Thursday, 23 November 2017

Stoney Nation

This sits on top of a hill on the Stoney Reserve west of Calgary. I had to really zoom in on this. I do not know what is at the top of the hill.

November 19, 2017

Pen to paper

I admit to a bit of a pen obsession. I usually buy a small handful of pens at a time. I like inexpensive pens that write decently. Through use, and forgetting where I put various pens, I found myself in need of some more pens. On the weekend I dropped into one of the few remaining stationery stores left and bought from pens from the ever diminishing selection. I am irritated to find they no longer carry Staedler pens. The world is becoming a sadder place.

I loved these when you could buy them.

Now that I have found another favourite they will stop making it.

Bale out! Bale out! Bale out!

You were all wondering when I was going to post bales again.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Cymric, Saskatchewan November 11, 2017

On Highway 20 between Duval and Govan, Saskatchewan. There used to be a little more here. All there is now is an old general store. I did a quick stop because this is an old general store and you rarely see these anymore. I wanted to go in but the windows looked like there were garbage bags taped over them on the inside. There were lights on inside and no open/closed sign. I think there was life inside since lights were on. It was Remembrance Day so they might have been closed. It might have also not operate as a business and it might only be a residence. I know years ago it was common for people that owned and operated a general store to live in the back. 

I did not knock because I did not want to disturb anyone. I really wanted to see the inside. I may have to do a return trip.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

How hard can it be to find a grain elevator?

Tried and succeeded in finding the grain elevator at Tate, Saskatchewan on November 11, 2017. The problem was it was not at Tate. Actually there is nothing at Tate. There once was a village beside the railway tracks called Tate that existed from 1903 - 1968. Nothing exists of Tate now. I found out later there was a stone marker showing where Tate once existed. I saw a train parked near the rural crossing. From the bare research that I did there should be a grain elevator in the vicinity. 

I drove a bit south then I spotted what looked like a grain elevator in the distance. Then a bit west, then a bit south to get closer. I am guessing this was the grain elevator from Tate that is now on someone's farm. It cannot be easy just to move an elevator from one spot to another however a number of them did end up in different places. This is a Federal elevator. Federal was formed in 1929 when nine companies merged together. It definitely looks abandoned. It still looks solid and should hold up for a few more years. All of the photos I took were from the road.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Abandoned Saskatchewan

I had been wanting to visit this place ever since I stumbled across it on Google Maps. I drove a ridiculous amount on November 12, 2017 to get here. This place is north of Francis, Saskatchewan and is an abandoned Lutheran Church. There is a small cemetery in the back.

There are quite a few abandoned churches in Saskatchewan. There seems to be more Lutheran ones. I am not sure if there are more abandoned Lutheran ones as opposed to other denominations or it just seems that way. I have seen them turned into residences, storage, and a few times squatters have taken over abandoned churches. Personally I would like to see them restored or let them fade away.

There is a sign on the front saying it operated from 1926 - 1960. The entry and openings are secured by metal screens. There is little around for miles. This place looks and feels lonely out in the snow in the middle of nowhere. It is a great looking old church that I hope stands for years to come.

There is sort of a side story to this photo. I have posted this on a couple of forums. A person that I know who is a professional photographer loved it and wanted to know what I am using for a camera as well as the settings. The truth is, which I told him, I really do not know anything about that stuff. I just take the camera along to record where I have been. I suppose I should learn how to actually use it sometime.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Hills maybe. Mountain not so much.

This is south of Nokomis, Saskatchewan on November 11, 2017. This is a former one room schoolhouse that looks like it was converted into a granary. There might be a few hills but there definitely are no mountains in this part of Saskatchewan. There are no mountains in sight either.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Friday, 17 November 2017

A few minutes in . . . Candiac

Candiac, Saskatchewan on November 12, 2017. Not a ghost town. There are less than fifty people living here in a few modern homes. Candiac has some interesting old buildings that have long been abandoned. It was my first time here. I had heard about some of the old stuff here. I did a quick drive through the town just to take a look. I would love to come back here in the summer.

Former store.

Former business of some kind.

An old McCormick Deering tractor.

Beautiful church. I do not know if it is still in use.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

The wall of text post

Years and years ago I used to hang out at a place called Sunset Billiards just off downtown Calgary. Sunset Billiards was a pool hall with a few coin operated games. The hours were nine to five, nine in the morning until five in the morning. I really do not know why they ever bothered to close for four hours.

No matter what time of the day of night there was always someone playing. The odd thing is that I can only remember one person working there that ran the place and he seemed to always be there. For some reason that I never found out he let my friend and I play and charged us very little or nothing at all. Being a reasonably poor college student I spent many hours, possibly hundreds, playing there. More than a few times I spent straight eight hours playing. No matter how much I played I could never any good at snooker. The bigger tables seemed to stymie me. I played enough eight ball to get somewhat good. My problem is that I did not have any natural talent. I got to the point where I could run the table a few times but I considered that luck more than skill.

I never neglected my classes or my studies. After school obligations were met my friend and would meet up and frequently play until the doors were closed. What does one do at five in the morning when you can no longer shoot pool? We would head over to Chinatown for fried rice and Chinese beer. It was cheap and it was good. After that you had no choice except to call it a night. Or in this case a very early morning.

