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Sylvan Lake Stone House

Sylvan Lake Stone House

Sometimes it takes us a while to get to things. Too much to do, not enough time, not nearly enough us. Anyway, here’s one from waaaaay back in late 2016. Yikes! We’re on the road and find ourselves passing through Sylvan Lake Alberta, a modest sized community west of the city of Red Deer. We’ve […]

Telegraph Lines

Telegraph Lines

There used to be a vast network of railway owned telegraph lines spanning the country. Where the tracks went, so went the poles and the wires. This early incarnation of the information superhighway stood alongside the rights-of-way and were a familiar scene to people back when. Look at any old train photo and I bet […]

80 Years Empty

80 Years Empty

It’s a lonely forgotten place, this rural property. The ride in takes one down a long dusty backroad, then a muddy cart track all squishy and rutted up, and finally cross country through pasture and field, regular cars unlikely to survive the journey. Arrive, stand and look around. In every direction it’s a vast swath […]

Roam at Night

Roam at Night

Low light photography is a skill we struggle with. Oh, we understand the principals and all, but still have a hard time of it. To combat this we’ve been getting out, in town, and practising. We’re not worried about the composition so much, nor the subject matter, but getting the technical aspects down pat and […]

Feelin' Groovy

Feelin’ Groovy

Travelling across the west, as we do, we encounter our share of little fibreglass trailers. We might see them on the highway, in camp grounds we pass, parked here or there, at gas stations…they can turn up anytime, anywhere. Or so it seems. Here’s one, a Trillium, the most common of the Boler-like trailers, found […]

Little Leaning Church

Little Leaning Church

It’s old and weather beaten, locked up and unused. This sorry looking building with faded paint is home only to pigeons, their occasional cooing breaking the silence. Sure, there’s the memories of Sunday Service, the weddings the funerals. Happy occasions some, sad and tearful others. All behind it now. Today no one drops by any […]

Queenstown Alberta then and now

Queenstown Alberta then and now

Yes, we’ve been neglecting the then and now posts. We’ve read the many emails asking why. There’s a couple reasons. First, we’re busier than we’ve ever been documenting old historic places and as a result, sadly, other things we do have to take a back seat. We have to go where the money and action […]

Card Whiz

Card Whiz

Apologies dear friends and loyal readers, we’ve been away for a spell. The society suffered a major computer failure a week ago and spent pretty much the entire time since recovering and cleaning up the resultant mess. It was ugly! Reinstall this, reinstall that, pull from archives, configure, setup and tweak. Then rinse and repeat. […]

Blackfoot Trailer Park

Blackfoot Trailer Park

Trailer parks have a bad reputation. If we believe the stereotypes they’re home to hardened criminals with extensive rap sheets, drugged out slackers with bizarre haircuts, boozers and other undesirables. lumped together with the working poor and old folks on limited incomes. It’s one ugly, unfriendly place best given a wide berth. Ask the pizza […]

Calgary’s Best Walks #12

Calgary’s Best Walks #12

Inspiration for this fine inner-city hike comes from the book Calgary’s Best Walks by Lori Beattie. Here we’ll be following Route #12, roughly, taking in a series of parks and hitting the pavement in number of older established neighbourhoods. The going is super easy. You don’t have to follow our route to the letter either, […]

Yahk Boler

Yahk Boler

Well lookie here, right in front us of on the highway and headed in the same direction, a cute little Boler. Another added to the list. That was easy! The location is Yahk British Columbia (“We’ve bin to Yahk ‘n’ back”), right as you enter town after crossing the Moyie. Hmm, nice little bridge, but […]

Forgotten Prairie

Forgotten Prairie

You’ve probably heard us speak of the film Forgotten Prairie. A number of posts we’ve published over the last few months have touched on it to one degree or another. Now you’ll get to see it. Finally! A production of Rueben Tschetter’s Cache Project, it’s a fine little piece about ghost towns and the people […]

Nagway Inn

Nagway Inn

Each and every day it’s within view of tens of thousands of passing motorists but I bet a lot of them pay it no mind. There, along side road set back a bit from the #1A, but easily seen from it, and a mere stone’s thrown from Calgary’s City Limits stands a flat-roofed almost house […]

Sinnott Hill

Sinnott Hill

This one’s for the adrenaline junkies. Imagine it – extreme grades, hands-on climbing, narrow ledges, acute exposure, rock falls and danger at every turn. This is where the Reaper hangs when he needs to meet a quota. They call it the Devil’s Drop, in hushed tones. Seasoned mountaineers have to been know to toss their […]

Scenes of a Modern Farm

Scenes of a Modern Farm

A couple years back we were commissioned by a good sized publisher to do a piece on the subject of farming. It was to be a grand article about the people and machinery that make things happen, covering the complete “A to Z”, so seeding to harvest and everything else. They wanted us to catch […]

