Saturday, June 29, 2019

Coultervale School

The original Coultervale School was built west of the Principal Meridian in 1887.  As populations grew it was necessary to build larger schools.  What you see in these photos is the two-room school built by Robert Wyatt in 1914.  It must have been quite a luxury to have "your" school faced with a brick veneer.

After serving as a school for many years it was used as a community hall.  The school became a municipal historical site in 2000.

Information courtesy of the Manitoba Historical Society, Historic Sites of Manitoba and Government of Manitoba websites.

Photographed on December 15, 2018.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Aspens and Buffalo Beans

A view of the Cypress Hills coming to life after the winter season.

The photo above reveals springtime and all its many shades of green.

The leaves on the aspens hadn't developed beyond the early transparent green phase where light easily passes through them.  

A little closer and the black and white bark on the aspens catches the eye.

Below in the valley were hundreds and hundreds of buffalo beans in full bloom.

Nice place for a picnic.

Photographed on May 26, 2019.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Gentleman to the End

A headstone at Rainy Hills Lutheran Cemetery near Iddesleigh, Alberta.

Photographed on June 26, 2017.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

An Audience at the School

McConnell School is an abandoned one-room school house not far from New Brigden, Alberta.  It sits on a hill beside a well-travelled trail deep in farming country.

When the school was in use it remained open from spring until the Christmas Concert at which time the school closed for the harshest of the winter months.  At the time, I'll bet those Christmas Concerts were the special event of the year.

The school was closed in 1941 and the kids were sent to New Brigden to further their education.  For some years it was used as a granary but has now been long abandoned.

This was the first time I had seen the school and it couldn't have happened on a more gloriously warm and bright summer day.  The weathered wood of the building along with the moss and lichen growing on the roof made the experience even more inviting.  A good day to be alive.

The cattle just across the trail added that extra touch to the down-home country feeling.  They were quite the curious audience.

The young bull (seen on the right side of the pictures) was being quite vocal...look at him with his head raised high.  He was the star among the crowd.

Historical information courtesy of William Peter Baergen's book "Pioneering with a Piece of Chalk."

Photographed on July 14, 2018.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Congregational Church and Cemetery at Gros Ventre-Tothill

Long abandoned but oh so photogenic...the prairie sky was working overtime that day.

The church was originally a log home that was moved to this location to serve the congregation.  An additional room was built onto the church, and judging from the location of the addition, it most likely served as an antechamber.

The cemetery has only two visible headstones but at least four others are known to be buried here.  A main marker was installed at the cemetery about twenty-five years ago.

I stop here several times each year for a photo or two.  If you follow this blog chances are you'll see more photos of the church and cemetery taken at different times of the year.  Located north of the Cypress Hills in Alberta.

Photographed on June 13, 2019.

Monday, June 17, 2019

River of Ice

Some shots taken in late winter of the frozen Milk River as it winds its way through Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in southern Alberta.  It's a fantastic landscape full of unusual rock formations.

The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also known as the Áísínai'pi National Historic Site of Canada.  Any time of year is a good time to visit although the petroglyphs are only accessible in the summer months.

The kissing rocks.

The Milk River is very shallow in most spots.  In the summer months it's not unheard of to walk across the river without getting your bum wet.

The photos were taken from several different vantage points inside the park and along the park's northern perimeter.

The blue hill looming on the horizon line is part of the Sweet Grass Hills across the border in Montana.

Photographed on March 3, 2017.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Loma School

I don't know how many times I passed by this little abandoned school with the thought that I must stop to take a closer look sometime.  "Sometime" came about a year or so ago on my way to Fort Benton, Montana for a few days.

It was a considerable walk from the main road through untamed prairie to the school.  By the time I returned to the car my socks were full of spear grass and I was in dire need of a beer.  Well...I had fresh socks in my suitcase but the beer had to wait until I checked into the hotel.  That said, I thought it well worth the walk in and back to see the old school up close.

The school is just a mile or two south of Loma, Montana.

Photographed on April 18, 2018.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Ranch Signs

November 24, 2017
I often come across ranch signs in all shapes and sizes on my road trips.  Here are some favourites from a few years ago.

Above is Lepley Creek Ranch along Mission Road in north-central Montana.  It's a captivating landscape with rolling hills on one side of the road and buttes rising above the prairie on the other.  The town of Cascade is not far to the south.

June 18, 2017
A windy day at Arrowhead Ranch (notice all the trees are leaning to the right).  A little south of Dunmore, Alberta along Eagle Butte Road.  I was on my way to Saint Margaret's Church and Cemetery to get some weeding done before it got too hot.

August 5, 2017
Ebon Hill Ranch is near Whitla, Alberta along Highway #3.  I was enjoying a Saturday afternoon off from work...a nice break!

September 28, 2017
East of Irvine, Alberta is the Sundance Buffalo Ranch where they have a large herd of bison.  This is where the bison I put on my plate is pasture raised.  I was lucky to catch a vapour trail too.

June 20, 2017
Bar J Ranch, a carved and painted wooden sign not far from Iddesleigh, Alberta.  Dinosaur Provincial Park is close to the northwest.

July 5, 2017
Near an acreage where I do some gardening.  I like the live horses intermingling with the elk on the steel mesh Mapstone's sign.  This is close to Medicine Hat, Alberta.

August 11, 2017
West of Fox Valley, Saskatchewan is Flat Valley Farm...not exactly a ranch but they did have a few animals...

August 11, 2017
...and here are a couple of the characters that live there.  The expression on that donkey's face! That's what I get for calling him an ass..."Same to you, buddy!"  Even with all that attitude you can't help but love donkeys.

May 28, 2017
West of Irvine, Alberta is this large timber and steel sign for Friemark Ranching.  The Cypress Hills are about a half hour to the south.

October 26, 2017
I spotted this attractive sign south of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in an even more attractive landscape.  I'd never been on this stretch of highway before and it didn't let me down visually.  Gomersall Ranch is quite a ways down that road.

July 31, 2017
A few miles south of the Great Sand Hills of Saskatchewan is this antler-adorned ranch gate within a gate beside an even taller gate.  One of the most memorable ranch signs I've seen in the recent past.  No name on this one but with a presentation like that, who needs one?

Hope you enjoyed the tour.