Monday, 22 December 2008

a visit to a ghost town ...

We drove from Calgary to Canmore - the scenery was classic western with ranches, the foothills and the Rocky Mountains in the distance.The McDougall Memorial United Church is along this 'less travelled road'. The only member of the congregation was this groundhog who lived under the minister's house. Once in the Banff National Park, we were into valleys with rugged mountains towering around us. And then within Banff National Park, we hiked down into a small valley that had once housed the coal mining town of BankHead.
It was like taking a walk back in time. (photoshop enhanced). A window on an earlier world where a thriving town had once stood from 1904 to 1922, with a population of 1,500. It supplied anthracite coal for the CP Railroad.For a short period in the early 1900's it was a thriving town with homes, church, shops, etc. Conservationists demanded closure of the town and they moved all of the buildings. What remains is the heavy foundations used for the power house and processing of the coal. Some equipment is abandoned, some restored, like the little train and boiler that carried coal and miners. Very little grows due to the dumping of coal waste, only wild grasses
and wild rhubarb that grows 4 ft. in height. A small bird flies through the stalks.
The juxtaposition of the cement and the grasses that now line the valley make fascinating contrasts of texture.
Trees do not do well. Skeletons remain where they fell.
You lift your eyes and once again see the Rockies and enter back into today's world.

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