Saturday 30 September 2017

Bridge hunting September 24, 2017

Rail trestle at Magnolia, Alberta. There really isn't anything at Magnolia. I thought I might be able to get an interesting perspective shot or two from this. It would look better if I was better at this. Trial and error. 

Friday 29 September 2017

Uh, the post cupboard might be getting bare . . .

Therefore it is time for the emergency reserve hay bale post.

Delia, Alberta area September 24, 2017

Thursday 28 September 2017

Court day

If you are going to commit a major crime in Airdrie, Alberta your best bet is to do in on a Tuesday or Thursday. Those days are court days and the side streets around the courthouse are taken up with various levels of law enforcement.

All of the law enforcement vehicles look really new and very sharp. Whatever downturn there is in the economy has not affected them. Years ago during a severe national recession you would seen some obviously worn out RCMP vehicles on the roads. I have not seen one that looks less than new or close to it in years.

As a side note I really hate those ultra thin light bars. At a distance on the highway it is hard to see if a white Ford SUV approaching you is the police or not. All police vehicles here in Alberta seem to be made by Ford.


Near Hanna, Alberta September 24, 2017. The fields around here have kind of a "shaved" look to them after the harvest. It is an interesting effect.

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Say it with potatoes

Very foggy day in my mother's part of Alberta on September 23, 2017. 

My mother's side of the family is cheap. Not frugal, cheap. My mother's parents were not that way.

I have not visited most of them in years. The only reason is that sometimes you have no relationship with people. Through the years I increasingly found I have nothing in common with them. Any social encounters with them end up without having much to say to each other. If I feel the need I can have an awkward interpersonal interaction trying to date someone rather than relatives.

My mother had some snow tires on rims stored at her brother's acreage about twenty minutes north of where my mother lives. I got roped into having coffee upon arrival when I had planned on just picking up the tires and heading back to mom's place. My uncle Richard (not his actual name) talked for a short time over coffee. My aunt is one of those ultra liberal types where I am not. She asked me if I wanted to participate in a march against something or other. I politely declined.

When I was walking out the to go to the shed to load up the tires my uncle asked me if I wanted to take some potatoes to my mother. He said he had so many of them from his garden they would never be able to use them all and he was giving them away to anyone who wanted them. I really did not want to be schlepping a bunch of potatoes however to be polite I accepted. He said he would be right back and showed up a few minutes later with a plastic bag with four small to medium sized potatoes inside for my mother.

Mom had broken her foot in July and should have her cast off later this month. My sister was also up visiting mom with me on Friday/Saturday/Sunday. We cleaned, vacuumed, took out her garbage, did her dishes, and I got the oil changed in her car and left if with a full tank of gas. My sister took mom out grocery shopping. Mom can be a bit trying so I am amazed things went as well as they did. On the way home Sunday I decided against sending a handwritten thank you note for the potatoes.

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Late night black and white

Tried something different with a photo I took this summer. 

Asking the important questions

I really want to know what is happening with my socks. A few times a year I have to go out and buy a bunch of socks. Before they go into the wash I check that each sock has a mate. Somehow from the dryer to the dresser I end up with some single socks. Over time this results in incrementally fewer socks. I am sure I am not the only one experiencing this. Maybe I should buy shares in a sock company. 

I am at the point where once again I am facing a critical shortage of socks. This does not happen with other items of clothing. No one loses a pair of jeans in the wash. Again I will gather up all of the single socks and consign them to the trash and buy some socks in bulk. There is probably an opportunity for someone to come up with a really cheap GPS tracking system to track your socks so you do not have to continually buy them. 

A walk among the ruins

There are a couple of ghost towns in Banff National Park. One of them is Bankhead, Alberta just a couple of miles from Banff itself. Bankhead existed from From 1904 (or 1905 depending on the source) to 1922. Bankhead was a coal town and supplied coal for the railway. There was once a population of 1,500 including about 300 underground coal mine workers.

Coordinates are 51.230989, -115.523905

Poor quality coal and continuous labour strikes are stated to be the causes of the closure of the town in 1922. Some building were moved to Banff. The town was stripped and the concrete walls and foundations are largely what remain.

This was the lamphouse were miners were issued their lamps before heading underground.

Lots of coal. You can see chunks of it when walking the trail as remains of the slack heaps. There is no shortage of coal. There was a town that existed before this called Anthracite just a mile or two from here. Nothing exists. There was, and still is, no shortage of coal in Alberta.

This is what remains of the briquette house where they made briquettes. The venture was never profitable.

No. 101 KH compressed air locomotive from 1901. This was not used here, it was used in the old Canmore coal mine, east of here. It is sitting here as an exhibit.

