Saturday 30 November 2019

State of the blog address

I kind of started this blog at the end of November and I usually do some kind of written post every year on what I consider the anniversary date.

Thank you to those that read this and thank you to those that have contributed posts. You unexpectedly helped me a few times when I ran out of ideas and post material magically appeared.

I spent more money this year than I have ever spent in my life. After the dust settled after the divorce was finalized I bought a condo, spent some money on some minimal furnishings and household goods. Later on the KIA was needing repairs so I bought a 2010 Ford Ranger as an additional vehicle. I figured it was good to have a spare vehicle in case one had problems. I had to spend a few grand on the KIA for repairs and it is my winter driver for the moment. I had a full set of new winter tires for it so it only made sense to use it for the winter. The KIA also has heated seats, the truck does not.

My living space is a two bedroom and two bathroom seven hundred seventy seven square foot apartment style condo with heated underground parking. I only use one bathroom and furnish one bedroom. I live a kind of minimalist lifestyle and could easily get by on less space. I am all for living an uncomplicated life. The really great thing is that if I want to go somewhere all I have to do is lock the door and go. 

So far I remain blissfully single and I am in no hurry to change that. It gives me the freedom to do things. Road trips remain largely unplanned and spur of the moment. Mom seems to be doing better and a little less dependent. Its a work in progress.

There are a few trips that I wanted to take that did not happen. They will get kicked over to next year. There will be a few revisits as places that I did get to experienced lousy weather that interfered with my plans. Such is the nature of road trips. I may get another motorcycle or a different motorcycle. There are lots of inexpensive used bikes out there that are tempting me.

At this point life is good. I hope it is good for all of you as well. 

City Warehouse

The former City Warehouse in Flaxton, North Dakota.  At one time it must have looked quite sharp painted white with bright red trim.

The man who lived down the street said it even had a cedar shake roof in a former life...that's now been replaced with a metal roof.

- Michael Truman

Friday 29 November 2019

Barn near Hilda

A barn with an identical lean-to on either side. 

The roof could use a little work.

- Michael Truman

Thursday 28 November 2019

Great waterfall post

I correspond with Glen and have met up a few times. Love this post.

The Survival Tree

From the plaque mounted by The Survival Tree:
Living things do their best to stay alive.  This lodgepole pine has bent with the wind, been frozen under heavy snows, and has been parched in the summer drought.  It has also endured mauling by cattle.
In 1900, it was even cut down!
But today it is still growing, it's three branches reaching upward toward light and life.

 The Survival Tree can be seen along Graburn Road in the Cypress Hills of Alberta.

- Michael Truman

Wednesday 27 November 2019

While I have been kind of slacking off with this blog

Michael Truman has been posting great photos on his.

Random photo

Bow Valley Parkway, Banff National Park.

Quick post

Lake Louise November 24, 2019. 

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Crossed that item off my list

I am not one of those bucket list types. I do not have a list. There are a few things that I would like to do and sometimes I get around to doing them. It is kind of a work in progress.

One of those things was to stay at the Chateau Lake Louise in Lake Louise, Alberta which I accomplished last weekend. The place is usually expensive however if you plan and check dates you can get a more reasonable rate. I got a room with a lake view on the sixth floor with breakfast included and very reasonable valet parking. I was kind of amused handing the key to my 2012 KIA Rondo to the valet to park it when they usually park higher class vehicles.  

I have stayed at the Jasper Park Lodge and the Banff Springs Hotel in the past that were corporate events. The Jasper Park Lodge has a wonderful setting, the hotel itself is underwhelming. The Banff Springs Hotel is one of those old grand hotels. The Chateau Lake Louise has something they do not, namely Lake Louise.

There was a time when hotels were grand. These days hotels all kind of look the same. The Chateau Lake Louise is a grand hotel from when architecture mattered and they built places that you wanted to stay in. This hotel is beautiful inside, and outside as well, and Lake Louise itself is one of those beautiful places at any time of year. The service is excellent as was the food but that is why you go to some place like this, to experience things done on another level. Everyone was unfailingly polite and eager to look after your request. Most of the staff I saw looked to be in their twenties.

I believe that there is a level of civilization in the past that is lacking today. While walking the halls and seeing some of the old photos on the walls I noticed one about the fire in 1924 that destroyed a section of the hotel. The caption read “The fire of July 3, 1924 destroyed the entire Rattenbury Wing (wooden section) of the Chalet. Only the Painter Wing, built in 1913, survived. Despite the devasting fire dinner was served to 126 guests that night with orchestra and dancing as usual”. When I was having dinner a few tables away from me I observed a guy wearing a ball cap the entire time he was in the restaurant having his meal. We have lost something.

