Archive for the Driving Category

Calgary

Posted in Alberta, Calgary, Driving, Travel, Weather with tags , , , , on December 23, 2016 by Amanda

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So, once again this is a rather delayed post.  There isn’t actually a lot to say but I thought I needed to write it before my next trip (home for Christmas).  Three weekends ago, I drove to Calgary to visit my sister who was doing training there. It was a lot of driving for a weekend (I did take Friday afternoon off work) but she was relatively close.

We ate at vegetarian Indian buffet which cost only $12; I so wish that there was a place like that here!  I also had a Harvey’s veggie burger which we could also really use here.  I saw Santa driving through a Tim Horton’s drive-thru in a rusted “Tickle Tunkle” car.  It was snowing a bit on the Sunday morning and the visibility wasn’t the greatest.  However, I didn’t find the roads too bad but I saw like ten vehicles off the road.  I can’t imagine how many would have been off the road if the roads really were bad!

Southwestern Saskatchewan Ghost Towns etc.: Day 3

Posted in Abandoned buildings, Blumenhof, Chortitz, Driving, Ghost towns, Goodwin House, Hallonquist, Neidpath, Sanctuary, Saskatchewan, Schoenfeld, Simmie, Swift Current, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2015 by Amanda

I got going this morning (Monday) even earlier (like 6:30 am!) but this day ended up being a bit shorter than the other two.

My stop of the day was a town called Simmie.  This was another place that still had a fair number of inhabitants but still had an abandoned feel to it.  It clearly had once been quite a bit larger; a sign indicated that it once even had a library!  Along with a number of abandoned businesses, it also had an abandoned fire hall.

Old sign at the entrance to Simmie

Old sign at the entrance to Simmie

After leaving Simmie, I came across an abandoned school. It was interesting because it looked like a huge building from afar but when I actually arrived there, it was clearly just an average schoolhouse.

My next stop was Blumenhof.  It was another not quite abandoned town with a number of abandoned buildings.  Interestingly, it had a section of wooden sidewalk.

 

Wooden sidewalk

Wooden sidewalk

Schoenfeld appeared to be still fairly well inhabited though it clearly was a fair bit larger.  It was quite interesting to see a street sign with no street in sight!  Another interesting thing in this town was a sign outside of it former school that listed all the teachers that had taught there; it was clear that it was not a place people wanted to stay working for long!

Sign listing all the teachers

Sign listing all the teachers

I then drove to Chortitz.  It had some abandoned buildings but I suspect that it was never a terribly large community.

I then spent some time driving with a enormous wind farm in view.

Hallonquist was pretty much abandoned though it looked like its community hall is used at least occasionally.  It didn’t have that many buildings left but I really enjoyed seeing a house that has mostly collapsed; there was also a lot of twisted metal around it.

The mostly collapsed house

The mostly collapsed house

Neidpath was in a super scenic location and was abandoned with the exception of one house.  It was clearly quite a large town at once point.  It had two abandoned grain elevators and a number of abandoned buildings.  It also felt very spread out.  I found one foundation and I suspect that there once were many more buildings.

Neidpath from afar

Neidpath from afar

I briefly stopped at Goodwin House which is located along the South Saskatchewan River.  I had driven past it on my way down on Saturday and it looked interesting.  It was very different than most buildings as it was constructed of stone.

Goodwin House

Goodwin House

After lunch in Swift Current, I only stopped at one town (which wasn’t far off the as I was feeling pretty tired.  This town was called Sanctuary.  It was yet another town that was surrounded by a farm but roads made it easy to get a good look.  There were only a few buildings left.

Southwestern Saskatchewan Ghost Towns etc.: Day 1

Posted in Abandoned buildings, Driving, Forgan, Ghost towns, Glamis, Hughton, Lacadena, Leinan, Plato, Roseray, Saskatchewan, Shaunavon, Sidewalks, Success, Travel, Tyner, Verlo, Wartime, White Bear with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2015 by Amanda

This weekend I drove around a fair bit of southwestern Saskatchewan looking for ghost towns, abandoned buildings, and anything else interesting. I drove a lot over three days. I saw a lot of abandoned farms and such that I didn’t stop for as I knew I’d never get very far if I stopped at every single one. Plus, a lot of them look quite alike. It was an interesting way to spend a weekend. I think I’ve seen enough of Saskatchewan now to say that I really can’t see where the whole stereotype about it being flat comes from. Anyway, this post will just deal with the first day of my trip (Saturday).

