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Hell on Wheels … filmed in Alberta

13 Aug


Hell on Wheels main theme

Image result for hell on wheels poster final season

I haven’t given enough attention to this Western Series which was filmed in Alberta from November 6, 2011 to July 23, 2016 = 5 seasons. It was pretty good. 

Hell on Wheels is an American/Canadian Western television series about the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States, which broadcast in the United States and Canada on the cable channel AMC.

If you like Westerns you can still pick this up on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/ca/title/70210883

Yup, I’m shamelessly plugging Alberta too.

Goin’ to the Stampede ! Part 2 of 3

26 Jul


The Blue Canadian Rockies / Valdy

 

Early days North West Mounted Police outpost 

My roots are deep in Calgary
My Dad was born here and I was told 
that my great grandfather was a member of the 
North West Mounted Police

North-West Mounted Police of Canada, 1887 (colour litho), Remington, Frederic (1861-1909)

Jeremiah “Jerry” Potts (1840 – July 14, 1896), (also known as Ky-yo-kosi, meaning “Bear Child”),
was an American – Canadian plainsman, buffalo hunter, horse trader, interpreter, and scout of Kainai (Blood) and Scots heritage.

Potts is just one of many early Canadian Explorers and Frontiersmen.
Canadians know disgustingly little of their own History or of such people.
We don’t celebrate them. We never developed a film industry like the US
that tells of them in any way. Their exploits were easily equal,
but they are almost completely unknown. Because of this I would guess
that the average Canadian knows more about US History than Canadian History.

Don’t know who these cowboys are? but it looks like 
they got a bag of pancake mix and 4 beers for posing.

Goin’ to the Stampede ! Part 1 of 3

24 Jul


The Calgary Stampede Song / Wilf Carter 

When I’m not trying to wake people up – including myself,
I do ordinary things – like go to the Calgary Stampede. 

The Stampede is a 10 day event and Rose and I go down to the
Stampede Grounds for one day every year – usually Seniors Day (get in free!).
We take transit because driving around downtown is insane. 

Calgary – not a town anymore.

The Saddledome. Soon to be torn down and replaced 
by a new $550-million arena.
(Would we be surprised if that reaches a billion before it’s finished?)

Anyway … The Calgary Stampede: quite an event.

There’s action all over town.
Horses get ‘right of way’.

It’s crazy at the transit station.
Hope you don’t mind crowds.

The gates are in sight.

No drunks; No drugs; No guns; No smoking; No tasers; No blades; No drones;
No explosives; No baseball bats, hockey sticks, golf clubs, bows and arrows;
Etc; Etc; Etc …
Geez, you can’t do anything.

On the grounds.

Lots of people.

Free entertainment.

Places to rest.

But you can win stuff: cars, trucks, motorcycle, a house. lottery … many things. 

Things like this car. 

Have a silly pic taken.

The Return of the great Western Painter C. M. Russell.
Awesome.

Russel masterpiece. 

We always go to the Art Exhibits first.

“Go ahead … try t’ steal me.”

The Queen rode in.
But I had to loan her a quarter.

Lots of fun !

Yoho Natural Bridge

13 Sep


Long River / Gordon Lightfoot

So we’re half way through the Rockies – which we can’t see because of the smoke. – in Yoho National Park – near Kicking Horse Pass (that’s just South of Greenhorn Gulch – just kidding)- on our way to Vernon – and Rose gets a notion to make a little side trip to see the Natural Bridge

Though I had passed by it a hundred times, I’d never bothered to check it out.

The name Yoho comes from the Cree Native word for awe and wonder.


Here’s the Natural Bridge:

From this vantage point it looks like it would be pretty easy to get across there, Right?
Wrong!
It’s entirely different once you get out on the bridge.
The threat of falling in being killed here is real.
I wonder how many may have fallen in here over the years?
Not many I guess – or they wouldn’t let them do it.
That being said, I only saw one person – a young man – go across while I was here.

Two adventurers venture forth.

Ladies first …

This would be a great place to Propose wouldn’t it?

But they just took some pics.

And they never crossed that Bridge.

I venture out …

Trying to figure out my new camera …

What you can’t see from over there …

I try a short video …

I didn’t go across either. I’m ashamed to admit that I was scared.
But I didn’t feel it was worth the risk.
I saw only one person go across – a young man.
Good for him.

Why you wouldn’t want to fall in that water …

A Tale of 3 Hikers

Circa: early ’80’s

Myself, my buddy Pete, and a friend of his, go hiking into the backcountry.
Destination: Lake of the Hanging Glaciers.
We encounter a strong and rapid Glacier stream.
We have to cross.

Image from net – similar to what we experienced.

A makeshift bridge of 3 narrow logs spans the 15 feet gap.
It looks precarious.
I decide I’ll wade across – holding on to the bridge for support.
A bad idea.
A very bad idea.
The water’s only about 2 feet deep, but is so rapid and powerful
that when it hits you it rides up on you much higher.
I get about 5 feet out …
… then it hits me.
Like a ton of icebergs.
I have NEVER EVER experienced COLD like this before!!!
You can’t imagine it until you do yourself.
It hits my central nervous system.
It’s almost like instantly going into shock.
I can’t breathe …
I start to hyperventilate.
I realize that I will shortly be completely paralyzed.
But I’m still close enough – and strong enough – to Get the Hell back to the bank.
I do. I recover.
I decide to use the bridge instead.
Good idea.
I heave my pack across the stream.
Essentially I crawl across the rickety log bridge.
I takes about 5 minutes.
I make it.
BUT …
When I turn around I see Pete is in the water!!! He’s trying to wade across too!!!
Weren’t these idiots watching what I had just gone through!!??
I start yelling like hell:
“PETE STOP! STOP! GO BACK!! YOU WON’T MAKE IT!!!”
“IT’S TOO COLD!!!”
He won’t listen.
“I’m going to be OK”, he yells.
And he keeps going.
Incredibly, he actually makes it about half way across!!?
THEN … it hits him …
I see him seizing up …
He’s starting to hyperventilate …
He’s paralyzed …
He’s done.
Soon he’ll lose his grip on the bridge …
and be swept downstream.
He’s going to die …
EIther from drowning or hypothermia.
OR both.
I have to do something!!!
I look at his buddy on the other side …
It’s evident to me that he’s not going to do a thing.
I get a back a short distance …
Then I run and leap into the creek …
… and grab Pete.
I know, however that in a few short seconds I’m going
to be just like him.
“I’VE GOT YOU PETE!” I yell.
“WE’VE GOT TO GET OUTTA HERE!”
“ON THE COUNT OF THREE WE’RE GOING FOR BANK!”
“ONE .. TWO .. THREE!!!”
The bridge breaks.
(I don’t think Pete was able to let go of it.)
We’re floating down stream …
Do you believe GOD and Miracles?
I do.
Because the next thing I know we’re both at the bank!
How we got there I have no idea.
The bank is high, but there’s some willow type branches hanging over the edge.
“GRAB THESE BRANCHES.” I yell.
We do.
I grab Pete the rump.
“ONE, TWO, THREE …”
I throw him up on the bank.
(It’s amazing what you can do when death is calling)
Then I get myself up before I’m frozen.
We lay there for ten minutes.
Soaked and exhausted.
But alive.

Don’t go in that damn water.

Net Photo – Lake of the Hanging Glaciers

 

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