Thursday, 14 December 2017

'tis the season

Tomorrow's post will be better, Saturday is a toss up

Thank you to to Jenn at:

She gave me the idea for tomorrow's post.

Abandoned Alberta

Spotted December 10, 2017 near Spruce View, Alberta. A lot of these are becoming popular because people are stealing the wood. Years ago if anyone had told me that wood from old home and barns would become sought after I never would have believed them.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

No barns, just bales

A little weekend introspection from a quick solo Saturday drive while out visiting my mother on December 9, 2017. 

This was taken on the land where my father grew up. I never met my grandfather, he died of cancer before I was born. My father never spoke of him in good terms. By all accounts he was not much of a human being. My grandmother lived there for many years after, a first cousin lives there now. The house on the property is not livable, my cousin lives in a mobile home on the land. On rare occasions I drive past just to see it. I have not felt any connection to the place in years.

A few miles almost due east is a cemetery. My father died in 1997 and his ashes are in British Columbia. There is a marker for him in the cemetery even though he is not there. I drove over there and spent a few minutes. Hard to imagine he has been gone twenty years.

My sister and I spent the weekend with mom for her birthday. We did some cleaning and organizing before we left. I managed to stick my sister with the dishes. It was a good visit. Mom, like any mother, can be difficult. I kid about visiting her and staying in the will simply because I have sense of humour that leans that way. There are times I do not enjoy driving over three hours to visit however life is not always about us, a lot of it is about doing the right thing and making others happy.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

You really should visit

I would like to meet this guy sometime. He has started a new site. Go now. 

It does not feel like the Christmas season until I hear this

Since it is the Christmas season

I treated the car to an oil change and new wiper blades. Since it is +12C and no snow I even rinsed the dirt off (not washed, just rinsed). With everything I have put my 2012 KIA Rondo through I feel it deserved a present.

I am buying one and only one present this year and that is for my nephew. I will fully feel in tune with my frugal Scottish heritage when I can get eventually away with not buying any presents. A person needs goals.

Random thoughts

Whenever I run across an abandoned cemetery in some lonely spot I usually think of the last three lines from a poem I encountered years ago.

The Knight's Tomb

"The knight's bones are dust
And his good sword rust;
His soul is with the saints, I trust."

- Samuel Coleridge

Coleridge (October 21, 1772 - July 25, 1834) was a poet, critic, and philosopher when someone could be that sort of person.

The poem in its entirety is:

"Where is the grave of Sir Arthur O'Kellyn?
Where may the grave of that good man be? —
By the side of a spring, on the breast of Helvellyn,
Under the twigs of a young birch tree!
The oak that in summer was sweet to hear,
And rustled its leaves in the fall of the year,
And whistled and roared in the winter alone,
Is gone,—and the birch in its stead is grown.—
The Knight's bones are dust,
And his good sword rust;—
His soul is with the saints, I trust."

There are lines from various times and places that stick with someone. Sir Arthur O'Kellyn is fictional, created for this work. I have read a few examinations and some analysis of this poem, about how it is about how people have forgotten about the king, and over time all has turned to dust. Supposedly on another level it is about how we, the living, tend to forget those over time that have joined the world of the dead. Or how life fades over time until all is dust. The last line states there is the hope that beyond this world virtue will be rewarded and one will be with the saints. I believe that someone who came out to some lonely part of the world years ago to create a life and build for the future was no less heroic than a knight. Their battles were probably harder.

My thoughts may not be what the author intended. I like to think that those who found themselves in some lonely abandoned cemetery were not forgotten, that they did their best, and that they were rewarded for that and are in a better place.

I for one welcome our new robot overlords

Sometimes when you take the road less traveled you see some really interesting sights. These were in totally different locations that I saw December 10, 2017 and they are advertising two different welding businesses.

Monday, 11 December 2017

All I want for Christmas

Is lots and lots of pageviews!

And cash.

Scandinavia Lutheran Church

Abandoned Lutheran Church west of Camrose, Alberta on December 2, 2017. It was last used in 1970. It is a little hidden as it is at the end of a dead end country road. It is boarded up and left to fade away. I managed to take a look inside. The interior has been stripped of the altar and pews. It is in decent condition and should stand for years to come.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

No bales, just a barn.

Somewhere in Camrose County, Alberta December 3, 2017. Abandoned barn on an abandoned farm.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

How to come up with blog posts

Simple. I steal ideas from other bloggers.

To be fair some of them may have borrowed a few ideas from me. 

Get pumped!

Or not. It is hard to tell these days in Alberta. Last Sunday I drove home from visiting my mother. This pumpjack like a lot of others was still. I also saw four different sites setting up for drilling rigs. I am unsure if the economy here is recovering or stagnating, some days you see lots of oilfield activity, other days not. I hope 2018 blows the lid off my province and there are nothing but good times.

Friday, 8 December 2017

It’s full of stars . . .

On the highway driving north alone on a clear dark night in the middle of nowhere feeling the need to do what we should all do when we have the chance. Pull over, get out, and take a look at the stars. 

