A dreary day one of #FABTrip16 came to a close at Comrey, a hop-skip from the Milk River and Montana’s Sweet Grass Hills. After wandering the lonely backroads of this now-desolate pioneer-era community, we would retire at the Southern Ranchmen’s Inn in Manyberries, where we would savour a hearty steak, and all of the Tour of Duty TV series we could stomach.
Hat tip to Dan Overes over at DanOCan for digging up this gem from the vaults of the National Film Board called, Every Saturday Night. Filmed in 1973, Alberta’s generational changing of the guard is captured in grainy technicolour, as the last vestiges of our pioneer-era culture struggle to remain relevant amidst the formidable social and political shift that accompanied the Lougheed-era and the boom .
You are invited to attend the “End of the Season BBQ” and a historic Train Station Birthday Bash at the Galt Historic Railway Park in Stirling!
In what has become a #FABTrip tradition when travelling through the forgotten SE corner of Alberta, we stopped in the hamlet of Orion for a chat with Boyd Stevens: lifelong resident, proprietor of Stevens Hardware, and one of a half dozen souls remaining in the community. As per usual, Mr. Stevens was convivial and accommodating, while freely sharing historical insights and colourful stories about a pioneer-era community that is passing into history.
We left the metropolis Maybutt in the midst of rush hour, and joined the lunch hour commute along the Red Coat Trail (highway 61) towards Wrentham. Upon arrival, Jason Sailer kindly treated us to a tour of the Ogilvie wooden elevator, and afterward enduring his second interview of the day, we continued eastward towards Manyberries, our final destination for day one. Along the route we stopped at familiar haunts in Skiff and Etzikom, grabbed some lunch and parted ways with Jason in Foremost, and scouted out the former siding at Pakowki, a surprisingly historical spot.