Friday, November 20, 2020

A Winterful Day

I found myself with an unexpected afternoon off this week as I was driving from one town to another and didn't need to return to my office. The landscape around me had transformed into a frozen monochromatic wonderland so I got off the main road and hit some familiar backroads. Luckily the sun never really came out that day and the frost stuck around for the whole day. I could've just driven for miles and miles just to be surrounded by it for a bit longer. 

Just for fun.

Monday, November 9, 2020


West of the 5th went West of the 3rd this summer on a brief trip to the capital city of Saskatchewan. Yes, my summer vacation was in Regina. Not the summer one dreams of but with travel and gathering restrictions in place we couldn't just jet off somewhere exotic, not that we had planned to anyway but the point is we could have in any other year. We did get to meet up with some family and I was able to explore. Win/win under these circumstances. 

I had nodded off while on the road (something I can do within a block of leaving home, it's like my superpower when I am a passenger), and missed Netherhill on the way. I declared that we would be stopping there on the way home. 

I had seen pictures of this school many times and could not simply pass it by! View a great article and more pictures HERE by my friends over at

I had been watching the weather and was hoping for some cloudy skies, because I love a cloudy dramatic sky and that it is how I pictured this school in my head. It was not meant to be.

From the book, 'Memoirs of  Hillsburgh Rural Municipality No. 289', it states that Netherhill School was built in 1912, and received additions. Miss Railton was the first teacher and it was later consolidated with Eagle Lake School.  I have no dates of when it closed as a school, but above the door is the IOOF logo, so it became an Independent Order of Odd Fellows hall for a time before it was boarded up.

I found an image of the school prior to the additions at

Looks incomplete after seeing how it looks now!

Once you pass the school, there is a town, population of 25 according to the 2016 census. It was pretty quiet and we did not see another person. We found the hotel next to the railway tracks though....which is almost a given in most of these prairie towns. 

It looks like it may be lived in? 

Friday, November 6, 2020

A Tiny Plane

Back in July I had the opportunity to take a free plane ride over the town I live in. I wasn't sure I wanted to though. I have been in helicopters but for some reason this plane seemed more daunting. 

This little plane is smaller than the inside than my car, but I figured why not, I won't get the chance to do this again for free! So I squeezed in with the pilot and 2 colleagues. There was room for us and a fire extinguisher squished between the seats.  Which if we had needed the fire extinguisher at any would probably have been too late for us. So I dramatically texted my son that I loved him and got in. YOLO!! 

It was a hot day so as we sat idling on the runway we kept the doors open, and as we are taxiing along about to take off, the pilot then shouted that it was time to close the doors. They had to be slammed  closed a couple times, much like the first beater car you, or someone you knew, had in high school. Comforting. 

Once we got off the ground it was much cooler in the plane and it was a fantastic feeling!  It was also a great time to fly as the canola was in bloom and made beautiful patchwork views. 

Here are some images from the flight. I could even pick out my house as we flew over town. 

Once I got over the initial trepidation, I was thrilled to have done it. Which I am sure is some kind of lesson to just face my fears or quit overthinking all the time. 

Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Three of a Kind

Hello Everyone!

I won't bore you with what I have been doing the last few months...I would bore myself as it feels like it has been a whole lot of nothing, yet busy at the same time.  I hope everyone is safe and healthy and I hope all my American friends and readers have voted. 

Here are a couple pictures from August 2020.  I don't normally take pictures of granaries but I like the first image as they are old wooden bins and I like the second image for the sky and canola.  Interestingly these bins are close together but one on the east side of the road and the other on the west side. A brief but intense thunderstorm followed not too long after these images were taken.

Thanks for sticking around for my sporadic posts! I will catch up with all your blogs soon.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Mellow Yellow

I love a classic red barn but this cheerful yellow barn is a lovely sight!
Have a great weekend everyone. I am slowly working my way to everyone's blogs to catch up.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Old Man's Home

There is a particular house that I drive by sometimes that I have always meant to stop in and ask for permission to photograph. I never see vehicles at the newer home there so I wasn't sure if it was empty or not. 

As luck would have it, I was headed home last week and the old truck in front of me turned into that property....I followed but stopped closer to the entrance. You never know what someone might think about being followed onto their property by a stranger.

An older gentlemen got out and walked over and I went into my awkward speech asking to take a photo of his old house. He said there wasn't much to see as it's in rough shape, which I told him was just fine. I still see the beauty in it. 

I asked if he knew much about it and he said it was built around 1912 and that he was born in it...I would guess in the 40's. I didn't ask him his age. I asked if he had a big family and he said it was just him and his parents. We chatted a bit more about current events, swatted mosquitoes and I think we were both thinking about the past. Him with his memories and me with my imagination. 

I thanked him for his time and he wandered off behind some old outbuildings, probably doing some of the same farm tasks he's been doing for decades. 

As always, thanks for sticking around and reading my sporadic posts. I have a backlog of images to post so I am hoping to get them all blogged soon! I hope everyone is safe and healthy. Take care. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

St. Peters Lutheran Church

Welcome to St. Peters Lutheran Church!

