Friday 31 July 2020

As I close out July

I have had my best month ever in terms of page views.

Thanks to all those who dropped by to read this blog.

Have a great weekend!

Prairie scene

This weekend is a long weekend. I might take a trip.

Random Alberta barn

Spotted this last weekend in Barrhead County, Alberta.

Thursday 30 July 2020

Sanctuary, Saskatchewan elevator

There is not much in Sanctuary. I had to stop to add the elevator to the collection.

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Ghost town Saskatchewan - St. Boswells

Ghost town with zero residents and a couple of buildings. The townsite was fenced off.

The plaque on the town marker reads:

"Settlement of the St. Boswells' district began in 1908. The original townsite consisting of a post office, store, and a blacksmith shop, was first located on the northwest quarter of 16-12-7. It was named after Alex Dow's former home in Scotland. In 1918 because of the intended Canadian National Railway route it was moved to this location.

St. Boswells, a thriving village from 1919 to 1929, slowly began diminishing in size. During its best years it boasted five elevators, a curling and skating rink, lumberyard, bank, town hall, garages, hotel, blacksmith shop, livery stable, cafe, hardware, grocery and drygoods stores, laundry, pool hall and barbershop, drugstore, doctor and dentist offices, two churches and a school. The town hall and cement sidewalks are all that remain."

Supposedly the best water in the area. I did not indulge.

Two old buildings that might belong to the town.

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Bales and a Pronghorn

A couple of bales with a pronghorn near Schuler, Alberta.  If you look closely you'll see two other pronghorns resting about midway and to the extreme left in the first photo.

- Michael Truman

A really good post at Michael Truman's blog

Near Assiniboia, Saskatchewan

Prairie scene July 18, 2020.

Too warm to sleep

Our first really hot day this year. Eleven at night and could not sleep due to the heat. So I put on my helmet and gloves and took the motorcycle down the highway for a quick ride. Next time I will make sure there is gas in the tank. Ten gas stations and one was open. 

Once I got on the highway it was dark, no traffic, just my headlights slicing through the night and a crescent moon high up on my right as I headed south. Did a loop on an overpass and headed home. Nice cool night air and a fun forty minutes. 

Off to bed to attempt sleep again.

Monday 27 July 2020

Abandoned rural Alberta - Dungannon Church

July 4, 2020.

This is not too far from Westlock, Alberta. It is kind of hidden away on a side road with a lot of trees hiding the view. I was here with a friend of mine. We could not get the gate open so we climbed over it. With all of the rain we have been getting the entire area was like walking on a wet sponge. Just about everywhere in my part of Alberta on July 4 you will find the ground is soaked.

Not locked so we opened it. We left everything as we found it.

Lots of visible water damage inside. I am surprised the pews have not been removed or stolen.

I found the window appealing for some reason. Kind of a haunted house look to it.

Saturday 25 July 2020

The bike is back!

Finally got it out of the shop Wednesday morning. There is a minor fix that is outstanding so it will have a return trip. The shop detailed it for me. It has never looked so good.

I drove it this morning to visit my mother who lives about fifty miles from me. The weather here is finally decent enough to ride it. Spent most of the day with mom and we even went out for dinner. Rode in home in the evening sun. 

Pocket watch

I had some stuff stored for the last four, maybe five years, and I finally got around to getting the boxes home and going through them. There are books, discs, and some other things that I am weeding out. You find yourself wondering why you bothered to keep some things. There are a few items I rediscovered that I forgot I had.

I found my father's Waltham pocket watch. Dad died in 1997. I only have a couple of items of his so it was nice to find this. Actually I never lost it, I just forgot I had it. Many years ago he worked as a heavy duty mechanic and because of shop regulations he never wore a ring or wore a watch for many years. I remember he had more than one (I wonder what happened to the others . . . ). I was in elementary school in those years and I remember there was a bit of competition among him and the other guys in the shop regarding pocket watches, chains, and watch fobs. Everyone he worked with had one.

I have not seen anyone use a pocket watch in years. Everyone these days uses their phone and no one foresaw that you would use a phone for everything. Some items should come back into fashion.

Friday 24 July 2020

A few minutes in Neidpath, Saskatchewan

I have been to and posted Neidpath before. On my way home from Assiniboia, Saskatchewan I found myself driving by this spot. This is a ghost town. The elevators are looking worse for the wear from a few years ago. One is missing a section of roof. Hopefully they stand for a few years yet.

Thursday 23 July 2020

Another tree grows in Saskatchewan

June 20, 2020.

