

I was coming out of a restaurant and stopped to admire this. The owner saw me and filled me in about his vehicle. This is a fully restored 1951 Canadian Army Jeep. Everything is original. I tried to take multiple photos however due to the sun glare this is the only one that turned out. This jeep was mint. 

Saturday 30 May 2015

J-Bar-T Roadhouse, Spruce View, Alberta

This looks like one of those places you just have to step inside sometime.

J-Bar-T Roadhouse, Spruce View, Alberta April 22, 2015

Friday 29 May 2015

Unique rural hazards

This is the time of year when you have to watch out for this kind of thing on the highways in Alberta.

Vega, Alberta May 16, 2015

Just west of Cremona, Alberta

Someone has a very nice setting. It should look even better in the summer.

Township Road 301 west of Cremona, Alberta May 5, 2015

Thursday 28 May 2015

Pekisko, Alberta

Exploring the countryside on May 3, 2015 on the motorcycle and getting chilled doing it. There is an Anglican Church that looks like it has been updated through the years and a residence right beside it. The residence does not look like it is currently used. It may have been a residence for the clergy at one time. I have not been able to find out much about this place. There may have been more at one time. This is right in the foothills close to the Rocky Mountains.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Hmmmm . . .

Close to one hundred percent of what is posted on my site is mine. By chance I have found one of my photos on another site with no attribution. I am kind of amused by the whole thing since I consider myself to be very amateur in the photography department and I am sure there is much better stuff out there to steal. Not sure if I am flattered or offended. 

Case Steam Tractor

Saw this in front of Saga Grocery in Barons, Alberta. I think it is a model 150.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Carvel General Store

At Carvel, Alberta. This is just off a major highway on a secondary highway. This is one of those hidden gems that you run across. More people really should be aware of this place. It is the original general store that has found a new life. I am sure the occasional person shows up and thinks they can buy groceries there. I dropped in on May 16, 2015.

Great little spot.

I am not the target market for this stuff.

I have not seen one of these in ages.

I like the bird feeder however I have no place for it.

The item on the door is a bat house.

Monday 25 May 2015

Earlier this morning

While Canada's Finest was having breakfast I tried to get a few photos in. It would have been better if I had the actual police in the photo and better light however I will take what I can get. I am sure if they were out in the parking lot they would have been accommodating, the police are generally great to deal with. Years ago in Airdrie the highway patrol had two high performance Ford Mustangs in RCMP markings. They were constantly getting, and usually complying with, photo requests.

The RCMP have Harley-Davidsons. The Sherrifs and Peace Officers who also do highway patrol use BMW motorcycles. I do not know why they use different motorcycles.

I think mine looks better.

Horsethief Canyon

Just outside Drumheller, Alberta. A lot of dinosaur finds were made here and are still being found.

Horsethief Canyon April 26, 2015
You can just make out the Red Deer River in about the middle of the centre photo.

Looks like it could be the setting for an old west movie.

Sunday 24 May 2015

Gladys, Alberta

Quick motorcycle trip after work on April 28, 2015 along Highway 547 southeast of Calgary. The sign for Gladys is right beside the highway. There is a United Church, across the road is St. Andrew's Cemetary and no corresponding church, and some kind of hall behind and to the left of the United Church. I cannot find any information on this place and there is one house nearby. A mystery for another day. 

Saturday 23 May 2015

Spotted in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta

Apparently this is a Gio Scooter. I saw this on May 18, 2015 after stopping for gas on my bike. I have never seen one of these before and I will never own one. When I get to the point where I cannot ride my motorcycle I will not be graduating to something like this. I will pack it in.

Gio Scooter Rocky Mountain House, Alberta May 18, 2015

A bit of rail history

Outside the Airdrie, Alberta museum on April 29, 2015.

Outside the museum at Airdrie, Alberta April 29, 2015

Friday 22 May 2015

Resume filler and the written word

When you are shopping yourself for a job you want to stand out just enough to catch someone’s attention. On paper I am kind of boring so I needed something to promote myself. Not to mention I am not that exciting in real life. I never really had any hobbies or pursuits, the ones I do have are a recent development. I have done a fair amount of volunteer work off and on through the years, never anything special. So under other interests or hobbies I would put down that I was working on my novel.

I never really had a novel. If an interviewer ever asked me about it I had a good enough cover story for an answer. I would always get asked about my novel. I would state that it was a hobby and that I was not interested in getting published, it was writing just for the sake of writing.

I actually have written bits and pieces of stuff related to a novel that I have scrapped. I do have a title, the barest outline of a plot, and a couple of characters to populate it. I think I have a great opening line. I just never really seriously went anywhere with it. Every so often I revisit it and think about taking a more serious stab at it.

