Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 35: Cranbrook, BC

Location: Cranbrook, BC

During the night's sleep in Cranbrook, Kira the cat kept company with lots of purrs, nose rubs and general friendliness. I also met Jasper & Keeko, who befriended me with lots of licks.

I spent my morning/lunch, catching up on tour business stuff in the sunshine on my cousin's front deck while enjoying a great view of the Rockies:

My big adventure for the day in Cranbrook was a visit to the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel. It's the largest museum of its kind, with several vintage restored trains and more in the works!

The first stop was fittingly a 1928 Caboose #43696 still in its original condition. I had to stifle a laugh when the tour guide rocked back and forth in the caboose to try and shake it. Yup, the tour started off with a shaking caboose!

The restoration process is quite expensive and pretty intense. Several layers of paint (often quite ugly colours at that) must be removed to reveal the original mahogany wood paneling.

Trains on the tour include:

(a) Seven cars from the 1929 "Trans-Canada Limited".

(b) Three cars from the 1907 "Soo-Spokane Train Deluxe". Both the tour guide, Rebecca, & I agreed that the "Omemee" with its emerald green upholstery was our favourite car of the tour.

(c) Three General 1920s & 30s Business and Royal Cars.

What I found most interesting was where they found items. Two of the "Soo-Spokane" cars were found in Wisconsin in use as summer cottages. One armoir was found in a chicken coup in Manitoba!

Big thanks to my personal tour guide, Rebecca for the great tour!

The evening was spent with family, some of whom I hadn't seen in 20+ years!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 34: Lethbridge to Waterton Lakes to Cranbrook

Location: Cranbrook, BC
Total kms driven: 9170 kms
Total $$ spent on gas: $1198
Total Number of deer/elk seen during day: 66

Shortly after leaving Lethbridge, I spotted the Rockies and pulled off to snap this picture. Can you see 'em?

I took a quick trip to the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site. Unfortunately my National Parks discovery pass didn't grant me access, so I walked the trail at the bottom of the Jump. For nearly 5700 years the Blackfoot tribes used this spot to kill Buffalo.

You really gotta pay attention on the roads in Alberta, or you might get eaten up by a beast like this.

I knew I was getting closer to the Rockies:

Finally I made it to Waterton Lakes National Park. The deer/elk were abundant there and pretty much had the run of the place!

While driving through the downtown, I slowed to take a picture of a deer. I guess it wanted me to know what it felt like to be stared at all the time :)

I like looking for neat rocks when I'm on a beach. I came out with my best find in recent years. This heart shaped rock:

Shortly after leaving Waterton Lake National Park, I stopped at an amazing overlook of the mountains, where Sandy from Winnipeg was kind enough to take my picture:

As I made my way through the village of Twin Butte, I started to see windmills like the ones I saw near Goderich, Ontario. Except these were all in a big long row... kind of eery in the sunset:

Finally, I arrived in Cranbrook, BC, with a welcoming Moosehead Beer curtesy of my cousin Dave. My gluten intolerance stopped me from drinking the beer, but not from posing for a picture :)

Day 34: Waterton Lake National Park Pics

Location: Waterton Lake National Park

Waterton Lake National Park was amazingly beautiful and the weather was perfect. I took pictures of Knight's Lake and walked some trails at Red Rock Canyon.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 33: Ralson, AB to Lethbridge, AB

Location: Lethbridge, AB

While I was staying in Ralston, I got treated to some amazing meals curtesy of Chef Sheldon. Here's one.

Harley was diligent at clearing their front yard of dandelions. Well, okay so it was Sheldon, but still it's impressive.

The gophers popped their heads out across the street for a quick fight:

I've been noticing a lot of grain elevators and long wirey contraptions.

I made it to University of Lethbridge and from their parking lot, I could see lots of lumpy green hills, apparently called coolies.

I made it to CKXU for a couple radio shows. First up was DJ Booda's 'Droppin Science' show.

Second up was DJ Daemon's 'The Mix'.

Daemon let me crash at his place as we chatted about Computer Science stuff (he's doing his masters) and Ottawa (his hometown). I met his cat Skid who attempted to cook us up some dinner.

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