Of course they are beautiful. 

There is no light anywhere that I can see except the light above.

There is always that tired old chestnut about feeling insignificant when staring up at the stars. I am not insignificant and neither are the people I have encountered in life. Good or bad we all made an impact on someone somewhere. 

I just appreciate this moment for what it is. 

The mother of all road trips

Driving up to visit mom this weekend. It is her birthday.

I have to cement myself as mom's favourite and make sure I am in the will

Ugly is as ugly does

This fish shaped mailbox has to win the award for ugliest mailbox I have run across.

Post cupboard is getting really bare

I am thinking this is someone's former home. This was near Brosseau, Alberta on September 2, 2017 when everything was green. Some of the people that first settled and farmed this land lived in some very small places putting the majority of their resources into their farm. 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Something a bit more uptempo

Three years ago today . . .

I had a losing encounter with a highway truck on a highway near Drayton Valley, Alberta just after freezing rain blanketed the area while I was on my way to deliver a Christmas and birthday present to my mom. The Hyundai Sante Fe I was driving decided to spin one hundred and eighty degrees and hit an oilfield truck behind me.

The moral of the story is do not spend money on presents for people. Bad things can happen.

Simply black and white

Abandoned church. Cropped a little and changed to black and white.

The anticipation exceeded the actual event

I sometimes trade some location information with people who share my interests and sometimes they will just send me a location. I was told about Solberg School, a former one room schoolhouse. I had looked it up on Google Earth and there it was plain as day on the satellite view. It was exactly where it should be.

So on December 2, 2017 I ventured out with a friend and a cousin to go look for it. We were on the right road but somehow we had driven too far north. Consulted the mapbook and my notes and turned around and backtracked south. Somehow we missed it again. 

Time to play dirty. 

Used Google Maps and GPS tracking to take us to the exact coordinates. Somehow we missed the Solberg School sign on two prior passes. The school building that clearly showed up on Google was no longer there and there was just a sign left. One more piece of history that has disappeared.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Abandoned Alberta

Abandoned farm from years past in rural Alberta on December 3, 2017.

Monday, 4 December 2017


Parish hall and church that are no longer in regular use. You rarely see a parish hall these days. This is in a very rural area south of Bruce, Alberta that I saw on December 3, 2017. Both are quite large buildings. The church is beautiful. I wish I could have seen this on a day that was not overcast as it would have made for better photos. The hall is no longer in use and I believe the church is used on an irregular basis.

A very good post on this place can be found at:

Jenn also recently posted this spot and has photos of this in the summer. Find her at:

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Could it possibly be the long awaited

Barn post? Absolutely you lucky people.

Never mind that I am reaching into the recesses of the post cupboard for material.

I really need to find something good.

Maybe tomorrow. 

A little east of Parkland, Alberta November 5, 2017.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Abandoned cabin post

Near Linden, Alberta November 26, 2017. I have photos of this one through the seasons. One of those places I revisit if I am in the area.

Friday, 1 December 2017


On the road to meet up with some people and find some stuff to post.

The inventory for posts is getting damn low.

Snow, mountains, Alberta

Near Exshaw, Alberta on November 22, 2017. Fitting scene for December 1, 2017.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Abandoned in Neelby

Neelby, Saskatchewan November 12, 2017. I have seen a fair number of grain elevators. A number of them are picturesque. These ones look sad. One of them has a definite lean. Neelby is just barely west of Kipling.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Late night barn/coop post

Spotted this on October 28, 2017 near Canoe, British Columbia. It is a barn but obviously the chickens staged a successful revolt and declared it a chicken coop.

I highly recommend this

I bumping this from yesterday because I think it deserves to be seen.

This video is well worth watching. I know a couple of the people in it and they do some some really great stuff. This is for anyone that has ever wondered what happened to a small town and gives you an idea of what southern Alberta and Saskatchewan look like.

Please watch. 


Not sure what it is. Saw this outside Cochrane, Alberta November 22, 2017.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Hillsdown Parish Anglican Church

Little country church near Pine Lake, Alberta November 26, 2017. I have posted this on a prior visit. Some places are worth seeing more than once.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Sea of yellow

Winter is already making things look drab. Time for some colour.

Field of Canola near Dogpound, Alberta July 8, 2017. There actually is a place named Dogpound in Alberta.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

A walk in the mountains

I had to burn a couple of vacation days. I am not good at taking vacations since I do a lot of stuff on weekends. Usually I create a few four day weekends and take some short trips. I had taken November 23, 2017 off and decided it was time for a short hike.

Gotto Canyon is a well known spot not far from Canmore, Alberta. I hiked in with my brother-in-law about two to three kilometres. The path goes right into the canyon and eventually opens up into a wider space. On the plus side I found out that I am in better shape that I thought. To be fair that is not saying much.

Look up.

A couple of sheets of ice.

The rock walls are a popular climbing spot. There are lots of hooks embedding in the rock. This is about as narrow as it gets.

Just beyond the last spot I found the rock stackers have struck again.