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Forgotten Prairie: Loverna

Forgotten Prairie: Loverna

A drive down a dusty back road finds us in Loverna Saskatchewan. We’ve arrived! The community is that close to earning the title of “ghost town” and wandering quiet streets, we pass empty buildings, some near collapse, vacant lots, forgotten churches and other scattered remnants of human habitation. The silence, the stillness, it’s powerful and […]

GBB Ranch

GBB Ranch

At a bend in the creek, in a secluded little coulee, we find the remains of the GBB Ranch. There used to be a lot of structures here, a good sized house, numerous sheds, outbuildings and corrals and other stuff. Today, there’s a collapsed barn, a couple pieces of old metal out front, along with […]

Wandering the Alberta Railway Museum

Wandering the Alberta Railway Museum

Came this close – I mean a hair width is wide in comparison close – to calling this post “Bury me when I die at the Alberta Railway Museum”. Heck, I even hinted at it in a preview of this article. As a train buff I’d relish the opportunity spending all-eternity here with these historic […]

Forgotten Prairie: Hoosier Saskatchewan

Forgotten Prairie: Hoosier Saskatchewan

On a frigid weekend, April 2017, Chris ‘n’ Connie roll into east-central Saskatchewan accompanied by friends. We’re here filming a documentary “Forgotten Prairie”, a production highlighting this crazy obsession we have with all things abandoned and old. This day’s stop is the tiny little (almost) ghost town of Hoosier Saskatchewan. Our rag-tag group descends on […]

The Roadhouse

The Roadhouse

The Red Deer River Valley is one of the more stunning places you can visit in the province. Those awesome Alberta Badlands, a wondrous setting, geologically interesting, historically fascinating and of course visually mind blowing. It’s pure magic for the senses. And because of all these qualities, it can be a popular place – come […]

Old Jack's

Old Jack’s

It’s a frigid and blustery weekend, April 2017. There’s this biting cold, a constant numbness. We’re here on on the plains of Saskatchewan, north of this little town, west of that one, a place sparsely populated, fields stretching off to the horizon in every direction. All around, the trying conditions, the wind, the snow, this […]

Neonex Boler

Neonex Boler

Here, in some random back alley, in some random Calgary neighbourhood, March of 2016, we find a Boler. A thirteen foot model, looking a little weathered and ragged. And sitting in front a dirty old toilet. Nothing more photogenic than that!. Bolers were made in a number of factories all over Canada depending on the […]

Canmore "Engine" Bridge

Canmore “Engine” Bridge

They call it the Canmore “Engine” Bridge. Here in a thoroughly spectacular setting, it spans the mighty Bow River and while used by pedestrians and cyclists today, it used to support a railway line that once served Canmore’s coal mine. Yes, they mined that stuff here – and in fact many of the newer residential […]

Old Mill Loop

Old Mill Loop

This is the year we didn’t hike (much). Conditions were partly to blame, suffering heat in the summer and all that lung-clogging smoke from forest fires across the west lasting for weeks on end. Both are Kryptonite to us. Then there was gigs – many, many, that all seemed to show up on weekends, the […]

Woo Sam's

Woo Sam’s

There’s not much in Buffalo Alberta – never was. Today, there’s a few houses, one or two appearing empty. There’s a thoroughly modern community hall, but mostly the town is made up of vacant lots. And there’s the abandoned rail line just over there. As for businesses there’s one, the post office. There, on the […]

Bob's Bigger Better...

Bob’s Bigger Better…

If one were to drive around Calgary back in the 1970s and 1980s there was a good chance you’d pass by a Bob’s Burgers outlet. There used to be a dozen or more of them across the city (we used old phone directories to come to that number), making them a Calgary institution of the […]

CNR #1158 at the Western Development Museum

CNR #1158 at the Western Development Museum

If you have a thing for history and find yourself in North Battleford Saskatchewan the Western Development Museum is a must see. It’s a fantastic facility, good sized, well regarded, with numerous exhibits indoor and out. One highlight is a representation of a 1920s era pioneer village just like one of thousands that used to […]

The Bawlf Incident

The Bawlf Incident

They say that “brown stuff” happens. That it sometimes hits the fan. No matter what you do, no matter how you prepare, how you plan, a trip and fall is inevitable. Eventually. The law of averages insists upon it…and almost no one gets a free pass. It can hurt and be embarrassing and even cost […]

Mt Ware

Mt Ware

Modest in stature Mt Ware, in the rolling foothills of Kananaskis a bit west of Turner Valley, has attributes unbecoming its size. There’s steep slopes, often rocky and loose underfoot topped by a narrow craggy summit, barren and windswept, more befitting a major peak than the minor bump that it is. Access is easy via […]

Queenstown Garage

Queenstown Garage

There’s countless places like Queenstown Alberta scattered across the vast Canadian Prairies, little farming towns that once held promise but today seem to be hanging on by a thread. Not ghost towns in the sense, but something close. There’s life, but it’s not always obvious. Imagine it. Streets to nowhere, vacant buildings, vacant lots, overgrown […]

Hello Blackie

Hello Blackie

It’s a fairly hard ‘n’ fast rule for the team…as long as time allows. When driving the road to where ever we pay a visit to a random small town along the way. Or two. Even if it’s a place we’ve been before. Then, we wander the streets aimlessly for half and hour or so, […]

Some alley in Ponoka

Some alley in Ponoka

As it often plays out…we’re cruising down some highway, city street, back road to somewhere and out of the corner of our eye we glimpse a Boler. We’re getting damn good at it too! Sometimes they might be out in the open, easily seen, but more often than not, they’re partially hidden so that only […]