Mike's "Fordtown" Collection

Mike’s “Fordtown” Collection

There is nothing more exciting than poking around an old metal collection. It’s doesn’t matter the size of it, or what’s inside, it’s always a magic experience. All those ancient cars, trucks and machinery or whatever to photograph, these rusted monuments of days past, formerly someone’s pride and joy or something useful, now relegated to […]

Crowsnest Boler

Crowsnest Boler

Proof that Boler-radar, that uncanny sense, something akin to the “force” that tells one a Boler is in the area even if unseen or mostly so, is strong stuff folks. Take in this one, a Boler well set back from our position, so far a 500mm lens did little compress the space and near out […]

Penguin Car Wash

Penguin Car Wash

At the extreme western edge of Inglewood, backing on the Elbow River, beside the tracks, and in the shadow of downtown, stands the old Penguin Car Wash. The building has been empty for a good half dozen years, give or take, a shell of a place open to the elements the only things left behind, […]

Exploring Viking

Exploring Viking

We have this strange fascination with small towns. They have such character and charm. Still, it’s even deeper than that, so while we can’t quite put our finger on the deep down reasons why we do it, what ever it is draws us in like a magnet And the best way to experience that small […]

Bridges of Cambria

Bridges of Cambria

Where Highway Ten crosses the Red Deer, at a place called Cambria, turn and glance north for a second. Over there, upstream, not far away and super easy to see, giant hunks of concrete sitting there in the middle of the river. Strange monoliths these, the remains of two bridges, one for trains one for […]

Lesueur Ridge

Lesueur Ridge

That chunk of Kananaskis in the north is generally the domain of the all terrain vehicle. Still, there’s a number of places that can be hiked in the area without the two modes clashing. Lesueur Ridge, right at the K-Country Border, just west of the Forestry Trunk Road (Hwy #40), a bit north of Waiparous […]

Airdrie Boler

Airdrie Boler

We walk. A lot. When the urge hits us, we pick a random spot somewhere in Calgary, or in some small town close by, point ourselves in whatever direction, put boots to pavement and just go. Take this street, take that street, follow this path or that, the direction matters not. It’s a great way […]

Big Yellow Beasts

Big Yellow Beasts

We’re easily distracted. We’re out on a road trip going where ever (we put a lot of miles behind us as you know), see something we like and have to stop and take a few snaps. It happens all the time, trust me, and is simply the way we function. Pad the schedule cause we […]

Forgotten Prairie: Fusilier

Forgotten Prairie: Fusilier

God, the weather was awful. The bone chilling cold, howling wind, freezing rain and driven snow, a miserable weekend in the making. Or so we thought. It’s April 2017 and we’re out exploring back roads of Alberta and Saskatchewan with a rag-tag group of friends, in these horrible conditions, taking in ghost towns and other […]

Things We Saw In Mossleigh

Things We Saw In Mossleigh

This here fine spring day finds us in Mossleigh Alberta, a pint-sized town just a bit southeast of Calgary. There’s all kinds of railway themed stuff here and old grain elevators – this is what we’ve come for. Today, we’re here to act as a guide for a train buff in from Europe to tour […]

Forgotten Prairie: Esther Alberta

Forgotten Prairie: Esther Alberta

Perhaps a year or so back Team BIGDoer was approached by Rueben Tschetter, a well respected film producer and videographer with Cache Productions, Red Deer Alberta. Seems he’d been watching some of what we were up to – exploring abandoned places and ghost towns and chronicling the experience – and thought it a worthy subject […]

No Dial Tone

No Dial Tone

Some unremarkable photos here, nothing special technically or artistically, just a big fat blah in every way. If not for the subject that is. There’s the magic. Look at this place, look close, a cute little house in a small Saskatchewan town, sealed up for many years. Peer inside, the cupboards are full, dishes neatly […]

Holy Ground

Holy Ground

This here is a scared place folks. The building seen in back of Connie, home to a furniture store, was long ago a factory where Boler Trailers were produced. Yes, in this very building, just off 16th Avenue Northeast Calgary (visible from the “Trans-Canada”), they pumped out those little egg-shaped trailers for a time in […]

In the Pipeline...

In the Pipeline…

Coming soon to BIGDoer.com! Here’s some new stuff we’ve been working on, a sampling of what’s in the pipeline, places documented over the last number of months that will be posted here soon enough. We’re itching to show you! Included are abandoned things, old farms and ranches, some of them the most remote we’ve ever […]

Hunchback Hills

Hunchback Hills

Hunchback Hills, in one of the quieter areas of Kananaskis, are an interconnected series of bumps worthy of a visit. You can hike all of them as part of an extended horseshoe route of sorts – best done by those with good nav skills. Or you can make an out and back of it, as […]

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 […]

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