Maxstone, Saskatchewen

If anything else existed in Maxstone all there is now is a church and a school. I made a weekend trip with this as my target. I got there and got five photos before it started to rain. Actually it poured. I retreated into my truck and tried to get photos out an open window. The rain came in at a forty-five degree angle. After wiping water off my camera lens multiple times I finally gave up.

There is a number to contact someone for a tour of the church. If I am back in the area I will call it. The church is original inside, it did not appear locked but I could not get access. A project for another time.

Wednesday 22 July 2020

North of Russell

I was driving around western Manitoba, photographing grain elevators, and I happened to see this abandoned house north of Russell. It still looks pretty straight - hopefully it will be around for a while yet.

Steve Boyko
Traingeek Website

The Stories It Could Tell

I feel like this abandoned house has some stories it could tell.

I was going to shoot it from the highway and carry on, but something made me turn down the gravel road to investigate further. As I approached, I saw that it was a substantial house - two stories, stone, with some attempt at ornamentation - and not another wooden farm house.

As you can see, it is quite overgrown. I did not approach the house.

Steve Boyko
Traingeek Website

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Kind of a ghost town story

I was in Bateman, Saskatchewan on July 18, 2020. Bateman is listed as a ghost town and according to the internet the population was zero in 2000. I went to to see the old brick church that I have seen pictures of on the internet. Bateman has a few buildings left.

I got there and found that someone is living in the church. I parked my truck and tried to get the attention of a woman in the yard. She walked into the church and closed the door. I do not think she noticed me. I managed to get a white haired fellow to notice I was there and started talking to  him. The two of them recently moved into the church from British Columbia and were restoring it. There were about four ladders against the outside wall and some scaffolding.

I asked if I could take a photo of the church. He did not want me to. The reason is that he would rather I take a photo when the outside is restored. The trim had been painted. There was work done in the yard. He and her live in the basement and are going to turn the main floor into a gallery. He is a retired graphic artist. I do not see how a gallery in a ghost town that is not on any main or secondary highways is going to generate much revenue. There are a few idealistic types out there that like to go to rural places and set up shop. Hopefully they are wildly successful. Personally I have other retirement options in mind.

He said they fixed the heating system. Worked on the wiring. Was plastering the interior. He wanted the building repairs to look true to the original. I wished him luck and told  him I was impressed with what they were doing. It is a lot of time, effort, and expense to take on a project like this. I might try and swing back in the fall to get photos of the outside and he was fine with that. He said it should be done by then.

Ghost town Saskatchewan

What was here.

What is here now.

Monday 20 July 2020

Near Bateman, Saskatchewan July 18, 2020

For the elevator fans

Well, what is left of an elevator. This is in Main Centre, Saskatchewan which is a ghost town. The railway is long gone. There used to be an elevator. It is gone, the annex to the elevator remains. It is kind of a neat sight. I think it is being used by a farmer in the area for storage.

Abandoned church in Trossachs, Saskatchewan

Not much going on in Trossachs.

Sunday 19 July 2020

I now qualify for age discounts

I very recently got older. Actually everyday you get older. I got officially older by another year a few days ago when I hit the double nickel. Or you could say I am now fifty-five. I swear I do no look a day over fifty-four.

I celebrate this birthday like I like to celebrate all my birthdays, spending it by myself. I am not anti-social or unsocial, I just like to spend the day doing something I want to do.

I took a road trip to very rural Saskatchewan doing the usual things that provide material for this blog. Like most things in 2020 there were issues. The day before leaving I got an oil change on my truck by an oil change place on my way to work. I discovered a puddle of oil under the truck in the parking lot at my office a few hours later. A local shop that I deal with fixed their stupidity and topped up the oil. I should have gone to them in the first place but I thought they were not open because the the owner/operator had recently got out of the hospital.

The first day on my trip went well. Beautiful weather and I crossed a few places off my list. The next day it rained. Multiple times during the day it rained. I had checked the forecast several times before I took this trip, it was supposed to be warm and sunny. I got fed up and cut my trip short and drove home.

The highlight of the trip was meeting up with a friend of mine for dinner. Enough things worked out to make it worthwhile.  

July 17, 2020 south of Fiske, Saskatchewan

Bale season

Rural Saskatchewan. 

Miry Creek School 1912 - 1956

North of Cabri, Saskatchewan June 19, 2020. I turned onto a gravel road, Miry Creek Road, on a whim and found a school. The school became a granary at one time.

You can see the outline of where the door was on the front.