Grain Elevators of DeWinton

Grain Elevators of DeWinton

It’s a tiny speck on the map a mere stone’s throw from Calgary. The overused phrase “blink and you’ll miss it” applies here. We’re speaking of DeWinton Alberta, sort of hidden in a small valley and only accessible via a winding back road, a place not many people know of. Perhaps a dozen or so […]

Eastern Alberta Abandonment

Eastern Alberta Abandonment

On more than a few occasions we’ve been accused of being, ahem, a little “long winded”. We hear it all the time in fact…”more pics, less words”, or some such thing. Most say it nice and gently and we can accept that, even if at a personal level we don’t get it. Others however have […]

Zephyr Creek to Painted Creek

Zephyr Creek to Painted Creek

A good hike can’t be beat. All that fresh air, scenery, each step the blood pumping and the body feeling fine…an amazing wilderness high. Sorry, too busy to die, I’m out walkin’ in the woods. Taking it to the next level, making it all the better, a history angle, something from long ago that ties […]

Random Rowley

Random Rowley

We’ve been to Rowley Alberta before. Many times in fact. An “almost” ghost town, full of history, photogenic as heck, tiny and just a few blocks square, it’s populated by a mere handful of residents. Not forgotten or dilapidated even though most buildings are empty, it’s all kept up to look much like it did […]

The Trains Here, Do They Fly

The Trains Here, Do They Fly

This silly little post, number one thousand and change at BIGDoer.com contains some random photos, simple captured moments from a busy weekend in June. Nothing more. For our enjoyment and for yours, hopefully, the passing things, big and little that grabbed our attention while out of town on assignment. Between the bigger stuff, take in […]

Kopernick

Kopernick

The road in is gravel, dry ‘n’ dusty. Same as all in the area. And all are similarly devoid of traffic. Stop, roll down the window and you’ll be greeted with silence. The location here is rural, well away from any town. Look all around…nothing to see but fields and pastures in every direction, occasional […]

Death's Head

Death’s Head

It’s an easy hike, not long and requiring only minimal effort, with a fair reward, a fine view, at the end. This is Death’s Head, a low wooded ridge in the foothills of Kananaskis, Ware Creek area. By itself it’s not a destination – alone it’s just not worth the drive. But say you’ve been […]

Camper Obscura

Camper Obscura

Everyone knows we’re obsessed with tiny fibreglass camping trailers, those from the Boler company and of any other make. It’s an addiction, all consuming, the desire to search out these “wheeled-eggs” completely overpowering…and we make zero attempt to end it. We’re under a spell, broken and damaged by it all and totally unapologetic…we embrace it […]

There's a Boler under there...

There’s a Boler under there…

It’s under wraps for reasons unknown, a strange Boler cocoon – will a butterfly emerge? But we can guess what’s going on here…mostly likely it’s leaking windows. It happens, a common problem in fact, old gaskets rotting out and cracking, allowing moisture in. They’re probably original, so darn old. It’s a pretty easy fix if […]

Canadian National Railways #1392

Canadian National Railways #1392

Stop the presses folks…we’ve reached a milestone here. This post, which you’ll soon be enjoying, is the 1000th here at BIGDoer.com. Yes, our society has produced that many pieces and in only five years to boot! Not 1000 simple photo essays, but rather painstakingly researched history write ups, in-depth articles covering all manner of things […]

These Stone Walls

These Stone Walls

These are the words oftentimes heard when describing long forgotten places…”if these walls could talk”. It’s a catch all phrase really, some might say an overused one at that, when nothing else comes to mind – “this empty old farm house…if these walls could talk”. Yada, yada, yada. Still, more often than not, it fits, […]

Moose Ponds

Moose Ponds

This is one easy hike, really just a lazy walk through the forest with some scenic views of surrounding hills and ridges to boot. Pretty nice, but hardly worth a long drive and best done if you’re already in the area. In our case we were doing some trail scouting close by, still had some […]

Concrete Monolith

Concrete Monolith

All eyes on this strange empty building found in some industrial park in small town Alberta. Cold and sterile, yet at the same time all those odd and varied angles give it a kind of weird character, with a real bunker-like quality to boot. I know, it’s right out of some movie, one with a […]

Mine Field

Mine Field

It looks like any other pasture or field, something you might expect to see cows or horses living in. Nothing seems out of the ordinary. Yet, mostly hidden from view by tall grass, there’s danger underfoot. Scattered here and there, randomly and numbering in the dozens if not more, are collapsed coal mine workings. Every […]

Camrose Boler

Camrose Boler

It’s that close to being a guarantee, a rock-solid one at that. That’s how confident we are. When driving down the streets of near any random town of any reasonable size out west here, there’s more than a good chance one will come across a Boler. It happens all the time for us, just cruising […]

Strawberry Hills

Strawberry Hills

We’ve been eyeing up the Strawberry Hills for some time now. These, a series of bumps, treed on the lower slopes, but with open tops mostly of grass, can be found in South Kananaskis, one of the least visited sections of that vast recreation area. Seems we know others who have made this hike – […]

Twilight Train

Twilight Train

Twilight: that most magic time at the end of the day. The sun’s last and final hurrah of the day, that warm golden glow enveloping the world, dark shadows, a deep blue, in stark contrast. It’s serene, peaceful, something damn powerful and words alone don’t seem enough. Then, add a train, a tour train taking […]

Golden Arrow

Golden Arrow

In the 1970s pinball was king. You couldn’t swing a dead cat, to use that always chuckle-worthy adage, and not hit one. They were everywhere…your local arcade, back when there was arcades, the corner store, the mall, the neighbourhood watering hole, pool hall, anywhere one could be plopped down. And the people played…oh they played. […]

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