The reason why I never really went much further is that I tend to be overly critical of my own work. When taking university courses and writing term papers I would tend to re-write those assignments anywhere from five to seven times. Then I would give up and submit them with never being really satisfied with the end result. It is the same thing with whatever I write on a personal level. After writing anything and then reading back through I never feel that what I wrote looks "right". If I was a bit smarter I never would have scrapped my previous personal efforts, I should have just set them aside and examined what worked and what did not. Then why it did not work. I recall reading something by Pierre Berton years ago once where he said a writer never throws away anything. Obviously I did not pay attention. 

I just like the look of this

Old barn no longer being used just outside Airdrie, Alberta April 7, 2015.

Thursday 21 May 2015

Half-hearted attempt at a journal

Friday May 16, 2015. Off of work at five. Everything is already packed and on the motorcycle for the weekend. Gas tank is full, north to my friend’s acreage near Genesee, Alberta to eat pizza, quaff beers, and hang out.

Saturday May 17, 2015. Ride the bike to Calmar, Alberta where I meet up with the cousin and her friend. Sort of have planned a motorcycle trip to the Klondyke Ferry. My plans are never really concrete, they are usually relatively fluid. It is raining so we all agree to take her Dodge Nitro (a misnamed product). From Calmar west on Highway 39 to Highway 622 north on Highway 770. Since road trips have random stops the first pause was at Carvel to check out the Carvel General Store. If you are ever in the area I suggest you do the same. I buy quality junk food.

North on Highway 43 to Highway 33 and a stop for gas at Barrhead, Alberta. While at Barrhead I remember to do what I missed doing prior to the road trip; stocking up on road food. Coke, Cheezies, Beef Sticks, Miss Vickie’s Barbeque Chips, Miss Vickie’s Regular Chips, and some bag of pretzel/chip type mix which was not memorable enough to recall. I like Miss Vickie’s. If I am buying, that is what you are getting.

Fortified with the essentials and off north on Highway 769. Stop at Vega, Alberta to check out an older Danish Lutheran Church. I think I got some good photos of that. West on Highway 661 to the Klondyke Ferry. Four kilometres from the ferry you run into gravel road. Gravel road is in good condition. The ferry ride is free and about six minutes long crossing the Athabasca River. The other side is about thirteen kilometres of rougher sand and gravel road which is in not as good condition. Stuff like this makes life interesting. Or so I have been told. Highway 661 loops over to Fort Assiniboine. There is really nothing in Fort Assiniboine but you have to stop and look around in case you miss something.

From there to Highway 763 to Tiger Lilly, Alberta. There is nothing at Tiger Lilly either. If anyone ever asks, I can legitimately say “Yes, I have been to Tiger Lilly”. From there onto Highway 18 to Mayerthorpe, Alberta where we stop at the memorial to the RCMP. As memorials go this is impressive for a small town. Soft ice cream is needed before hitting the road again back to Calmar via Highway 43. Brief stop at the Rochfort Bridge Trading Post. I may have to go back some day, the smells from the kitchen were amazing.

From Highway 43 back to Highway 770. At the suggestion of my cousin I had invited my friend to dinner in Calmar. After multiple phone calls and not reaching him we dropped in at his place which was on the way. Of course after arriving there he finally calls and says he is in Calmar waiting for us. You just knew that something like this had to happen. Dinner in Calmar. After dinner back to Genesee for the night and a few more beers to close out the evening. There might have been a scotch in there somewhere.

Sunday May 17, 2015

Off to Calmar as my cousin passed her written test for her motorcycle license. I had said at one point that I would go with her on a ride so she could get some experience in. So she was cashing that in. After some low speed excursions around Calmar - which as an aside, I now know where practically everything is there – back to my friend’s acreage near Genesee. The rest of the day was taken up by changing the oil on my bike and “The Big Lebowski”. If I would have thought of it I should have picked up the ingredients for a White Russian.

Monday May 18, 2015

Victoria Day and to journey home. At various times the roads home wound up being temporarily choked by those heading back to their respective homes with their recreational vehicles in tow. There are some monstrous fifth wheel trailers on the road. Some of them towing trailers behind them with ATV’s. Makes one wonder when camping got so expensive.

It was Highway 770 to Highway 39 south on Highway 22 all the way to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta where I promptly needed to stop for coffee and warm up as it is a little too chilly to be doing this kind of thing. Highway 11 east with a turn south on Highway 761 to see Stauffer, Alberta. Somehow I miss Stauffer entirely. It must be a small place. East on Highway 54 with a stop at Raven, Alberta where there is a log cabin church. I also needed the break to warm up yet again. I believe I got some nice photos of the church.

