“Pic of the Week”, February 19, 2021: Education is the new Buffalo, Calgary

00 Downtown Calgary Library (29)

I was intrigued by this work of art, created by Lionel Peyachew, which is prominently displayed in Calgary’s new Central Library.
Historically the key to survival on the prairies was a successful buffalo hunt.  Today the key to success is a good education.  Peyachew has used welded steel letters and numbers to construct a an icon that combines past and present tools for survival. 
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 
 

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

Great Cars along the Highway: 1935 Ford Pickup

191-Show and Shine Car Show (215)

Came across this lovely souped-up Ford Pickup in Calgary — and in one of my favorite colors.
Hard to believe it’s almost 85 years old.  Powered by a 302cc V8, it was popular when it was made and still a very desirable collectible.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 

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“Pic of the Week”, January 8, 2021. A January Drive down the Cowboy Trail

05 Cowboy Trail in January (10)

One of the most underrated scenic drives in Canada is Alberta’s Cowboy Trail, highway 22X.  The 100-or-so mile stretch from the Crowsnest Pass to Longview contains nothing but an expanse of prairie rolling over the foothills and abutting the lovely Rocky Mountains.  It’s especially scenic in late spring/early summer, when the prairie grass is lush and green and there’s still some snow on the mountain peaks, but winter has its own charm.

These photos were a few years ago, a winter which had been pretty mild up to that point, with little snow on the ground.  The winter daylight so far north is soft, especially in the afternoon.  Lots of cattle grazing, a few ranches here and there, including the …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Tractor Pull in Markerville, Alberta

13 Markerville Tractor Pull (7)

One of my stops when visiting rural Alberta was the village of Markerville, a farming community built by Icelandic immigrants northwest of Calgary.  Markerville has a popular ice cream shop, which was the main reason I visited.  While I was enjoying my scoop of chocolate ice cream, I heard an announcer’s voice echoing in the distance.  I couldn’t understand what was being said, but had to find out what was going on.
I walked over the pedestrian bridge across the Red Deer River and was surprised to find a colorful collection of tractors in the town’s baseball field, with a scattering of antique cars and other farm equipment.

A gathering of old tractors, Markerville

A gathering of old tractors, Markerville


I’d come across a “tractor pull” that was part of weekly series of events …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 25, 2020: Some Scenes from Central Alberta

00 Rural Alberta

The terrain of Alberta is mostly that of the great Canadian prairies.  It’s where farms on gently rolling hills yield vast crops of canola, wheat and beef.  It’s where lots of oil is pumped from the ground — part of the rich dinosaur heritage of the region.
This past summer I spent several days driving around the central part of the province, between the major cities of Calgary and Edmonton, exploring small towns and destinations I’d not yet seen.  Here’s a sampler of what that’s like:
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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Calgary’s New Central Library

00 Downtown Calgary Library

Calgary’s new Central Library is located on the eastern edge of downtown.  It opened about two years ago on Nov 1, 2018, replacing the existing library branch in Downtown Calgary.  As you can see, the exterior of the building uses textured and clear glass panes in an effective manner.
The building is considered a new landmark in the city and has been a popular destination, with visitation so far at about 2,000,000 people per year.
The city had begun planning for a new library in 2004 and contracted with architectural firms Snøhetta (an international/Norwegian firm) and Dialog (a Canadian firm).  Their design features an oval shape with a large central skylight  and a spacious central four-story atrium.

Central Atrium, Downtown Calgary Library

Central Atrium, Downtown Calgary Library

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Markerville Lutheran Church, Alberta

01 Markerville Lutheran Church

It’s not easy to find the small Alberta town of Markerville on a map, but you’d be charmed by it as I was when I visited.  The most memorable building in Markerville is this simple but pleasing church.
Markerville was established by Icelandic immigrants who arrived in Alberta via the United States in the late 19th century, and grew to a thriving (if small) community.  After hiring a full-time minister in 1905, the residents decided they needed a church.  Local farmers brought their tools and began the work of building their house of worship in 1906.  Most Icelandic people at the time were Lutheran, so it makes sense they would build a Lutheran church. 
The foundation was made of sandstone quarried in …

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“Pic of the Week”, October 9, 2020: Bow Falls, Banff

00 Bow Falls

Bow Falls is a wide but relatively short waterfall (<9 meters) which, because of it’s location, is often visited.  When the Bow River is filled with spring thaw it really roars, but in the drier summer months its flow is significantly reduced and the falls are less impressive.
Bow Falls is located less than a kilometer south of the Banff townsite, near the Banff Springs Hotel.  You can access the falls from a parking lot immediately downriver from them or from Banff by following a trail adjoining the Bow River (there are trails on either side, but the best views are from the west side).  If you continue further downriver, past Bow Falls, you’ll quickly hit the junction of the Spray River …

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