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Zion Lutheran Church

Zion Lutheran Church

This location is about as remote as it gets. We’re in Western Saskatchewan, here specifically part of “Census Division #8” (imaginative name), a broad expanse of prairie, a place that never was home to that many people. Picture gently rolling fields of grain that go on forever, a dusty road that sees little traffic, broad […]

A Few Minutes in Hoosier

A Few Minutes in Hoosier

Tiny little middle-of-nowhere Hoosier is hanging on for dear life. A handful of people still live here, give or take, with more on farms in the immediate area. And while the CO-OP and Post Office slash Coffee Shop are open, it’s hardly thriving. There are just as many empty or forgotten dwellings and buildings in […]

Interesting Inglewood

Interesting Inglewood

This city hike takes one through Inglewood. It’s a loop route, using residential and side streets, taking in all they have to offer, peace and quiet among them, and specifically avoiding the hectic core or main street of the community. Let’s enjoy stuff in the neighbourhood that’s not so often seen. Many quaint old homes […]

The Big Red Bus

The Big Red Bus

Affectionately she’s the Big Old Red Transit Bus or simply just Big Red. Spending a great deal of its almost fifty year working career in Calgary, hauling commuters or in charter service, it’s now in semi-retirement and resides with a collector in Edmonton. This iconic “Fishbowl”, the most common transit bus of its era, runs […]

Zinc Smelter

Zinc Smelter

At one time, long ago, Frank Alberta was home to a zinc smelter. Built in the early 1900s, those behind it had great aspirations, but it never really got off the ground. All they could manage was couple test runs before shutting down. The place was doomed for a number of reasons – questionable design, […]

Lethbridge Boler

Lethbridge Boler

No matter where we are, no matter the weather, no matter anything, we take a hour or two out for a stroll. Putting foot to pavement is good for the mind, good for the soul, good for the body and in doing it, the day’s problem’s just seem to melt away. It’s inevitable we’ll see […]

Urban Trek - Ogden Shops Loop

Urban Trek – Ogden Shops Loop

This city hike makes a good sized loop around the CPR’s huge Ogden Shops complex. Along the way it takes in a variety of settings, quiet residential communities, empty streets in a long gone neighbourhood, and gritty, noisy, smelly industrial areas. I suspect we’re the only urban trekkers to like the latter, but we hope […]

Holy Trinity Catholic

Holy Trinity Catholic

Churches have always been a favourite here and we search them out like bloodhounds. Be they active and in use or closed up and forgotten, grand in form or humble, city or rural, no matter the religious denomination, they’re on our radar. Today’s target is Holy Trinity Catholic Church and Cemetery, found along a lonely, […]

Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart

This is about as remote a place one will ever visit. The land is level and almost featureless, fields of grain stretching off in every direction to the horizon, all connected together by an orderly grid of township and rural roads. And there’s the sky, the big, big sky. It goes on forever here in […]

Downtown Hilda

Downtown Hilda

It’s not a true ghost town in the sense, but in many ways looks the part. A handful of people live here, but the the near-empty main street has all the traits of a forgotten place. There’s a number of former commercial buildings along the wide boulevard, all closed and boarded up, most prominent the […]

Calgary's Best Walks #10

Calgary’s Best Walks #10

Here’s a pleasant city hike. Inspiration for it comes from the book Calgary’s Best Walks (Lori Beattie, 2015) and for the most part follows route ten as laid out in its pages. The trek takes in a nice mix of green spaces (well, white in the depths of winter) and parks, older well established neighbourhoods […]

Then and now - Wild Horse Hank

Then and now – Wild Horse Hank

Few have seen the film Wild Horse Hank. No blockbuster here, no awards won, no darling of the critics…still, it’s a pretty good flick. Just one that wasn’t seen by a lot of eyes. A late 1970s TV production, it follows the adventures of its namesake character, Hank, played by Exorcist star Linda Blair, as […]

Brush Hill Reformed

Brush Hill Reformed

Seen here, a lonely county church, Brush Hill Reformed, standing vigil on a remote Alberta crossroads. It’s a century old and not unexpectedly, is showing its age. No one comes here anymore, there are no services. It’s been a while since that happened. The place is boarded up, unused, it’s weathered and empty. Look in […]

Ymir, Friday Nights

Ymir, Friday Nights

Ymir British Columbia, a sleepy little burg not all that different I guess from most small towns across the country. There’s not much going on. All the tired old cliches apply here…they roll up the sidewalks come dark (wait, they have sidewalks?), you could shoot a cannon down main street and not hit a soul…we […]

Iron Springs - Elbow

Iron Springs – Elbow

This is about the easiest hike ever. Following a series of multi-use trails in the West Bragg Creek area of Kananaskis, it makes a nice loop through an area of low rolling hills. It’s a very nice stroll through the woods (like that’s ever bad), with little in the way of challenges or demands. Talk […]

The Howe Place

The Howe Place

Stand in front of this old farm house and spin around slowly. Look around, look all around and know what it’s like to be alone. Totally alone. There are scant signs of human habitation for miles and miles around (repeat ad-nauseam), the vast nothingness stretching all the way to the horizon in every direction. Here […]

Dwyer Farm

Dwyer Farm

This old farm house is probably one of the most photographed abandoned buildings in the southwest corner of the province. We’ve seen countless pictures of it from any number of photographers and we’ve shot our share too. No doubt that it’s easy to find accounts for some of its popularity. But the clincher, the real […]