About four inches of snow fell overnight. I was up at first light, which is not that early at this time of year, got dressed and walked up to the lake through the snow. There were no other people out yet except for one staffer who got assigned snow clearing duty and was shoveling the walkway. It was nice to experience it with no people. Sunday was back home. I got this particular want out of my system and enjoyed it. I might do it again sometime.

Monday 25 November 2019

Luzan Church

Near what was once Luzan, Alberta. All that remains is a church and a hall nearby. I kind of expected for find more.

In some parts of Alberta you can find an abundance of churches in a rural area of a number of denominations. Some are in out of the way places down skinny country roads. I wonder what made people build them in some of these places. I do not think the church has regular use. I drove by this on a Sunday and saw no signs of activity.

Sunday 24 November 2019

Bales near Leader

Bales on a warm fall day near Leader, Saskatchewan.

- Michael Truman

Saturday 23 November 2019

Zero residents

Dummer, Saskatchewan started as a town around 1912. One internet source said a post office in the area started using the name Dummer in 1909. The last residents moved out in 1993.

A few quick images. It started to snow when I was there and was only able to get a few shots.

You can street view this place on Google Maps. 

Friday 22 November 2019

Abandoned Alberta farmstead

Very rural Alberta November 17, 2019.

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Adventures in visiting mom

I left work a little early to visit mom today. Mom had a mild stroke on June 2 of this year and was released after undergoing rehab on August 8. Mom is making progress. I mentioned earlier in the week that I would visit her today. She said she would make dinner. Mom has been doing better lately and I was looking forward to this visit. I brought her a poinsettia because I am a wonderful son.

From where I live to mom's place it is about an hour of driving time. It was a nice visit. I did a few chores for mom and took out her garbage when I left. It gets damn dark early this time of year. About halfway home off in the distance I noticed a set of flashing red and blue lights off in the distance that then vanished. I was doing the speed limit, not that I do not speed, but because the deer are a menace around here and a number of people have totalled vehicles in encounters with them. 

I could see the cruiser sitting on a side road idling with its lights off. It was hard to miss. As I passed by on the highway he turned off the side road and followed behind me. I got about a mile down the highway with him behind me and was lit up by a member of Canada's finest, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I found a place to pull over, threw the car in park, hit the hazard lights and dug out my insurance, registration, and license.

I waited. And waited. And waited some more. I was not sure what was taking so long. I know getting out of the vehicle would be a major mistake. Finally the officer walked over and asked if I had anything to drink or smoke. I have never smoked and had nothing to drink tonight. I was then told I was going to be given a breathalyzer test. 

Seriously? My driving cannot be that bad.

Whenever I have been pulled over by the police for anything I am polite and do not answer any more than what is required. By being polite I have gotten off a few times with a warning when I was clearly speeding. I am reasonably well behaved behind the wheel, I have one speeding ticket on my current record from November 2017. Note to self, do not speed near Medicine Hat, Alberta. I blew and came up with a zero reading. Then he took my information back to his cruiser. I remembered that I heard rumours that random checks were being done in rural Alberta. I do not have a problem with it, I just never expected to be pulled over and tested for being impaired.

I was caught and released with the only inconvenience being to my time. About another ten miles down the road another vehicle was pulled over with a different RCMP cruiser lighting up the sky. I am home being no worse for wear. Time for a beer.

Where else can you find this kind of quality content?


A collection of colourful water pumps all in a row near Stranraer, Saskatchewan.

A fun and delightful roadside attraction.

- Michael Truman

Monday 18 November 2019

Chailey Anglican Church

There is nothing at Chailey, Alberta except for this church and a restored one room school across the road. The church is well kept. I do not think the church is used on a regular basis anymore. This is one of those beautiful little spots that I love to run across.

Sunday 17 November 2019

Barn near Battleview

A big red barn near Battleview, North Dakota . . .

. . . on a frosty morning.

- Michael Truman

Saturday 16 November 2019

Not enjoying winter

However it is inevitable so I thought I would try and find some beauty in it.

Friday 15 November 2019

Fertile Forest School 1915 - 1954

Former one room schoolhouse that became a community centre. This place looks fantastic with a bit of snow.

Thursday 14 November 2019

Private elevator

It definitely looks like an elevator.

It is about a mile north of Antler, Saskatchewan. One of those unique structures that you sometimes find on the prairie.

This is the elevator in Antler. I believe there are less than fifty people living here. The rail line is abandoned.