I'm sorry if you're one of the people who's ear I've already talked off about how great Sanctuary was/is, but that's where this ripple started. Last September I discovered my favourite TV show ever (which is really saying something...) and then started following the actors from it as they worked on various other projects, which is how I started watching Hell on Wheels. As the title may suggest, this show is not for the squeamish...it's on AMC, which will probably tell you quite a lot...anyway, the Sanctuary actor I started watching the show for keeps a low internet profile, so I started following the lead actor, Anson Mount, on Twitter. He's an interesting person, and while I don't always agree with him, he's more polite than a lot of Twitter celebrities with whom I don't agree, and he's really great about interacting with his fans.
In April Anson tweeted a blog that someone he knows had written about a visit to the set of Hell on Wheels. Of course I checked it out, and as I was very entertained by Shelli's 'voice', I started at the beginning and caught up on all of her old blog posts, and subscribed to new ones. I have a pretty wide range of blogs I follow, and I'm a fairly regular commenter, because I know how nice it is to know that someone's actually reading what you write. (Insert crickets chirping on my blog here. :) Shelli started chatting back, and eventually she was back in Calgary and emailed me to hang out, which really got me excited, because I really like making new friends, but in person I'm pretty much an introvert when it comes to starting up a conversation, so becoming internet friends first was a good way to get past my initial shyness (which, can you believe, has in the past been taken for snobbery?! :P).
And I figured what better way to introduce someone from LA to my favourite things about Alberta than to take a hike in a place I'd never been! :) Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is about half an hour from my house, just west of Calgary on the way to Cochrane. It's so close and so beautiful, I can't believe I've never been there before.
|CP Rail train and prairie skies!|
The paths are mostly paved, and very well maintained. The views were absolutely stunning - we were close enough to Calgary to still glimpse Canada Olympic Park in the east, as well as see the mountains to the west.
|Cute little critter!|
One of the interpretive signs said that badgers live in the park, and I got really excited, because I didn't know we even had any in Alberta, but the park guide said that they're nocturnal so we wouldn't likely see one anyway. :( Still, we saw enough other things to make the hike worthwhile!
|Old general store/post office. The original brick facing is piled up behind and to the left.|
I ADORE rural decay. The old store is fenced off so we couldn't get too close, but it was close enough to spark my interest. The park was originally the site of a ranch, and a CP rail town with a brick-making industry. Eventually the town folded and all that's left is this building and a pile of bricks. My minor is in Canadian History, so this is all right up my alley!
|It looked like rain!|
We walked and talked for hours and hardly even noticed! I tend to get bored fairly easily when doing nothing but walking, because I'm usually multitasking like a crazy person, but when you add in talking about everything under the sun, the time just flew. :) The skies were clouding over and there was a bit of a drizzle by the time we were heading back, but despite faint thunder in the distance, we managed to avoid bad weather. My car needs a bath though...the road into the park is gravel, and very very very dusty!
After leaving the park we headed into Cochrane for some world-famous MacKay's Ice Cream, which you can read about on Shelli's blog...she posts more pictures and isn't as rambley as me... :)
So, thanks to Anson Mount, who I followed because of Hell on Wheels, which I checked out because of Christopher Heyerdahl and Sanctuary, which I first noticed because of Amanda Tapping and Stargate - in short, my fangirling of scifi - I met a friend, hiked, and ate ice cream. And it was a glorious break from a week of helping with Vacation Bible School...which is definitely a story all on its own. :)