Sunday, June 15, 2014

For All My Prairie Lovin' Sisters . . .

Early on the morning of June 4 we got on the road heading east. Our final destination was to be the Dinosaur Park north of Brooks, Alberta. My heart thrills to be on the flat, skimming down the road...

When I looked at the map I was more interested in two stops we would make on the way. Just a few miles into our trip we came to Bassano. That was our home when I was in grades 4-7. Father had worked at Bud's Service right on the corner of the highway as it swept on towards Brooks. But in the past 55 years or so they have changed things... the highway has moved. Bud's is no longer on the highway but I saw only this...

as a reminder of yesteryear on a frontage road in town. That was all I saw that looked familiar... no more Lassiter Feed Lot right after the big corner, nothing twigged a memory. I did see a sign that said that it was only 9 km to the Bassano Dam. Seemed farther away all those years ago.

We picked up our lunch at a grocery store in Brooks and then headed north. Before long we came to Patricia, a wee small blip on the map where Mother was the Principal for a year in a 3 room school. I was in grade 3 at that time, fresh from the Peace River country.

There was no sign of the school. Found out it had been demolished a couple years ago because people were using it for a grow-op. Mother would like that!! :)

It was a raggy little town back in my day, now it appeared truly down on its luck, but then so many small towns on the prairies have taken a beating. This place was small to start with.

But they still have a rodeo!

Please go to Sherwin's blog to get his full expose on the Dinosaur Park. I just have to show you what the sky looked like when I laid down in the grass to get a 'snap'.

And then I rolled over and got this...

Now for my Kandt sisters... this park is just minutes from where we lived in Patricia. Scratching my memory I came up with a few names... the Sears family, the Conners family... Billy Conners, right? and of course Victor and Gordon Gold, the twins in grade 2 that loved to tease me. I think they admired me for picking all the fresh putty out of the windows in the entry to the school. You don't want to do that when your mother is the principal!!

We hiked for a few hours, enjoying the topography. We were there for the countryside much more than the dinosaurs.

After hiking around on a few of the trails Sherwin suggested we drag our sorry asses out of there and get on down the road. We were tired. It was warm and the trails were longer than we expected when we started.

Well, Marilyn wasn't going to be home for a few hours still so no use heading back into Calgary and since I had always been curious about the prairie town my mother-in-law had grown up in and I could see it on the map, I thought that would be a good next stop.

Sherwin had never been there. He had been led to believe it was close to the Saskatchewan border closer to Medicine Hat so he was as unfamiliar as I was with this part of the country. Not far north though the land got flatter and flatter...

and it was just like Charlotte had told me. She said you could look a long time before you saw a tree.

I stopped and shot a couple 'snaps' just for her. (Snaps is what she called photos.)

Pollockville was a delightful little stop. It seemed this community, though small, had an air of prosperity about it that I was not expecting. There were oil pumps dotting the landscape that we hadn't seen south.

Now we could head back to Calgary to put up our feet... more tomorrow.

Be well.


  1. It was fun to at last see where my mother grew up in her early years. This was in poor country... more so then.

    I was surprised to see so much green grass... native grasslands and lots of cattle.

    Alberta never looked so green to me ever before. What a beautiful day to go for a drive thru the countryside.

    1. Alberta always shows off when I come through... it is as though it says, See what you left?... and I just smile and keep going.