2016 In Review: Explorations, Visitations, and Tribulations (Part 1)

Another year comes to a close.  I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the key moments of the last 365 days and review how far we have come during this last trip around the sun.  In this posting I will cover the first six months of 2016.


No doubt the highlight of January was Emily finally getting her permanent residency approval.  She had to leave the country and re-enter to complete the landing process, so we took a weekend trip to Great Falls, MT and visited the Sip n Dip Lounge and explored a number of great small towns along Interstate 15.

Later in the month we did some exploring in the Badlands region and gathered with friends for the monthly pizza night in Rowley.  While checking out the town of Dorothy, we met Garnet Price who was doing some drone video of the grain elevator.  It was at that moment I officially started wanting a drone for exploring abandoned places, an obsession that I’m sure has driven Emily crazy this entire year.  Be sure to check out Garnet’s video of the elevator.

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We made a couple of trips out to the mountains in February.  We snowshoed up to Chester Lake with our friends James and Brenda and then went out to Banff for a Geocaching event where we spent the day with Dale and Janice touring around the townsite.

Closer to home, we took a day and visited the 12th Street bridge just south of the Calgary Zoo.  It’s been linking the community of Inglewood with St. George’s Island since 1908 but was damaged in the floods of 2013 and is slated for demolition.  We also toured the Lougheed House, which was the first time I had ever been inside of it, although I had visited the grounds several times.

We also were able to meet up with our friends Chris and Connie of BigDoer.com for some exploration of the disused Rocky Mountain Raceway near Aldersyde.  It was a great opportunity to get special access to a location that is normally not accessible.  Be sure to read all about it here.

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March was a quiet month.  With Emily now working, we needed a second vehicle so I bought a 2006 Jeep Liberty from Family Auto Sales in Carstairs.  Cnce again we met up with James and Brenda for a hike, this time up Grotto Canyon near Exshaw.

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The two biggest events in April were our trip to the Crowsnest Pass and Emily’s horse show.  We also managed to get in a hike with Dale and Janice on a trail known as Razors Edge.

The Crowsnest Pass trip was due to the local community organizing a day for prospective investors to come down and check out a number of buildings for sale, including a number of historical ones which one would not normally be able to access.  We weren’t really there to purchase, but it was very interesting to see inside.

Emily’s horse show was her first in Canada.  She did very well and we had a number of friends make the trip out to Cochrane to watch her ride.

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May was a busy month for us.  We met up with Dale and Janice in Nanton for a visit to the Bomber Command Museum of Canada.  It was a great day as the museum was firing up their Lancaster bomber and also holding a bit of a garage sale.  We bought a few things, and toured the museum and Nanton itself, which has become one of our favorite Alberta towns.

The other big May event was a visit from Emily’s parents.  We drove out to Stettler where we had tickets for Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions.  We rode the train to Big Valley, had a meal and toured the town, and then rode the train back to Stettler.  It’s a really great way to spend the day and you should do it if you get the chance.  After the rail trip, we drove over to the nearby town of Botha to check out a really great mercantile building which has been closed.

We also got to see our friend Albert make a return to standup comedy.  How’s that for something different?

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June started off with the Spring edition of Calgary Cache and Release (CCAR).  This is always a great excuse to get together with our friends and do a road-rally style weekend.  It always ends up being a ton of laughs and a very enjoyable time.

We also went to High River to see a car show and Model T races.  We had a great time checking out their museum, watching the races, seeing the old Eamon’s gas station in its new home, and drooling over my dream truck:  a 1972 GMC C10, completely restored to original condition.  I have wanted one of those trucks for many years now!

On the way home we had to pay a visit to Marv’s Soda Shop in Black Diamond, of course!

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So, that’s it for Part 1.  I hope to work on the second half of the year tomorrow.  Our readership is really starting to take off.  We had 1255 visitors this year, up from 933 the year before.  We really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and comment on our stories.  Cheers!



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4 Responses to 2016 In Review: Explorations, Visitations, and Tribulations (Part 1)

  1. BWBandy says:

    You should post more often. Great reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 2016 In Review: Explorations, Visitations, and Tribulations (Part 2) | DanOCan

  3. Shellie Byers says:

    The picture of Botha merchantile store
    Well my father built the white house beside it in your picture. The house was demon possessed and I was terrified all the years we lived in that house. Part of me has wanted to stand inside it again but another part of me never wants to see what I saw in that house ever again.


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