The history of this church starts in 1897 as German settlers from the Volyhnia region of what is now the Ukraine, emigrated to the 3 prairie provinces of Canada to start a new life. By July of 1897 a congregation was formed and the all German Sunday Services were conducted in the homes of the parishioners. In 1903 land became available and the church was built. During the tough times of the 30's members remained dedicated and the church was enlarged and a basement added. I would think this the same time the front of the church changed as well.  The first English Services happened in the 1940's, and electricity was added in the 50's.

As with many of pioneer settlements, farms change hands, the older generation passes on and more of the young people move to the surrounding towns and cities. An article I read from 2015 said there is still 2 services a month and the volunteers keep the inside and the grounds looking immaculate.

There is over 120 years of history here at this little country church and I am happy to have learned a bit of history today that I didn't know yesterday.

Photo by my kiddo, out of the car window, so I could remember the name, but it's also a cool sign!


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Isolation Life

Hello! It has been <insert number of days> since my last post. I actually had a number in there a few times and never finished the post. So that's how things are going here. How are you?

I foolishly thought that working from home would be awesome, no commute, can work in pajamas...  Wrong. I spent my day working on and off my computer in a dedicated office in my house. However there is still home stuff and kiddo doing schoolwork on his laptop and everything is just different. It's draining and exhausting somehow and any routines or plans seem to have fallen by the wayside.

I read a quote online that said, "You are not working from home, you are at home, during a crisis, trying to work." I feel this.  Although, now things are gradually reopening, which is hopefully going to bring back some normalcy.

Here is a roundup of some of my favorite recent single images:

The starburst effect. 

Just before the ice was all gone...

Amazing how fast the ice disappears!

I have also found some cool old buildings that I am hoping to learn more about before posting, stay tuned! It won't be as long between blogs.

Hope everyone is safe and healthy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Transit Hotel

I was in Edmonton in February (which seems like years ago now) to see the Ice Castles and happened to be staying on the north side, which worked out pretty well for a couple buildings that I wanted to see. A friend also mentioned the Transit Hotel, which was also close to my location so off I went! I love it when things work out like that.

The Transit Hotel or just 'The Transit', opened in September 1908. It was built at a strategic location that was the start, or finish, of the journey between Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan. It is located on Fort Road which was the Fort Trail back then. This area was known as Packingtown due to its concentration of stockyards and packing plants. The new hotel boasted hot and cold water, bathrooms on the top floor, a telephone call system and electricity. A barbershop was even planned to open in the basement. The packing plants and stockyards are now long gone.

According to an article in the Edmonton Journal, not much remains of the original interior or exterior. Bob and Pauline Ruzycki bought the run-down hotel in the 80's spent a lot of time and money to restore the facade to its original boom-town architecture. This included the 2nd floor veranda, parapet and finialed roof line. Bob passed away in 2012 and his son Daryn ran the place until it closed in June 2017.  Patrons remember it not being a rough place since everyone knew everyone, however I bet this place has some stories!! If you know this place or have heard stories, please let me know.

Some old neon!

Then and Now c1912-13 to 2020 

c1912-13 courtesy of the Glenbow Archives

c1967-72 courtesy of the Provicial Archives of Alberta

How's everyone coping with the isolation? We are doing OK here, the days seem to go by fast enough. I am working from home which helps and the school has been giving assignments, so the kiddo has some school work to do to. Which I think is great! Take care out there and stay inside!

Monday, March 23, 2020

The 4 Year Barn Project

There is a barn that like that I will always stop by if in the area. I had a plan to take a photo of it in 4 different seasons. I had 3 already and I just needed winter. Winter was the challenge for me. Cold, road conditions, weather changing every 5 minutes, etc. However my project is now complete! A few weekends ago we headed east and on the return trip I found myself passing the barn. With snow!

Bonus geese on top.

Across the road from the barn

4 Seasons

It is hard to tell from the front angle that this barn is leaning quite a bit. The Spring picture was 2016 (notice the front is more intact). Summer and Fall 2017 and now Winter 2020! Next up, the barn with lightning, or the northern lights? Maybe a sunrise? It is facing the right direction for a sunrise behind it. That sounds like plan to me. Now to just get up early and go....

Stay inside, and safe and healthy everyone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Old Mercantile

Sometimes I will do a longer post, today just an image of a favourite building. Apparently it is full of junk and may be haunted. Enjoy this now and then of the Prudden Mercantile.

Courtesy of Can you spot the Mercantile?

Hope everyone is staying home and staying healthy, not just for yourself but for those around you.
In the meantime, travel through blogs!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Return to Ozark School

With all the craziness in the world right now, I am just trying to keep our days as normal as possible while practicing the new buzzword of the day 'social distancing'. I am not necessarily afraid for myself or my family, if we do get sick, we will recover. I worry about my mother and grandmother and other people in the most affected groups. So dear people, relax, stay in, and have some family time.

In the meantime, it looks like I will have more time to blog and exploring back roads is about as far away from people as one can get.

Let's start with a quick trip I took a couple weekends ago to the Big Valley area. I love this area and have been here several times. I stopped by an old school that was one of the very first schools I searched for and went to find back when I started this exploring thing!

This is Ozark School, opened in 1912. It was moved to its current location in 1950 and looks like it was used a granary.

Ozark School 1949. From Pioneering with a Piece of Chalk.
I spent a good chunk of time here, it was cold and windy and isolated and I loved it. Not much had changed since I was here a few years ago, other than the bell tower which has lost a few pieces.