My first stop of the day was a place called Glamis. It was abandoned and there wasn’t too much left. Between the sidewalks and a sign dedicated to the settlers, it was clear that this was once a decent-size town. By the way, I saw a lot of sidewalks this day. I think a lot of the places I visited had once been decent-sized and perhaps, abandoned a bit later than many of previous towns I’ve visited.

Glamis

Glamis

I then went to Forgan. Despite having a couple inhabited houses, this places definitely had an eerie feel. It had some abandoned buildings but clearly had been considerably larger at one time. It also had sidewalks and streetlights.

Forgan

Forgan

Next was Hughton. It was kind of similar to Forgan but had a more welcoming feel though it didn’t have streetlights.

I then headed to a town called Wartime. I certainly don’t think this is the best name for a town but it still has a number of people though it also has some abandoned buildings.

I then drove on to Plato. I was definitely my favourite town of the day but I really didn’t know what to make of the place! It seemed very abandoned-looking overall but had two decent-looking inhabited houses, lots of fairly new farm machinery laying around, and what could certainly be the smallest standalone post office in Canada (it is in what looks like a small shed). Anyway, it was definitely an interesting place to explore for a bit.

Canada's smallest post office?

Canada’s smallest post office?

Next I went to Tyner. It also must have been a good size at one time. It had a playground. It also had sidewalks galore some of which were in great condition, others not so much.

I also enjoyed the town of Lacadena. There was an interesting, large two story house just outside of the town that looked to have been abandoned not all that long ago. There was a strange sound outside of that place and it had a bit of an eerie feel to it. It still has an R.M. office and a couple inhabited houses. The former school (which must have had several classrooms) but still be used as a community centre. There were, of course, also a number of abandoned buildings and sidewalks. I think this town may have once been even larger than the others. I know I could easily do some research but I tend to find speculation much more fun for some reason!

Spooky house just outside Lacadena

Spooky house just outside Lacadena

I then headed to White Bear. This town has a statue of a white bear, of course! It really isn’t close to be abandoned but does have some abandoned statues. Interestingly, it has also has a school (that is fairly large) that is no longer in use and which is clearly abandoned. It was used until 1974; Lacadena’s was in use until 1972. These towns aren’t far apart. There must really have been a population decrease around that time!

White Bear

White Bear

The stopped briefly to look at the view from just outside Saskatchewan Crossing Provincial Park which is along the South Saskatchewan River. I stopped at the first parking lot I saw and I was definitely the only one with a small vehicle. I realized later that there was a nicer parking lot on the other side of the river. This parking lot wasn’t bad though and the view was nice and it had a washroom so I’m glad I stopped.

When my GPS told me I had arrived at Leinan, it seemed that nothing was there. However, a little down the road I found it! There wasn’t much though: a schoolhouse and a couple buildings on what is now a farm.

Soon after, I found myself on a road that had a sign that said “Not a through road.” I consulted my road atlas it looked like it went on for a while. It ended up going the whole 20 kilometres I needed to read the next road. There were also some signs later on that said “Seasonal Road” and yet, it was in better condition than many roads without warning signs and there were farms located on this road with seemingly no other access. Anyway, it was rather puzzling.

I then went to Success as I really couldn’t resist visiting a town with that name! It had a few abandoned buildings but largely looks to still be successful!

Next was Roseray. There isn’t much left of this town and I suspect it probably never was all that large. It’s community hall looks like it may still be in use and there were a few abandoned buildings but as there was a “No Trespassing” sign I didn’t explore.

I almost didn’t stop at Hazlet as it was undoubtedly quite inhabited but I’m glad I did! It was an interesting town. There library which, of course, wasn’t open was still interesting. They had a nice sign about its history out front. At first, I thought it shared its space with a church which would have been strange (though I did grow up sometimes going to a library branch in the basement of a church) but on closer inspection I discovered that the church had given the space to the library.

