Saturday 31 March 2018

Jake's Butte School 1913

One of the few schools that does not have a marker, which is a bit odd as the historical society in this area was pretty thorough about tagging places with little plaques. I had driven past this at various times. I never knew what school it was until someone filled me in. There are lots of places in this area where the remains of one room schools dot the prairie. 

Last summer I stopped and looked inside. Someone lived in it at one time, there was an old couch inside. It is right beside Highway 589 east of Big Valley, Alberta.

Friday 30 March 2018

Italian Hay Bales

My wife and I were traveling by train in Italy in May 2017. I was taking some photos as we rocketed across the Italian countryside and I saw hay bales, and naturally thought of BW.

- Steve

Early morning random thought

It has been way too long since I have had a hay bale post . . .

Thursday 29 March 2018

Then there were six

The Rosevear Ferry was replaced by a bridge. Now there are only six operating ferries in Alberta.

It was featured on the Edmonton News.

Abandoned in the Tolman Badlands

Along Highway 585 (which really needs maintenance due to frost heaves) east of Trochu, Alberta March 25, 2018.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Never say die

I love how some things just keep hanging in there. This one is doing its best not to fall. Spotted south of Gadsby, Alberta March 18, 2018.

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Prairie in winter

Lots of hoar frost from Beiseker to Hanna, Alberta on March 25, 2018.

Monday 26 March 2018

Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Gorgeous spot that I stopped at on March 18, 2018. The amount of snow on the ground and overcast sky made it a bit hard to capture what a nice spot this is. It was also snowing at the time. This is on a hill overlooking Pine Lake, Alberta. Services are still held here two Sundays a month.

I tried to get creative with this. I like it, the problem is there is too much in it.

Sunday 25 March 2018

A wee bit foggy today

Near Drumheller this morning March 25, 2018.

Guest post by Michael Truman

Enjoy it while you can

Late one afternoon this past August I picked up my friend Ed and we headed for the Cypress Hills. Ed didn't get out much so this was a real treat for him. Some photos of our trip together can be seen at the end of this post.

The weather was hot and muggy and by the time we reached the western edge of the Cypress Hills the sky was threatening a storm. It didn't rain where we were but we had the pleasure of a rainbow to the east.We spent some time at Saint Margaret's Church and Cemetery and then were on our way to Elkwater via Willow Creek Road.

We stopped at Horseshoe Canyon Lookout where it was pretty hazy but the view was still spectacular. From there we drove to the townsite, picked up coffee and headed towards home. Our last stop was at the eastern end of the lake where the sunset was pretty to say the least.

Unfortunately this was the last trip we were to enjoy together. Ed's health began to deteriorate soon afterwards and he was eventually diagnosed with cancer. He passed away just five months later at the age of sixty-four. I knew him all my adult life and I will miss him.

Life is short. Enjoy it while you can.

Michael Truman

Saturday 24 March 2018

Friday 23 March 2018

Shooting Lake School 1907 - 1953

Not too far from Gadsby, Alberta (where there is not a lot going on either) on March 18, 2018. After it ceased being a school it was a community centre. Now abandoned. I would have walked in for a closer look except I do not like walking into deep piles of melting snow.

Thursday 22 March 2018

Very abandoned

January 14, 2018 Vulcan County, Alberta.

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Grand plans

As I have mentioned previously my company was bought out and we have new ownership. We are part of a little bit larger group. The owners are in their early thirties. So is some of their management. They have a couple of decent ideas and a lot more questionable ones. I am certain that I was a little smarter than the average bear in my younger years. At this stage of my life there is a lot to be said for age and experience.

The marketing person (we have one now) has announced a marketing campaign with a meeting to kick it off at the end of this month. The new advertising formally starts on April 1. Which is also on a long weekend. During Easter on a Sunday.

This might be amusing. 

Time for a link

I love reading this kind of thing and the author writes a great post.

Big Knife School March 18, 2018

Apparently Big Knife Creek was named after a duel to the death between the Cree Big Man and Knife who was a Blackfoot. I am guessing Big Knife won since the creeek is named after him. I was looking for Big Knife School.

This is a small one room school south of Gadsby, Alberta. This is what the rural gravel roads are like in this area at this time of year. I was a little apprehensive about driving on this. I drive a small front wheel drive car and I know from experience that some roads can turn to soup in these conditions. Underneath the slush and the little bit of surface mud the road was solid. The school was just off to the left, or on the north side of the road.

Hisotorical marker. The school was closed in 1943. Still on its original site. 

Tuesday 20 March 2018

I looked up and saw the light . . .

The new roof is proceeding apace. Two large openings were cut in the roof to work around the HVAC. We have no heat until they are finished. No matter, it is warm enough outside. Thankfully there is no rain or snow in the immediate forecast.

Winter art

Sunday March 18, 2018 was a day for me to get out and take a drive. I really thought the weather was going to be decent. Some snow, a touch of rain, some sun, a lot of overcast skies, a lot of slush, and some melting and freezing. On a whim I took a quick photo of this tree over by Botha, Alberta. I really like the result. 

Monday 19 March 2018

I should probably post something . . .

I have been slack here.

Then again, tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday seems like a good day for a post. Tuesday it is.

