“Pic of the Week”, April 13, 2018: Boo the Bear, Golden B.C.

Golden B.C . Grizzly Bear Refuge (35)

I’d like you to meet Boo, a grizzly bear. Boo is well known around the Canadian Rocky Mountain region because he lives at the Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge and gets lots of visitors. His home consists of a fenced 22-acre piece of natural land (apparently the world’s largest protected grizzly bear habitat) where Boo has lived and wandered freely since 2003. Boo and his sibling were orphaned at only a few months old when their mother was killed by a poacher; sadly Boo’s sibling didn’t survive his first hibernation.

Boo has found a good home here in eastern British Columbia, near the town of Golden. He’s been known to escape during mating season (he digs out under his electrified fence), …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 6, 2018: The world’s largest TeePee, Medicine Hat

04 Lethbridge Saamis TeePee (1)

When you drive through the city of Medicine Hat in east-central Alberta, you’ll encounter an enormous steel structure on the western outskirts of the city.  This is the Saamis Teepee, the city’s most prominent landmark. At 65.5 meters high, the Saamis Teepee is the tallest teepee in the world (about as tall as a 20 story building).

Originally built for the 1988 Winter Olympics, it was erected in  McMahon Stadium in Calgary where it housed the Olympic Flame during the games.  After the Olympics, the teepee was subsequently moved to Medicine Hat and erected here in 1991 due to the generosity and ingenuity of Amerigo (RickĀ) Filanti. 

The Saamis teepee now stands on the edge of an old Blackfoot buffalo jump (place …

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.All Trips / Car Culture / North America / Pacific Northwest / Washington

Great Cars Along the Highway: Ford Sunliner, Spokane

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Came across this lovely old car parked in a shopping mall in Spokane.

It’s a Ford from the early 1950s that seems to have been reworked somewhat, especially its grill, making it a little hard to pinpoint.  I expect a 1952 or 1953 vintage, but a lovely classic  convertible.  I found it interesting that it has its old dealer plaque, Stoddard-Wendle.  Wendle is still a popular Ford dealership in the city. 

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Beautiful Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park!

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Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park lies in the Milk River valley of the province’s prairie grasslands ecosystem and has characteristic “Badlands” erosion.  It is situated in southern Alberta, just north of the Montana border.  

This place is sacred to the Blackfoot native population as the Park contains the largest concentration of petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) on the North American plains.  It is believed this site was a place where the ancestors of the Blackfoot people gathered to socialize and tell stories. 

I visited this park several years ago.  It’s in a fairly remote place, about a half day’s drive from the city of Calgary and an hour and a half from Lethbridge.  I visited on a rainy, windy June day that …

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“Pic of the Week”, March 16, 2018: Descent into Las Vegas

00 Las Vegas Descent

One of my favorite places to enjoy the views from a window seat is when flying over the beautiful desert scenery of Utah and Nevada.  Recently while on approach and descending into Las Vegas McCarran Airport, just before sunset, I enjoyed some beautiful scenes of the Mojave Desert.  Colorful shades of red, tan and brown, ending with the now filled reservoir that is Lake Mead.  And ending with views of the Las Vegas Strip as our plane was about to land.

The last few minutes of I flight I found most memorable.

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

Great Cars Along the Highway: 1959 Meteor Montcalm

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A lovely 2 door hardtop beauty that is approaching 60 years of age! The Meteor  was a Ford model that was built and sold only in Canada.  

In the mid-1950s, Ford thought that to compete with General Motors (eg. with its Buick and Oldsmobile brands), it had to develop similar unique products. The plan affected Mercury by calling for the marque’s completely new platform and body design to differentiate it from Fords, beginning with the 1957 model year.

Eventually a 1960s trade agreement brought the US and Canadian auto manufacturing industry into alignment for cross-border production and trade. These unique Canadian models were axed.

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

Diamond Head State Monument, Oahu

Waikiki and Honolulu viewed from Diamond Head

Framing the skyscrapers of Honolulu, the outline of Diamond Head is a readily identifiable landmark, recognized as a U.S. National Natural Monument in 1968.  It’s a volcanic tuft cone know to the locals as Le’ahi; the name “Diamond Head” was bestowed by 19th century British sailors who thought the calcite crystals on the adjoining beach were diamonds.  

Diamond Head State Monument encompasses over 475 acres, including the interior and outer slopes of the crater.  An average of 3,000 people visit the crater every day, making it one of the most visited sites in Hawaii.

The Hawaiian Islands were formed by volcanic eruptions and on all of the islands you’ll find cones, vents, and eruption flows within the lava rock.  These are all …

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“Pic of the Week”, March 2, 2018: School of Fish, Sparks, Nevada

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One of our stops during a recent visit to the Reno area was the Outlets at Sparks.   The store selection and shopping experience left a bit to be desired, but there were some clever pieces of public art including this one, which I really liked.  Anyone who’s ever watched a school of sardines swim know how the individual fish merge into a collective organism, and that idea was brilliantly captured in this piece.

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