East on Highway 54 until I notice a sign for Kevisville. Is there anything at Kevisville? I have never been to Kevisville. No time like the present, so south on Range Road 40 to Kevisville. Come to think of it, Kevisville is fun to type. Kevisville. Kevisville. Kevisville. Hyothesis confirmed, it is fun to type. There is a church there and a marker where there once was a one room schoolhouse and a nearby farm. Range Road 40 is a paved highway with your typical highway markings. This is a great run on the bike as I have the road all to myself. Unfortunately I come to an end and have to turn west onto Highway 587, then south on Range Road 53 to Sundre, which is not as nicely paved. This is the back way into Sundre and as I am driving through a residential area I notice two little girls about eight years old with a lemonade stand. You should always stop at a lemonade stand. I stop and buy a glass which turns out to be raspberry juice. The price: $0.25. I give them a five and tell them to keep the change. Hopefully it made their day. I found a coffee shop so I could warm up yet again.

From there a rather uneventful turn south on Highway 22 to Highway 567 east to Airdrie. Once home I needed a hot shower to warm up one last time. Warmer motorcycle weather needs to arrive quicker.

Rumsey, Alberta

Very few people, no businesses, and some old buildings. There is an abandoned rail line that runs by here which is why I was here in the first place. At one time there was a train station and grain elevators that I saw in old photos resulting from a Google Image search. While doing some research I found mention that the place was known for having a number of Jewish families years ago which I find quite interesting. When I was there I did not find any historical markers indicating that. There is very little to be found online. A library or historical society may be worth a trip. I was there April 26, 2015 and I will try to make it back to do a bit more digging. 

Old rail building? Rumsey, Alberta April 26, 2015
Old commercial building Rumsey, Alberta April 26, 2015
One room schoolhouse.

Stonepile School, Rumsey, Alberta April 26, 2015

I walked up the marker to get a picture and judging by the sign on the bottom I guess this is someone's residence now. I inadvertantly trespassed on their property.

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Klondyke Ferry May 16, 2015

The Klondyke Ferry is north of where I live in Airdrie, Alberta. I travelled up to Genesee, Alberta where my friend lives to bunk at his place Friday night for the night, before heading off to the ferry on Saturday. Airdrie is just a little north of Calgary, Alberta.

This trip was originally planned to be travelled by motorcycle. It was raining in Calmar, Alberta where my cousin, her friend, and I had originally planned to travel from her place to the ferry. Calmar is barely west of Leduc, Alberta. A road trip is a road trip so we went with Plan B and took her vehicle. It stopped raining halfway there and it turned to slightly chilly weather and a clear blue sky.

The east approach to the ferry is four picturesque kilometres of good gravel road that could easily be driven over with a street bike. The west side of the crossing has thirteen kilometres of rough sand and gravel road that I would not recommend taking a street bike on. I was relieved that we took a vehicle. 

This area is very rural. Nice scenery.

According to the sign a ferry has been operating here since 1932. The current ferry was built in 1983.

The ferry operator seemed a bit gruff at first. He agreed to take our photos when asked. When we crossed he suggested we park on the bank and ride back since someone showed up needing to cross. So we got to cross the river three times and definitely got more than our money's worth. All ferry crossings in Alberta are free so no issues there. 

The crossing is about six minutes.

The ferry operator turned out to be a nice guy. He was likely tired of dealing with all of the people heading out camping for the long weekend. The other side of the river is a very popular spot for people with ATVs and dirt bikes.

I have no idea how deep the river is. I thought it might have been on a sign somewhere. The Klondyke Ferry is nowhere near the actual Klondike. Even the spelling is different.

View of the Athabasca River at the halfway point of the crossing. This makes five out of seven ferries that I have made it to in Alberta. I hope to get to the La Crete and Shaftesbury ferries later this year.

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Torrington, Alberta

The one and only Gopher Hole Museum is here.

This place is the size of a small house. I have never been inside and I do not plan on going. Torrington is a small place, less than two hundred people. When your town gets smaller and smaller over the years I can certainly appreciate that whoever is left wants to keep the place alive and bring people to your town. This is their claim to fame. All of the fire hydrants are painted to look like gophers such as the one in front of the museum. 

Nice little Lutheran church though.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Torrington, AB April 9, 2015.

Monday 18 May 2015

Victoria Day!

Queen Victoria's birthday is actually May 24. The statutory holiday in Canada is the last Monday before May 25 of each year. This is a distinctly Canadian holiday.

Victoria Day marks a number of things in Canada. We never used to plant anything until after this weekend. It is the weekend that a lot of us mark as the transition from spring to summer where lots of us rush out for the first camping or fishing weekend of the year. It is a time for us to shake off the last vestiges of cabin fever from winter and get out into the outdoors.

To me it is also a rememberance our history with Great Britain. I wish everyone had as great a long weekend as I did. 

It has to be valuable to someone

Just on the southern outskirts of Airdrie there is a large assortment of items sitting in a fenced field behind a "No Trespassing" sign. I am sure that if someone listed this stuff to sell online for this guy he would likely be able to sell it. Some of it looks kind of interesting.