Friday, 21 October 2011

2011 trip to Alberta & Saskatchewan

In July, we made a road trip to Alberta and Saskatchewan.
As we headed north, after a rainy night  it was misty. The Fraser and Columbia Rivers were close to flooding in some areas.
We stopped at Blue River and were amazed to see these huge grizzlies wrestling outside a Chevron gas station. We drove straight through from the coast and arrived in Edmonton at twilight.

We spent a pleasant day with Tony's cousin Donald. We visited the largest garden shop, Hole's Greenhouse', I've ever seen. It also had a restaurant, home equipment shops and specialty foods.

We visited my brother and enjoyed a Beaumont sunset.

After a few days, we continued on our way. The spring in Alberta and Saskatchewan was cool and wet, rivers and ponds were still flooded. Even fences were underwater.

Grain elevators stand like sentinels to a past life.

We arrived in Wishart at sunset.

The next morning, we visited the little town and met Ron - the butcher. His is one of the last remaining shops. Wishart is a small farming town near where my husband's grandfather homesteaded. Grain was taken out by railroad - until the rails were removed. The little town built between 1910-30 has changed little since then. 
This lonely little building once faced the tracks.

Another cousin, Gail, had an impressive collection of cookie jars ... as well as beautiful holly-hocks.

We attended the Wynyard 100 year celebration ... and they had made a quilt to honour the occasion.

This 'drop in band' plays for the joy of playing. In some cases there were three generations.
Another cousin: Brian with Doreen and his daughter Sharon. Below is Brian's son Larry
Below, front row: Mary, a brother to Brian, her daughter Rosemary
Back Row: Mary's daughter Sheryl with her husband Greg; son Ambrose and Peirette (sp?). 

It poured on their parade!
The parade was lively and colourful: marching bands, floats, old cars, cute kids and charming clowns.
 However, the rain didn't seem to bother the Clydesdales.

A newer technology for the farm.

Some equipment was bigger than the homestead houses of the past!

The original community was Polish and Ukrainian ... many dancers  have kept the art alive!

Fields of flax give the illusion of being a lake of blue.

Grain elevators are sometimes dismantled and moved, this one was too well built ... it was moved intact!
An historic Stone Church , built 1881, is near Wishart. It was an English Church in a land of Catholic Churches. The church has serious  cracks and is needing funds for restoration.
We stayed with Stella ... a lovely lady and great hostess! We also were able to get to know Lana, one of Stella's four daughters ... all as nice as their mom! Stella and her husband Tom were the first to open doors to the past for my husband's family. Sadly, Tom passed away in 2009 - he is missed by all.
This trip was a large circle with only a few days in each area. However, in the tiny town of Foam Lake ... I found a great little quilt shop!
An amazing amount of dragonflies were throughout Saskatchewan. It seems that swarms of mosquitoes had enabled the dragonflies to multiply exponentially..
Ukrainian Orthodox Churches still stand in many small towns. They need to have a few services a year to maintain their tax exemption. Many are in need of restoration, but some are still operating.
We continued on our way to Yorktown to visit Brian and Doreen. On my husband's wish list was to see the Veregin Heritage Site.

The great great house is in the center of the compound, surrounded by  old residences that are now each a specialized museum.
There is a museum museum office with historical displays. This quilt celebrates the Doukhobor faith and society.
Many of the rooms were set up to reflect life in the community.
I was fascinated with this poster. In Russia, during a time when it was illegal for certain authors to distribute their work,  they made portraits using tiny script. You need to look with a magnifying glass to see that the drawn lines are actually Russian words. They used these posters to move information around the country. Tolstoy supported the Doukhobors and their was a building devoted to him.
A reminder that household chores were different then!
My grandparents had a cream separator very similar to this.
The tourists enjoying a picnic!
Another breathtaking sunset as we headed down to Lethbridge.
We visited the town of Raymond where an aunt had been hospitalized and found a photo of her working on a quilt!

Still more elevators! They are quickly disappearing ... unused and  at risk of  decay. One had children playing, even though the sign indicated danger. The towns closely identify with them ... like a signpost on the endless prairie.
Stormy skies!
My friend Rose makes beautiful jackets of nano felting. She sells at the Christmas Circle Craft Fair in Vancouver and two others:  Calgary and Toronto.

We left Lethbridge and travelled north to Canmore. Below you see the foothills in the distance.

Johnsone Lace is always a favorite hike.

Indian Paintbrush and daisies spotted the grass around the lake.

Delicate blue drangonflies were emerging on the grass by the water.
Late shadows laced across the pathways.
The Three Sisters.
We once again visited my brother Ralph. Also visiting, my brother Wayne's wife Jennifer and their kids: Russ and Shannon.
Another few days and we headed west, through the rockies.
A snow shed creates interesting perspective.
The sand cliffs near Kamloops.
As we headed home via the Cochohalla Hwy and stopped at Merritt for dinner. The town is known for its Country Music Festival. The town had many murals on their buildings.
The low hills of the Kariboo lead to the coastal mountains and home!
All in all, a great trip to see family and enjoy the fabulous scenery ... always changing!


My Sweet Prairie said...

Oh these are beautiful! Each and every photo is so wonderful. I 'know' them all - I've been through BC, AB, SK ... and that's about it! : )


Maria del Valle said...

Dear Vivian
Every picture I've seen, every work inspires me and makes me dream, how many wonderful things! Thanks for sharing so much art!!!
HUgs and love

Maria del Valle