Cranbrook Boler

Cranbrook Boler

We travel all over. A lot. We cover Alberta, sneak into Saskatchewan, and dip into British Columbia. If we had our way, we’d even go even further afield. On these numerous road trips we keep busy playing the Boler spotting game. The goal is to “spot” one of these little egg shaped trailers out in […]

Trainspotting BIGDoer.com style

Trainspotting BIGDoer.com style

We call it Trainspotting. There are other names for the pastime, but we like that one best (loath the term “railfanning”). In its simplest form…one grabs a camera, finds a place overlooking some train tracks, snaps away and there you have it! Of course there are those who take it “higher”, foamers as they’re oftentimes […]

Herronton

Herronton

Herronton…this tiny little place, a blip on the map. A collection of homes, a small clustering, found along some dusty Alberta backroad. While not the middle of nowhere, in feel, it’s not far removed from that proverbial place. The population…it can be counted on one hand…maybe two (we saw no one in the hour we […]

Dome Home and the Boneyard

Dome Home and the Boneyard

If we had but a single word, one word only to describe today’s subject, it’d be “funky”. We present to you the “dome home”, south of Calgary and perhaps the strangest dwelling we’ve ever documented. No shortage of personality here! A guarantee – every single person driving past it on nearby roads gives it a […]

Social Plains

Social Plains

This location is remote. Blinkin’ remote. Middle of nowhere, there’s nothing around for miles, the nearest living person is in another time zone remote. We visited the area and the population doubled. You get it…right? It’s isolated! At some out-of-the-way crossroads and today acting as a community hall for those few that call the area […]

Inglewood Boler

Inglewood Boler

Seen here, one tiny Boler trailer found in some random back alley in Calgary. As is the case with almost every one of these finds, we stumbled across it completely by accident. Hey, is that a Boler over there? Yup! How the hell did you spot that? It’s Boler-radar of course…screeeeeeeeech, cop U-turn (all other […]

Waskatenau Trestle

Waskatenau Trestle

There’s an impressive wood-framed trestle along the abandoned rail line at Waskatenau Alberta. Built of massive beams it’s been here for close to a century and spans a little water course just outside town. The rail’s still in place across it, but it’s been many years since they’ve been polished by the passing of a […]

Queenstown Community Hall

Queenstown Community Hall

The community hall was heart of any small town, village or region, its social centre. Anywhere there was a population you’d find one of these structures. Typically long and rectangular, usually plain and unassuming, they were located somewhere close to “downtown”, or at some important crossroads intersection in more rural regions. Inside there would be […]

Muley Ridge

Muley Ridge

Muley Ridge is one of the “Entrance Ridges”, so called given they’re right at the Kananaskis border. Located in the Sheep River area west of Turner Valley, there’s a nice little trail that takes in this long low lightly-forested north trending hill. The views from the summit and along the crest are certainly nice, but […]

Prairie Sentinels - Bentley Alberta

Prairie Sentinels – Bentley Alberta

As old-school wood grain elevators go, this one, found in the town of Bentley Alberta is a relative youngster. Still, it follows a very traditional design and in construction, layout, function, so pretty much everything, albeit in a somewhat more massive form, it’s not all that dissimilar from ones much, much older than it. Dare […]

Liberty School

Liberty School

The one room school. At one time, long ago, there were thousands of these little learning institutions scattered across rural Alberta. There was so many of them in fact, I doubt an accurate count is even possible. Often located along some remote middle-of-nowhere backroad, every so-many clicks or so, depending on the local population density, […]

Mustang Hills

Mustang Hills

The Mustang Hills are named after feral horses that live in the area. Three bumps of very modest stature, they can be summited with little work. Two of the three tops are open and provide mighty good views of big peaks to the west and rolling ridges to the north and south. The route is […]

Cabin in the Woods

Cabin in the Woods

Not much is left of this cabin. Located deep in the woods of the Crownest Pass Alberta, along an old pack trail, and towered over by precipitous peaks, it’s connected to a small coal mine operation of which little information is known. We did dig up (get it) a few snippets however, but data was […]

Crowsnest Collection – Reprise

Crowsnest Collection – Reprise

The old vehicles and odd bits of metal we’ll exploring this day are part of the Crowsnest Collection but separate from the main storage yard a few clicks to the east. No less interesting however, just smaller in scale, there’s all kinds of stuff here to make a photographer giddy. We’ll see old pickups, quarry […]

Three Bridges

Three Bridges

There are three very interesting bridges spanning the mighty Columbia River all a stone’s throw from downtown Trail British Columbia. One is over a hundred years old and not long for this world, it’s going soon, further upstream and under construction is a structure that will replace the former. A bit more upstream yet again […]

Gothic Arch

Gothic Arch

A barn is a barn is a barn. In most minds one is the same as the next. It’s a rectangular-ish shaped building, usually, used for agricultural purposes sitting in a farm yard, more likely than not painted red and with a distinctive “barn roof”. It’s the latter, a multi-pitched style officially called a Gambrel […]

Salmo River Bridge

Salmo River Bridge

There’s a series of old wood truss bridges scattered across the back roads and secondary highways of British Columbia. Distinctive in design and framed with massive timber beams, all tied together with metal bolts and rods, they look a bit outdated in today’s modern world, seemingly more fitting for a time when horsepower came from […]

St Paul's Anglican

St Paul’s Anglican

Located next to bustling MacLeod Trail, tiny St Paul’s Anglican Church ranks as Calgary’s oldest. In fact, when built, it wasn’t even within the borders of the city (well then, a town) and was well south, the community eventually growing around it over time. Ir dates back some hundred and thirty years, when the whole […]

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