Thursday 31 May 2018

Majorville Medicine Wheel, Alberta

This is one of those places that I have been wanting to visit. I had no particular reason to see it other than I wanted to say I had been there. My reasons for going places are rarely complicated. There are two ways in, the easier one is off Highway 539 east of Lomond, Alberta.

Located at: 50.585171, -112.410627

After a few miles of gravel road you will see a sign.

The gravel road quickly turns into this trail after a Texas gate. You might be able to get there in a car. It is better if you have a truck or an SUV. There is about six kilometres of trail like this over rolling hills and a gradual increase in elevation to get to the site.

The first snake, a Garter Snake, that I have seen in Alberta. Something killed it.

Once you get to the spot it is fenced off with a gate and a Government of Alberta sign is at the entrance giving a little history about the place. The wheel is over four thousand years old. Apparently there are forty of them in Alberta. This one is a group six. Of the known medicine wheels only three belong to this category, the other two are in South Dakota and Wyoming.

You walk up a bit of an incline and there is the cairn or hub.

I did not expect to see a concrete marker close to the cairn.

The marker is stamped "Geodetic Survey of Canada".

Some people have left a few items at the cairn.

A "spoke" radiating out from the cairn.

You cannot really see it but there is a line of stones making an arc in the grass which circles the cairn.

The medicine wheel is on the top of the highest hill in the area. You can see for miles. Photos do not do this place justice and it is hard to capture the experience in a few pictures. The wheel is on a high point and you can see the rolling landscape of the prairie for miles in any direction. You can understand why people picked this spot to build something.

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Amethyst School

In the pioneer days it was government policy in Alberta to have a school within walking distance of every child. There are school markers all over Alberta marking where one room schools once stood. Not all of them are marked and some of them are weirdly remote. I have photos of over one hundred eighty markers just to keep track of the ones I have run across. This one is unique for a couple of reasons. It is oddly remote and the school only lasted for one year. I was surprised someone put up a marker in this out of the way place.

The only information I could find on it is that it opened on February 24, 1917 and the first and only teacher was a Miss Thursfield, later Mrs. Frank Hill.

The latitude/longitude, if my notes are correct, should be: 50.533416, -112.409887

There is no road here, just a trail you can drive on. The nearest town via a straight line was over fifteen miles away back in 1917.

The sign was spotted off in the distance.

There are no ranches or farms here nor any remains of any farming operations. So a bit of a mystery as to where the children came from to attend the school.

I found a piece of brick by the sign. People went to the trouble and expense of hauling the material out here over one hundred years ago and building a school that had some brickwork, which had to cost a bit of money, that was only used as a school for a year. I would love to know what happened to it. There are literally no people around this spot for miles.

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Mission Road Travelogue

Last fall I went to Montana to celebrate American Thanksgiving and ended up spending the better part of a week just enjoying good food, staying in historic hotels and drinking craft beer.  A nice little holiday after a busy gardening season. The following photos are from a short side trip along Mission Road just north of Cascade.

Fishback Butte.

Bales and Square Butte.  There are eleven buttes in Montana with the same name. The elevation of his one is over 4,700 feet.

Look at that sky!

Of course there is an old mission along Mission Road.

Saint Peter's Catholic Church with Telegraph Mountain in the distance.

The log church of Saint Peter's was built in 1878.

The remains of the stone mission.

The stone mission was built in 1887 and burned down in 1918.

The view from Saint Peter's Cemetery looking southeast towards the church.

The view from the cemetery looking to the northwest.

Ghost cloud!

One last look at the church.

The road west of the mission.

A closer look at Square Butte and the bale stacks.

- Michael Truman

Monday 28 May 2018

Moraine Lake May 27, 2018

Since I mentioned Morraine Lake in the previous post . . .

Bits and pieces

I am a bit stiff today. I ended up walking about five miles on Saturday hanging out with a friend visiting a few places that are new to me. Then on Sunday I rode my motorcycle from Airdrie to Lake Louise, more specifically Morraine Lake, which is at least a 400km round trip. If you are going to ride a motorcycle on a weekend you might as well pick a good destination. The aches and pains are a reminder that I am getting older. They are also a reminder that I got out and did something with my weekend.

There is a simple reason why people want to win the lottery and that reason is bills. Some days it feels like it gets to be a bit much with all the expenses one has to face. I have money to pay my bills but I would like not having to think about them. Some days I am sure it costs me money just to wake up in the morning.

I recently discovered that I have to check the blog for comments. I was wondering why I was not getting email alerts that people were leaving a comment. I thought maybe no one was commenting, which does happen. It turns out people were commenting, Blogger just decided to no longer inform me. Google changed some stuff with Blogger which I find annoying. When I have time I will try to figure it out.

Busy lately. I had to do some course work for my job. We also have less staff these days and the same amount of work, which means I have had to take on more. Personally I prefer to do as little as possible at my job. Unfortunately many times I find myself doing actual work.

Divorce proceedings. Lots of time where nothing happens and I feed my lawyer money ahead of time so I have funds to cover when something actually does happen. I have a trial date for November 5th of this year so it should be resolved before the year is out. I have some conflicting thoughts about the whole thing. I have not been in contact with her since she had me served in March 2014 nor do I have any desire to contact her. I do want this resolved however I never thought I would be one of those guys who ended up being divorced. Over twenty years that ultimately came to naught. There might be a Country song somewhere in this that someone else has already written. As an aside, when you go through certain experiences you understand some of the songs on a different level than when you first heard them.

As for Country music very few people that I associate with listen to it. It makes it a little difficult to find some new stuff if no one I know listens to it. The radio is no help, they do not take a chance on anything interesting. There is a lot of great stuff that I have recently discovered by chance. I have downloaded stuff by Stonely LaRue, Cody Canada, Wade Bowen, Uncle Lucius, Jamey Johnson, and Cody Jinks. I am trying to get my hands on some Whiskey Myers. The Canadian version of Itunes does not list the album I want. I might have to get it by other means.

Enough of this. It is a hot day and there is beer in my immediate future.

Long-eared Owl, outside Lomond, Alberta May 26, 2018

I was with a friend that spotted this. Apparently you do not see these owls that often. They are not rare, they are just secretive in their habits. This one was hanging out in a ditch.

Once we approached it with cameras it flew a short distance and stopped in the same ditch.

The new camera allowed me to zoom in and get a few good photos.

Sunday 27 May 2018

Sunday morning barn

Out and about in Vulcan County, Alberta May 26, 2018.

Friday 25 May 2018

You lucky readers of this blog

I give you the return of the hay bale post!

It has taken ages to find suitable bales to post. I do prefer the round ones though.

Thursday 24 May 2018

Alternating colour and black and white

Spotted this on May 20, 2018. I thought it might be an old one room schoolhouse. There is nothing nearby. The nearest town is Lomond, Alberta.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Crowfoot Ferry May 20, 2018

The Crowfoot Ferry opened for the season on May 11, 2018. The opening was a little later than usual due to high water levels and they needed to get their hands on a D8 to get the ferry in the water. This is what the ferry operator told me.

The location is here if anyone wants to look it up: 50.798667, -112.646833

Twenty-six kilometres of gravel road. Personally I think a rural ferry should be a little out of the way and there should be some gravel road involved. Approaching from the other direction it is only five kilometres of gravel road. One of my favourite diversions on a late spring day.

Typical southern Alberta landscape. The ferry is practically on the horizon.

Not a busy ferry. The water is brown from the run off.