“Pic of the Week”, September 4, 2020: Reflections of the Alpenglow, Lake Louise

Plain of Five Glaciers Hike with Evan and Sami (110)

Sometimes you’re lucky enough to be at the right place at just the right time.
We’d been hiking in Lake Louise, doing its famous Plain of Six Glaciers hike.  The weather had been pretty nice — some threatening clouds but mostly a pleasant day.  We enjoyed a tasty dinner at the Chateau Lake Louise and as we getting ready to leave stopped for one final look at that iconic scene of Lake Louise framed by Mount Victoria and its glaciers.
We were looking west, and Mount Victoria faces east, so it was in shadow.  The clouds above the mountain were catching the pretty light of the distant sun as it hit the Pacific horizon, the so-called “Alpenglow”.
The lake was so …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Car Culture / North America

Great Cars Along the Highway: 1952 Oldsmobile Super 88

1952 Oldsmobile Super 88 (1)

One of my favorite vehicles is the Oldsmobile 88, a car which was also very popular with American consumers.  The line was introduced in 1949 and the Oldsmobile 88 was produced until 1999.  It was the top-selling line of cars for a remarkable twenty-four years.
In 1952, Oldsmobile’s most popular car was the Super 88, with 118,558 units sold. The Super 88 had been introduced the prior year as a more upscale version of the basic 88.  Super 88s were offered in five different body styles, but what made them so popular was a well-earned reputation for being a top performing car.  The Super 88 was powered by a Rocket Power V8 engine, shared with Oldsmobile’s Super 98 line. 
A beauty –the …

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“Pic of the Week”, August 7, 2020: Vermillion Lakes, Banff National Park

Banff area, summer 2014 (106) Vermillion Lakes

One of the iconic images of the Canadian Rockies is that of the Vermillion Lakes, with the distinctive mass of Mt. Rundle rising in the distance, and Sulphur Mountain to the right.
Vermillion Lakes are three interlinked lakes which lie just outside the Banff townsite.  The lakes are partially fed by warm water from the Sulphur mountain hot springs, which provides a somewhat sheltered micro-environment for animals in the cold winter months, so you’ll often spot wildlife in the area.
The lakes are popular with hikers, and canoes and kayaks can often be seen on the calm waters.  It’s a nice place to enjoy sunrise or sunset, or just to take in the lovely views.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to …

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

Great Cars Along the Highway: 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline, Calgary

1948 Chevrolet Fleetline (00)

The Chevrolet Fleetline was produced from 1941 to 1952.  It was available in both four-door and two-door “Aerosedan” models.
The Fleetline was popular and comprised over 70% of Chevrolet’s sales during its production, although there was a pause in their manufacturing during WWII years.  In 1945, production normalized. 
Fleetlines are popular and collectable and are often converted into street hot-rods, using the Chevrolet 350 small block V8.  This was a particularly nicely preserved specimen I spotted in Calgary.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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“Pic of the Week”, July 24, 2020: Lake Agnes, Banff National Park

01 Lake Agnes

One of the most popular day hikes in the Lake Louise area of Banff National Park is to visit Lake Agnes.  A 3.5 km trail through the forest on the north side of the lake gains 400 m (1300 ft) from Lake Louise’s shore to reach the hanging valley containing Lake Agnes.
Lake Agnes is beautifully framed by rugged snow and ice covered mountains.  It sits at 2135 m (7005 ft).  Lake Agnes was named after Canada’s First Lady, Agnes MacDonald, wife of Canada’s first Prime Minister.
One of the highlights of visiting Lake Agnes is to enjoy a snack or meal at its tea-house.  Established in 1905, the Lake Agnes tea-house serves a large assortment of tea but also home made …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Exploring Midland Provincial Park

05 Midland Provincial Park (41)

Midland Provincial Park is located in Alberta’s Badlands and was established in 1979 to help conserve some of Alberta’s coal mining history.  The park was once the site of the Midland Coal Mine and the land was donated to the province after the mine closed.  The park is home to one of my favorite museums, the Royal Tyrrell, and adjoins the Red Deer River. 

Today’s post focuses on exploring the Midland Coal Interpretive Trail located roughly midway between the city of Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum.  This trail has a series of educational interpretive signs providing information about coal-mining in the area and to help you understand the artifacts on the grounds, A former mining office survives.

Coal Mining office, Midland Provincial Par

Coal Mining office, Midland Provincial Par

A rich …

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

Great Cars along the Highway: 1958 Buick Special, Calgary

00 1958 Buick Special

A marquee car for Buick was its Special, considered an entry-level vehicle. This lovely 1958 model is the last year the Special was made. In the 1959 model year, the LeSabre was to replace the Special.

The chrome work on many cars from the 1950s is lovely, and this one certainly is not an exception.  Note the gas cap in the middle of the rear bumper.  The engine is a 364 cubic inch nailhead V8.  It has an automatic transmission. 

1958 Buick Special. Note the steel antennae by the wheels

1958 Buick Special. Note the steel antennae by the wheels

I was wondering what the function of these steel antennae behind the rear wheel was, and have to conclude that they were there to help with parallel parking.  If you hear metal scraping the curb, you’re too close.  A single antennae is also …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 14, 2020: St Mary’s Parish, Banff

P1000327

A special place to visit when you’re exploring Banff is this pretty mountain church.

Catholic missionaries have had a presence in the Canadian Rockies for almost 200 years, including during the founding of the Banff townsite in the late 19th century.  A log cabin church was built in Banff in 1888 and it was consecrated as  ‘Our Lady of the Assumption’, but known by the locals as St Mary’s.

The church you see today was built in 1951 by Fr. Robert McGuinness, and it replaced the original building.  Fr McGuinness had attended seminary in Europe and loved the stone churches he saw there, inspiring him to build something of this type in his beloved town, Banff.   Fr. McGuinness had been a structural …

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