“Pic of the Week”, July 1, 2017: Ballooning over Calgary

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Stepped out of my home on my way to work early one morning and was surprised to see this hot-air balloon floating over the roof-tops.  Not a common site and as good as a jolt of caffeine in waking me up.

 

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

Classic Steel — a visit to the Rolling Sculpture Car Show, Canmore

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Happy Canada Day, eh?  Today is Canada’s 150th birthday and across the country people are celebrating in a big way.  It’s not everyday a country reaches that age and there is good reason to celebrate, because Canada is a great place to live!  There’s a “suggestion” from the Canadian government that a certain percentage of media be “Canadian Content”, so here is our piece of Canadian content for today.

I wonder if there is anything more Canadian than spending a pleasant summer day enjoying classic cars with the beautiful Alberta Rocky Mountains as a backdrop?  Probably so, but those things likely would be a lot less fun.

Summers in Canada, or for that matter any place that has cold snowy winters, are …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance! A Day at Calgary’s Ukrainian Festival

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One of the many things I enjoy about summers in Canada are the large number and variety of ethnic festivals held around the country.   Like the United States, Canada has derived much of its character from its many immigrant groups.  People are encouraged to celebrate their heritage, culture and traditions, while become part of the national melting pot.

If you’re interested in learning more about the culture of a country, visiting one of these festivals is an excellent way to take a “mini-trip” to that destination.  This year I wanted to explore somewhere I’d never been to before, so decided to stop by the Calgary Ukrainian Festival.  Over a weekend, the large Ukrainian community of the city presented a great celebration …

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“Pic of the Week”, May 27,2017: Spring in the Rocky Mountains

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I enjoyed a beautiful drive alongside and through the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and British Columbia this past week.  The landscape had greened nicely with the warming weather, but the mountains still had lots of snow on them.  I made a few stops along the way and photographed some of the beautiful scenery.

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

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Banff

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The Cave and Basin National Historic Site is a small site just outside the town of Banff, but is important to Canadians because it was a catalyst to the formation of Canada’s first national park, Banff National Park.

Historic aspects

The Cave and Basin is the lowest of nine sulphurous hot springs, arranged in three groups, on Banff’s Sulphur Mountain.  The water is heated geothermally at a depth of about 3 km (2 mi) and escapes to the surface at these sites.  The Cave and Basin is the only natural cavern in the area big enough to comfortably accommodate groups of people.

Humans have inhabited this region for at least 10,000 years, back to the retreat of the massive …

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Alberta / Car Culture / Central Canada / North America

“Pic of the Week”, March 24, 2017: Cars and Gals

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A scene that seems like it might have been snapped a half century ago — two pretty girls sitting on the hood of a classic car.  Of course, it’s not.  I think the give-away are the tattoos; I see at least three of them (plus there’s a cell phone on the ground, too).  Back in the 1950s “nice” girls just didn’t get tattooed.  That was something “trashy” people did.  My, how we’ve changed…..

Photo taken last summer in Calgary.

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Signs of Banff

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Banff is the premier resort town of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  Nestled on the leeward side of the Continental Divide, it became a popular tourist destination in the early 20th century when the Canadian Pacific Railroad first laid tracks and built tourist resorts in and around Banff.

Today’s Banff is much larger than the Banff I remember visiting as a boy a half century ago.  It still has great historic alpine charm and is in a magnificent natural setting, but during the summer the place is crowded with tourists –mostly Asian tourists  (Japanese especially) but with lots of Europeans (Germans mostly).  People who live in Alberta value and respect their visitors but tend to avoid the Banff townsite during the summer …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 25, 2017: Percheron Horses, Bar-U Ranch

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Percheron horses are an ancient breed and much of their history is unknown.  Some believe they may have been used by the Romans, others credit the breed to the Moors.  It is known that modern Percherons originated around La Perche in Normandy.

Percherons are large, strong animals that were primarily used for heavy draft work and, as such, were popular carriage and farm horses.  They were used in World War I to haul artillery.  Percherons are known for their intelligence, even temperament, ease of handling and hard-working spirit.

The horses were exported to North America in the 19th century and caught the eye of some breeders.  When I visited the Bar U Ranch in Alberta a few years back, …

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