.All Trips / Alberta / Car Culture / Central Canada / North America

“Pic of the Week”, April 21, 2023: Vintage Fire Trucks, Alberta

00 Fire Trucks, Bomber Command Museum

The Bomber Command Museum of Canada, housed in the small Alberta town of Nanton, includes in its varied collection two old fire trucks.  Both of these served on air force bases in Alberta in WW II, intended to protect the bases in case of emergencies.  Both are in excellent condition.
The larger is a 1942 Ford and the smaller is a 1943 Ford.  Rather lovely, aren’t they?
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos)

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“Pic of the Week”, March 24, 2023: Whiteshell River, Manitoba

06 Whiteshell River and Lone Island Lake (2)

Located in eastern Manitoba, in Whiteshell Provincial Park, this river was a special place to me as a boy and teenager.  It was here that our father often took us fishing in the late spring and early summer, especially to Lone Island Lake.  When I recently revisited the Whiteshell River, I’d forgotten how pretty the place is.
The river connects a series of lakes which become difficult to navigate in the late summer because wild rice grows in abundance.  It’s been decades since I saw natives harvest the rice, bending the stems over their canoes and then using a club to knock the rice grains loose onto a tarp.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos)

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

The Mormon Temple, Cardston, Alberta

00 Cardston Mormon Temple

Besides being home to a world-class carriage museum, the small Alberta town of Cardston also has an impressive Mormon temple—the first built in Canada, as well as the first built outside the USA.  Mormon settlers came to the region in late 19th century and settled here, some 15 miles north of the USA-Canada Border.
The temple site was dedicated on 27 July 1913 by Joseph F. Smith, with groundbreaking later that year.  Construction was delayed because of World War I and the building was not completed until 1923, when the temple was dedicated.   Cardston’s is just one of eight Mormon temples that do not have an angel Moroni statue.
The temple sits atop a small hill — the high …

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.All Trips / Central Canada / North America / Saskatchewan

“Pic of the Week”, February 24, 2023: Regina Lace, Saskatchewan

01 Regina Lace

An interesting piece of art is Stephan Braithwaite and Douglas Bamford’s Regina Lace.  It was completed in 2009 as part of a public artwork project and is a two-part sculpture celebrating the immigrant history of Regina.
1) On the east side are nine bronze figures cast from residents of Regina, representing a variety of backgrounds symbolizing the mixed cultural diversity of the city.  Part of this is show in the photo above, with more detail views attached.

(West portion of Regina Lace)

2) The west facing portion is a monolith that appears to be a massive pamphlet filled with stories.  The piece is actually steel plating, a lace pattern worked into its borders.  Sitting at its base is a young African immigrant.
I thought it …

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Hiking to Lake Annette, Banff National Park

00 Annette Lake, Banff NP

Banff National Park, on a usual summer day, has many areas that are quite busy — even crowded.  I’m thinking particularly of Lake Louise and the Banff townsite, places I avoid until the off season.  But there are lots of places in Banff National Park where you can go to enjoy spectacular mountain scenery, have a nice hike and nature experience, and see almost no people.

The Lake Annette trek is one of these spots.  My oldest nephew and I did this hike a few years back and I don’t think we encountered more than 10 people in a half days’ worth of hiking. 

(Paradise Creek and Paradise Valley)

The hike starts at the Paradise Creek parking lot, not far from Lake Louise.  …

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The Iceman and the Biscuit, Cardston, Alberta

00 Remington Carriage Museum, Cardston

Sitting on the grounds of the Reynold’s Carriage Museum in Cardston, Alberta is a statue of jockey and his mount, seeming to move at top speed while standing still.
The statue captures a moment in time when local boy turned legendary jockey, George Woolf, rode Seabiscuit to one of the greatest victories in horse racing history.  On November 1, 1938, in what was dubbed the “Race of the Century”, Seabiscuit was pitted against Triple Crown winner War Admiral.  During the race Seabiscuit broke War Admiral and as he surged to victory, Wolff turned to War Admiral’s jockey (Charley Kurtsinger) and said, “So Long Charley”.  It’s one of those phrases that has become part of our everyday vernacular.
Another great moment …

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.All Trips / Central Canada / Manitoba / North America

Gimli’s Seawall Murals, Lake Winnipeg

01 Gimli Seawall Murals

It had been at least 35 years since I visited Gimli.  The town had grown quite a bit and its reputation as an ethnic travel destination is now firmly established — a bit of Iceland in central Canada.
Gimli has an active summer-time harbor, used by local sailing and boating enthusiasts and commercial fisherman (who harvest Lake Winnipeg’s bountiful walleye, goldeye and whitefish, among other species).  To protect the harbor from strong winds and tall waves, a six foot high concrete sea wall was constructed that extends almost 1000 feet from shore.
The seawall was an ugly grey slab so in 1977 the Gimli Art Club decided to transform it.  Local artists donated thousands of hours to create scenes about the life and …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

A Visit to the Remington Carriage Museum, Cardston

00 Remington Carriage Museum, Cardston (114)

Every now and then a trip takes you to fascinating destinations in the least expected places.  Most people visit Cardston because of its close proximity to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Waterton Lakes National Park (Alberta) and Glacier National Park (Montana).  Little did I expect to find a world-class museum in this town of less than 4,000 residents.
The Museum tells the story of horse-drawn wagons in North America and is the largest museum of its kind in the world.   Most of the collection deals with wagons and carriages from the 19th and early 20th century, when horses provided the main means of transportation.  You’ll be impressed by the depth of the collection, with more than …

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