Gregg, Manitoba

Barn and grain elevator, Gregg, 2018
I've visited Gregg, Manitoba a couple of times over the years. On my first trip in May 2014, I was rushing through, photographing as many grain elevators as I could, so I didn't spend a lot of time there. Recently I revisited Gregg and had a little more time to wander and discover other sights in the area.

Kerfoot Methodist Church, 2018
The Kerfoot Methodist Church was built in 1895. When the Methodist Church of Canada and others merged to become the United Church of Canada in 1925, this became the Kerfoot United Church.

I am not sure if it is still in use, but when I visited in March 2018, the snow around it was undisturbed... on a Sunday.

There is a fairly large graveyard behind the church. I did not go in the fenced area but there is a photo of the interior on the Manitoba Historical Society page.

Gregg school, 2018
The Gregg school is the second school built in the area. This building was constructed in 1955 and closed in 1966. Students go to Carberry now. The building is on private land and I photographed it from the road.

Of course, the main attraction from my point of view is the Gregg grain elevator.

Gregg grain elevator, 2014
This elevator was closed in 2000 and is now privately owned by Mid-Man Farms, who also own the nearby Harte elevator.

Steve Boyko

Friday 16 March 2018

And now . . .

When you run out of buckets . . .

To update the prior post we now have more leaks in the roof. We graduated to big blue tarps protecting computers and files. It looks like we are undergoing renovations.

Not my usual Friday . . .

Yesterday we had a heavy snowfall warning. Last night after work  it was nice enough in Airdrie so I was dumb enough to drive to Calgary to look at a 2007 Dodge Dakota manual transmission rear-wheel drive extended cab that looked in excellent shape from the description and posted photos. I do not live far from Calgary so I thought I would take a look. Once I got there the weather quickly got worse. It was snowing hard and it was making the roads icy. I made it to see the truck and turned back right away. The interior looked great. The owner hid the fact that there was noticeable rust over the rear passenger side wheel well. Definitely not interested.

I drove under the speed limit coming back. I have seen what happens to vehicles when they lose control on ice at highway speed. I saw only one car in the ditch. The weather had threatened to hit us with 10-15cm of snow. I went to sleep with it still snowing.

I woke up to see far less snow than forecast in my area. Now it is sunny, above freezing, and melting. The roofers still have not finished replacing the tar and gravel roof where I work. With the recent snowfall and it melting we now have multiple leaks in the ceiling and we have run out of buckets to catch the drips. Personally I thought stripping off a roof and replacing it during the tail end of winter was the wrong time of year for this project. Then again I never claimed to be a roofing expert.

Thursday 15 March 2018

Return of the music post

Adventures in not buying a truck

I have been perusing the vehicle sales pages on the internet for a used truck. I have been looking for something like a Canyon, Colorado, Ranger, or a Dakota. I do not want something full size as it is usually only me in a vehicle heading out somewhere. I would like to get my hands on a four wheel drive but it is not a deal breaker. I would prefer a manual transmission. Besides, if I get a full size truck I might discover friends I never had asking me to help them move.

I have seen several that I am interested in. In the private sale ads the seller can list their phone number or can be contacted through email through the website. In the last few weeks I have sent seven email requests through ads with email only contact requested. Only one has responded. I set up a time to see the truck, when the agreed time was approaching I sent a text asking for an address and I never heard back. I sincerely thought the purpose of placing an ad was to sell your stuff.

One ad I called that had a phone number was on a Ford Ranger that was described as mint condition. I managed to see this one in person. The owner was a really nice guy in his eighties and said his daughter used it last and they no longer had any use for it. His definition of mint is vastly different from mine. It looked like the truck might have been used in a couple of high speed escapes from the police and came out on the losing end. 

So far most people out there want too damn much for their vehicle. No matter, I am patient.

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Cody Canada

Abandoned cabin

Right beside Highway 13 near Buck Lake, Alberta March 11, 2018.

Tuesday 13 March 2018

Not really into birds

This one was too good to pass up. This one did not care how close I got. I know someone who is really into birding and would have spent at least an hour taking photos of this woodpecker. I really need to buy a better camera.

Monday 12 March 2018

For Carol

Outside Calmar, Alberta March 10, 2018. Far too long without a hay bale post. It is damn hard to find a decent hay bale photo opportunity.

Sunday 11 March 2018

Holmfield, Manitoba

Harrison Milling grain elevators and mill buildings
While driving around southwestern Manitoba, photographing grain elevators, I came to the town of Holmfield to see the twinned elevators at the mill there. I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of other interesting sights in the town.

The prime attraction of the town is the Harrison Milling complex, featuring a pair of grain elevators and the mill itself. This mill is the oldest mill in Western Canada, built in 1897. The Harrison brothers were milling here until the late 1990s.

The mill is private property, still owned by the Harrison family. My photographs are from the public roads nearby.

Holmfield General Store
Holmfield also features a general store, labeled as the Pioneer Store. I believe it's a museum now, and it had a sign with a phone number to call if you wanted to visit it.

The "Holmfield Hilton" is nearby - I'm not sure if the hotel is still in operation or not, but I liked the sign.

The town is full of abandoned buildings, but it is not abandoned. There is a church that appears to still be in use, and I did see some occupied houses while I was there.

Probably not in use any more
Every prairie town seems to have a few abandoned vehicles.

It's been a while since this has hauled some grain

Even the town hardware store was still there in 2014.

Hardware and Paints
More about Holmfield

Thanks to BW for letting me write this guest post!