Sign detailing the history of the Hazlet library.

Sign detailing the history of the Hazlet library.

Verlo has nothing more than a sign and a plaque left. Strangely, there was a “historical site” sign leading there. I have found that signs like this and especially, “point of interest,” signs, in Saskatchewan tend to lead to the least interesting things.

I also found my first of three “bridges to nowhere.”

A bridge to nowhere

A bridge to nowhere

I then checked in to my motel in Shaunavon and walked around the town a bit.

A slightly belated post

Posted in Driving, Home, New York, Niagara Falls, Ontario, thorold, Travel, Wedding with tags , , , , , , , on July 24, 2015 by Amanda

I really intended to write this post two or three days ago. Somehow, it just didn’t end up happening.

Late last Thursday (July 16) evening, I left for the airport for my stupidly timed flight the next morning (12:35 am scheduled departure time). I was a bit tired when I left my place but something happened on the drive there that completely woke me up. Suddenly, something brown (which I’m sure must have been a deer given its size) ran in front of me. It was so quick and couldn’t have been more than a car length in front of me; I didn’t really recognize what happened until it was over. I was going about 120 so I think hitting the deer would not have been good at all. Anyway, I did end up making it to the airport okay.

The main purpose of my visit was my sister’s wedding but I did also arrive on the day of my mom’s birthday (the 17th) which was the day before the wedding. I still really don’t see the point of weddings but it wasn’t really that bad. The weather ended up being very nice which was good as it was outside.

I didn’t leave until Tuesday. I, therefore, had time to shop a bit. I also finally got around to walking over the Rainbow Bridge to Niagara Falls, NY with my mom. I’d planned to do this on my last couple of visits but it didn’t end up happening. It turned out it be a super easy way to cross the border; there was absolutely no line and few questions. I guess they figured we couldn’t possibly be taking much stuff with us and we just had small purses! We spent a few hours walking around over there near the falls. It was really nice and I really wondered why I’d never done this before.IMG_1512

On Tuesday, I ended up at the airport quite early. With the HOV lanes added and made stricter (3 versus 2 people minimum) for the Pan Am Games, we made to the airport in record time. It really is too bad this is temporary!

Ottawa (and the challenge of getting there!)

Posted in Airport, Driving, Flying, Ottawa, Travel with tags , , , , on June 7, 2015 by Amanda

IMG_1172I was in Ottawa for a few days last week at a conference.  I actually don’t have a whole lot to write about my time in Ottawa; it was a typical conference and the weather was quite nice.  I do think that my experience in getting there (detailed below) did make me a bit more tired and less interested in exploring than I’d typically be.

Unfortunately, I have a lot more to write about getting to the airport on Tuesday than I would have thought possible.  I did end up there in the end which I guess is what is really important.  I left my apartment, put my bags in the back of my car, and got in.  Almost as soon as I began driving, I knew something was wrong.  The car felt very shaky.  I pulled over not far at all from my place and discovered a very flat tire on the front of the passenger side; I’m sure if it was any other tire, I’d have noticed before I even got into my car.  By the time the tow truck arrived, it was already looking iffy about making it to the airport in time.  When I found out that that tire was ruined, I called WestJet.  I actually end up not being a big deal to be moved to a flight to Calgary leaving three hours than my original flight to Toronto.  It did mean getting in rather late though.  Anyway, I found out at the dealership that there was no replacement tire available in town.  They ended up putting one of my winter tires on my car temporarily and I was able to get the airport in plenty of time for my rearranged flight.

The way back from Ottawa Friday evening went well but it was also a bit weird.  When I went through security, I was told that my flight was delayed.  However, when I looked at the monitor it showed as being on time.  Strangely, half of the flights actually were delayed.  We actually boarded early.  In Calgary we started boarding on time but as it was a rather empty flight, we left early and arrived in Saskatoon about 20 minutes ahead of schedule which was much appreciated that late at night.  Not far out of Saskatoon, there was an accident and all I could see for quite a while was police lights.  Both lanes were blocked and for a moment I feared there’d be some long detour but a police officer was directly traffic around the side that ended up being fine.

I’ve been super lazy this weekend, even by my standards!  I think I’m still a bit exhausted.