Apr 072017
Grain Elevators of Magrath

The small community of Magrath Alberta is home to a nice and varied collection grain elevators from various eras. There’s four here, down over there where the tracks used to be. A couple are traditional wood “prairie sentinels”, one’s a fairly modern, albeit modest sized, concrete silo type elevator. And the last, which will garner […]

Feb 012017
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 […]

Sep 282016
The Mill

Part two of our visit with Atco Wood Products, Fruitvale British Columbia. The day before we were in “the woods” with their crew, watching how it’s done out there, this time it’s a look at the firm’s high tech mill. Using logs harvested, in a sustainable way, from forests in the region, we watch as […]

Sep 152016
The Woods

Come on, jump in the truck. There’s room for a few of you. We’ll be heading up a winding mountain road, (don’t worry, we’ll be in competent hands), to a densely forested slope in the West Kootenays of British Columbia to witness something incredibly interesting. We’re hanging with the the Atco Wood Products Field (or […]

Sep 082016
Providence Grain – Marengo Saskatchewan

The always on the go BIGDoer.com crew are in the tiny burg of Marengo Saskatchewan to document the Providence Grain facility located there. Join us for a tour of this working grain elevator. It’s a bit different and is not one of the those high-throughput concrete super terminals common today, even if it sort of […]

Aug 092016
Yankee Girl

The history obsessed crew at BIGDoer.com pays a visit to British Columbia where we’ll explore the remains of the historic Yankee Girl Mine overlooking the tiny community of Ymir. There’s the mine dumps where non-ore bearing material was discarded, some collapsed buildings, bits from a tramway, rails, metal, who knows what, and much more. The […]

Jun 072016
DNR Excavator

Found at Pioneer Acres Museum in Irricana Alberta (a great place, BTW, if you love old metal), the leviathan earth mover we’ll be documenting is known as a DNR Excavator. Curious looking, as though random bits of machinery were thrown together by someone without a clue as to what they were to do, it actually […]

May 122016
Draglines and Shovels - Reynolds Alberta Museum

A heavenly place for lovers of vintage metal and machinery, the Reynolds-Alberta Museum is home to today’s subjects, several giant mining shovels and draglines. These humongous beasts are connected historically to various coal mines in the province and date back as far as a hundred years. Impressive at a distance, doubly so (no, a million […]

Nov 212015
Upper workings of the St Eugene

Today we get to visit an especially interesting place, the remains of the extensive St Eugene Mine in the East Kootenays of British Columbia. We’ve received special permission to explore all the upper workings, level after level each higher than the last, ascending up and up and up for hundreds and hundreds of metres. It […]

Aug 142015
Lime City

The lime kilns at Lime City, in the Crowsnest Pass, were in operation for about a decade around the time of World War One. Located just east of the huge Turtle Mountain Frank Slide boulder field, which they pulled the limestone from (imagine them trying that today – the slide is a protected site) which […]

Apr 242015
Turner Valley gave us gas

The Turner Valley Gas Plant was the first in Alberta, the one that started it all, and today is museum you can visit. We join a group of passionate amateur photographers (perhaps some pros too), from the Foothills Camera Club, who’ve arranged a private tour of the complex and invited us to tag along. We […]

Mar 202015
Compressor Plant

This report we tour the compressor building at the historic Turner Valley Gas Plant, just south of Calgary. Inside this long cavernous structure is a bank of ancient engines with integral compressors, the size of which are are hard to describe. They’re big, really big…let’s call them behemoths! These were used to pump gaseous petroleum […]

Mar 172015
Big Balls!

The giant globe shaped tanks seen here are known as Horton Spheres and are located at the historic Turner Valley gas plant. Built in the the early 1940s, these “Big Balls” were used to store specialized gaseous products produced at the facility, most notably a World War Two era fuel additive used in fighter planes. […]