This is all that remains of the tipple. The structure on top of this was close to one hundred feet high. There are a lot more ruins. Mainly foundations and walls of what once was. It is an interesting walk and Parks Canada has signs up giving a history of the town.

Monday 25 September 2017

Sainte-Jeanne d'Arc Roman Catholic Church

Abandoned church in Dollard, Saskatchewan August 10, 2017. It looked like a substantial church in its day. Dollard was founded in 1910. About thirty people live there now.

Sunday 24 September 2017

Old tractor post

Sometimes stuff is on your doorstep. I keep an eye out for old tractors. These ones I found just on the outskirts of where I live. Someone has a nice line of them in their farmyard.

Saturday 23 September 2017

Edmonton, Alberta September 14, 2017

View from the Capilano Bridge on Wayne Gretzky Drive. As an aside I would like to see roads named after actual heroes rather than sports heroics. As a further aside I always thought that some small town somewhere could gain some recognition by holding some kind of contest where the winner would get a street named after them.

I lived close to Edmonton for about twenty years. It was fine then. I do not like going there now. Edmonton is a pain trying to get a lot of places on a north/south basis. It is getting better. What I dread about going there is the unreal amount of road construction. If they ever finish it should end up looking like a nice place.

Friday 22 September 2017

Duty calls

Would love to escape on a pointless weekend road trip. Instead I will be visiting my mother. She broke her foot in late July and has been in a cast ever since. If nothing else it has kept her from driving and made the roads safer where she lives. She should be out of the cast by the end of this month. This weekend will be tending to whatever she needs done. That still does not mean you can rob my place when I am not home. Besides I have nothing.

I try to visit her at least once a month. I think she would like visits to be daily although she tends to forget that is not really possible when she is about three and a half hours away driving time.

Wild, wildlife

Not that wild at all actually. They were not doing much other than hanging out. This was along Highway 40 in Kananaskis Country in Alberta on September 17, 2017. I have yet to travel this section of highway and not see wildlife. They are a bit of a menace as small herds were blocking the highway at three different times during the day. It is a scenic highway and this is a route you should not travel if you are in a hurry. You might miss something.


Thursday 21 September 2017

Spotted in Airdrie

This is a real sign. I see this and I am never quite sure what to think. The whole thing seems odd.

Totally exposed!

Lone hay bale on the prairie.

Airdrie September 20, 2017

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Biker post

Sunday September 17, 2017 was a bike trip over the Highwood Pass on Highway 40 through Kananaskis Country in Alberta from Longview back to Airdrie. It might be the last trip of this kind for the season. The Highwood Pass is supposedly the highest paved road in Canada. The forecast was a high of 17C and It was definitely chillier at the summit. I had to throw another coat on and switch to my winter gloves. There were signs of a recent snowfall which makes me think the next bike should have heated handlebars and a heated seat.

Five other bikers joined me. One I had never met before. Three of them had never joined me on a ride. Everyone got along well and everyone had a good time. If fall was not rapidly approaching I would try to get a group together again. The photo is at the top of the summit and somehow in a crammed parking lot with people all around I managed to get a photo with no one in it. Vehicles were parked along both sides of the highway near the entrance to the parking lot. I am not the only one trying to cram some more activity in before the snow hits.

For anyone interested the Google Map coordinates are 50.596080, -114.985732.

Tuesday 19 September 2017

And now for something completely different

Posts worth reading

Chris and Connie do some great stuff.

A walk among the cedars

Along the Trans Canada Highway east of Revelstoke, British Columbia September 9, 2017. This is a boardwalk where you can walk through cedar trees. It was raining steadily when I was there which seems fitting. I always picture these types of trees in wet rainforest because I experienced this kind of thing as a kid. I spent part of my childhood on the British Columbia coast and I have seen bigger cedars. I also remember a lot of rain when I lived there.

Monday 18 September 2017

Abandoned Seventh Day Adventist Church

North of Minburn, Alberta on September 2, 2017. The AMA (Alberta Motorist Association) had signs all over the province pointing to places that were active and a lot that were not. The signs have not been maintained in years. A lot of them are still holding on. I believe they will never be updated. It is a matter of time and money as well as technology. GPS has largely nullified the need for these. I like running across these in rural areas. They can lead you to interesting places.

I did not find any information on this place. If I had to guess I would say that the building is a former United Church before it became a Seventh Day Adventist Church. It has the style of a number of United Churches that I have seen many times. There are not a lot of Seventh Day Adventist Churches in Alberta compared to Catholic, Lutheran, United, or Anglican Churches.

The sign saying it is a Seventh Day Adventist Church is getting badly worn.

The entrance to the sidewalk is completely blocked by trees. I had to go around the trees to see the church. 

One day someone locked the door and left it. Someone has mowed the grounds so they have been maintained. Time will likely claim it now.