“Pic of the Week”, September 27, 2019: Grand Staircase, Manitoba Legislative Building

00 Bison stairs

One of my favorite places to visit in Manitoba is the main entrance to it’s Legislative Building — home of the province’s governing body.  Within the entrance is a magnificent staircase framed by two bison — know affectionately by me as the Bison Stairs (but to most others as the Grand Staircase).  The bison is the symbol of the province of Manitoba.

The staircase is composed of Carrara marble and has three flights each with 13 steps.   The bison flanking the lower stairs are solid bronze and were cast in New York, each weighing 2 1/2 tons.  Apparently to install the bison without damaging the marble floors, the main entrance was flooded and left to freeze.  The bison were slide in on …

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“Pic of the Week”, September 6, 2019: Grenfell, Saskatchewan

04 Grenfell, Saskatchewan (1)

I spotted this interesting Tourist Information building while driving across the prairies on the TransCanada Highway.  Grenfell is a small town in Saskatchewan that cleverly made its TI look like a prairie grain elevator.  As we’ve previously pointed out, the real counterparts of this structure are disappearing prairie icons.  I enjoyed the row of smaller grain elevators behind the TI, which you can see better in the photos below.

As I’d pulled off the highway, I though I’d drive around the town to see what’s there.  Nothing much, really.  A nice historic mural on one of the buildings.  A small museum featuring pioneer artifacts (open only during summer months).  And it being the prairies, no town would be complete without a …

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“Pic of the Week”, August 2, 2019: Saskatchewan Sunset

06 Prairie sunset, Saskatchewan (12)

When I was driving across Saskatchewan last summer, I saw darkening clouds on the distant horizon which got progressively closer with each passing mile.  It was dusk, and I thought the light of the setting sun quite lovely against the storm clouds.  I stopped several times and snapped some photos along the drive.

Fortunately it stayed dry into the early night, until I’d checked into my hotel.  After that, the heavens opened for quite a downpour.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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“Pic of the Week”, July 19, 2019: Indian Trading Post, Banff

02 Indian Trading Post, Banff

One of the classic places to visit in the Banff townsite, within Banff National Park, is the Indian Trading Post.  It has been around since 1903 and was originally called the “Sign of the Goat Curio Shop”.  It’s one of those places that hasn’t changed much during the years.  

Situated on the bank of the Bow River, it is removed from the busy touristy part of Banff.  The exterior decorative items are interesting, but not as interesting as what you find when you enter the shop.

The walls of the shop are a museum of taxidermy, with a large variety of local species on display.  Initially dealing primarily in furs, the shop now sells mostly First Nations (Aboriginal) handicrafts.  These include items like …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 28, 2019: Peyto Lake, Alberta

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One of the classic symbols of the Canadian Rockies is Peyto Lake, which is situated adjacent to Icefields Parkway, the road which connects Banff and Jasper.  Peyto Lake is a popular stop with travelers who enjoy taking in this panoramic view from Bow Summit.

The lake is glacier fed, the glacial silt giving it a lovely milky turquoise-green color.  It sits at 1860 m (6100 ft) above sea level.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)

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.All Trips / Central Canada / North America / Saskatchewan

Murals of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

05 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (29)

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan and its city of Moose Jaw are hardly on most tourist maps (though I recall as a kid I thought it very cool that a city was named after an animal’s mandible).  As with many things in life, when you scratch the surface you’ll find something interesting underneath.  

So it was this past summer when I was driving between Calgary and Winnipeg.  Having passed through Moose Jaw many times through the years, without stopping for more than gas, I though I’d head into the city and look around for a few hours.  It was an enjoyable break from the day’s driving.

 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Capone’s Hideaway, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

The city has an interesting array of large outdoor murals depicting its history and development …

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.All Trips / Car Culture / North America / Saskatchewan

Great Cars Along the Highway: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

01 Moose Jaw

One of the more unusual vehicles I’ve seen in years was this Mazda SUV, spotted in the parking lot of a hotel I was staying at in Saskatchewan, while traveling between Winnipeg and Calgary this summer.

The vehicle itself is a generic SUV, but the paint job captivated me.  The vehicle belonged to an Army Medic and pays tribute to some of those in the Canadian military who have lost their lives in Afghanistan.  A rather nice touch and moving tribute to these fallen comrades, and something unusual for Canada.

I think the photographs are self-explanatory.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

 

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“Pic of the Week”, May 17, 2019: Enjoying the last Remnant of Winter

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These photos were taken almost a year ago, after  an unusually long and cold winter, with snow lasting well into May, 2018. 

I visit my elderly father, who lives in Winnipeg, as often as possible.  He is no longer able to drive but he still likes to go on road-trips.  Just a little over 2 months ago we headed north of Winnipeg to the beach community of Victoria Beach, situated on the shore of massive Lake Winnipeg, where we’d had a cabin in the 1980s and 1990s.  My dad and I both have many special memories of this community during those years.

A focal point of the community is its pier, built and maintained by the Government of Canada as a place …

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