There were some excellent players there. There were a few sketchy types. I never saw any fights. There were some Chinese players that really got caught up in playing three ball. That was a game I never understood.

There was also a coin operated tabletop hockey game. My friend and I would monopolize this when we were not playing pool. Every time we played the hockey game it would be a best of seven series and I spent a lot of quarters on it. It got to the point where we were so evenly matched most times it came down to a game seven. One time some guy pestered me and my friend for a game. He insisted he was the tabletop hockey champion of Canada. We laughed at that one. These days there likely is a Canadian champion, every other activity seems to have a champion of something. To get him to leave us alone we each played him and both of us beat him with a shutout. 

Sunset Billiards closed some years ago absorbed by downtown sprawl and those days are well in the past. For me it was a great place to hang out and it usually did not cost me a lot of money. Other than pool tables, some games, and cues they did not have a lot invested in the place. You could get pop or chips, no alcohol. It was a plain open space and nothing fancy. There are no cheap pool halls anymore. There should be. Anti-smoking laws killed a lot of them. For the ones that do exist owners think you have to offer food and craft beer with loud music in the background and it has to be an experience. I have not played in years and have no idea if there is a decent place to play.

There are few if any places to just hang out these days without it costing you an arm and a leg. A lot of the fun has been taken out of things and I kind of feel for people in their late teens and early twenties. I really cannot see how playing video games all weekend can be all that entertaining. Fun is where you find it. I do it these days with exploring and taking photos. I would love to find an interesting place to hang out one of these days. 

Fortress of barnitude

You hardly see old stone buildings in Alberta. There are a lot more of them in Saskatchewan. I saw this barn over by Francis, Saskatchewan on November 12, 2017. The lower part is stone. I am guessing it is abandoned as it looks in rough shape. It says Ambray Farm on the front.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Catholics have Vatican City

The Lutherans have a road.

Saskatchewan November 11, 2017

Getting clipped

I am not really a fan of "World's Largest . . . " that you see in small towns. This one is unique. This is the world's largest paperclip in Kipling, Saskatchewan. I remember the story that went with it at the time. I found myself in Kipling on November 12, 2017 and saw a sign with an arrow that said "Paperclip". Since I was already there I just had to turn and drive a few blocks to see it.  

From the Town of Kipling's internet page:

"On July 12, 2005, while living in Montreal, Kyle Macdonald launched an unlikely sequence of online trades which would earn both him and Kipling places in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Starting with a single redpaper clip, the young entrepreneur began “trading up”: the paper clip for a fish-shaped pen; the pen for a unique door knob and the door knob for a camp stove.

This he swapped for a generator, which was subsequently traded for a keg party.

Ensuing trades were for a snowmobile, a snowmobiling adventure to Yahk, BC,

A cube van, a recording contract, a year’s condo rental in Phoenix, AZ, then for a day with Alice Cooper.

The entrepreneur next arranged for a double switch with Actor-Director Corbin Bernsen, an avid collector, who agreed to accept a “KISS” snow globe in exchange for a role in an upcoming Hollywood movie.

The movie role was offered online and Bert Roach, who was Kipling’s Economic Development Officer at the time, proposed to Council that an offer be made. After some negotiation, Kipling traded the house at 503 Main Street in exchange for the movie role. That final trade was made on July 12, 2006, one year to the day after Kyle Macdonald had begun his world record trade sequence with a single paper clip. The house itself is now most often referred to as “The Red Paper Clip House”.

As a part of the terms of the trade, Kipling also erected the World’s Largest Red Paper Clip, which was unveiled July 12, 2007."

Kyle donated the house to the Town of Kipling moving away in 2008. This is the house which now houses a museum and cafe.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

A little bit here, change that there . . .

I posted this yesterday. After looking at it many more times I did a little cropping and changed it to black and white. I think I like this look more.

Barn it all

My titles need work. Near Arrowwood, Alberta November 5, 2017.

Monday, 13 November 2017


Dead tired. Fit in a road trip for various reasons. Crammed too much into too little time. Entirely self-inflicted so I only have myself to blame. 

Abandoned Lutheran Church

Morse, Saskatchewan, November 12, 2017.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

A truly miscellaneous post

I take and delete a number of photos. Some are duplicates, some turn out to be lousy. Then there are the ones I hang onto. Most get organized into some kind of system. Some of those I forget why I am hanging onto them. Others I thought might make some kind of post. Of course there are always the ones when you look through your photos and you do not remember taking them or why. These ones I really do not know what to do with them if anything. So they are getting dumped in a random photo post.

I liked the stark look of this windmill. I gave up trying to do anything more with the photo.

I liked the sign. I could not get a good enough photo of the church to get more of a post.

I used to have a dog. I found the sign amusing.

A solitary photo of a truck near Trout Lake, BC on private property. I would have like to get more angles. Only so much you can do from the road.

Rural Alberta cemetery. The sign was the most picturesque part.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Lest we forget

Came across this during a road trip in Saskatchewan August 12, 2017. This is a memorial marker for two people who enlisted to fight in World War II and never made it. 

P.J. Haley, a student from Australia, and J.D. Douglas, a Canadian flying instructor, died in a training accident 12-2-1945. They were part of the British Empire Air Training Program. This is just off Highway 21 south of Unity, Saskatchewan.