Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Across Country

After a couple days in the cool damp mountains around Nordegg we asked Karl and Martina if they would prefer to go somewhere else.  The forecast was calling for conditions to improve a little, but over on the other side of the province it was supposed to be even better.  We offered to take Karl and Martina across to the badlands and visit our place in East Coulee.  We left the mountains on Monday August 29th, after lunch and headed back to Rocky Mountain House.  From there we cut across to Bentley, Lacombe and on to Stettler.  From there we headed south to Drumheller and eventually on to East Coulee.  We set up the trailer on the RV Pad at the Dinosaur Valley Studios shop.  It was sunny and quite a bit warmer, with temperatures up into the high 20's.  
We had a BBQ that evening, and a fire, and then the next morning went out exploring.  Margarit headed over to check out an antique shop with the girls and I took Karl and Martina for a quick spin out onto some backroads.  We stopped and checked out the old Aerial Mine operation at Rosedale before eventually heading up the 11 Bridges Road to Wayne.  There we met up with the girls for lunch at the Last Chance Saloon.

There was a photograph in the saloon of an old Texaco Station with a hand written note on it that said "Movie Set from Running Brave 1981".  It sure looks a lot like our building in East Coulee, before it was renovated and added on to.  The original part of our building dates back to 1937 and is the former Sloan's Garage... a Texaco Station.  I'll have to ask around a little and see if any of the locals can shed some light on this.
Later in the afternoon we headed back over to Rosedale and took a walk across the suspension bridge to the former site of the Star Mine.  

Still later we headed back to the trailer at the shop in East Coulee.  No one was particularly hungry after the late lunch so we just had some snacks and relaxed.  In the evening we went for a walk over to the old timber bridge over the Red Deer River and then up into the hills above town.  The mosquitos were pretty bad and the Austrians were challenged by them.  But they weren't as bad as they had been a few weeks prior when Margarit and I went out for a walk.  We found the remains of an old coal mine up in the hills including an old concrete foundation, some wood railway ties and rails, and various scrap metal and debris.  There was also a lot of petrified wood associated with the coal seem that had been exploited, included a couple of enormous trunks and stumps.  On our way down out of the hills we also came across three crosses.  I'm not sure if these are actual graves, or just memorials to someone...?  Perhaps an accident at the mine... or maybe one on the nearby highway.
After we got back to the trailer we just relaxed and had an evening fire.  The next morning we had to pack up and make our way back home to Edmonton.  We had a restaurant reservation for that evening back in Edmonton to get together with a few friends and family before Karl and Martina have to return to Austria.
Our three girls returned to school on Thursday and I had to go back to work.  Margarit took Karl and Martina to the airport on Friday morning for their flight back home.  There were some sad good byes and a lot of fond memories following their visit.

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