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 .
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.
Jason Sailer, along with friend, Cody Kapcsos, is on a mission to preserve Alberta’s last Ogilvie wooden grain elevator in Wrentham, Alberta.
Whenever I swing through the southeast, the road home is seldom the most direct route. Last Sunday was no exception. On the way back from balmy Brooks, the brood and I veered north towards the Red Deer River, taking Secondary Highway 876 into the heart of Special Areas #2. We traced the CNR’s abandoned “Peavine” rail spur north from Steveville, stopping to photographs some ruins and ruminants, before concluding our brief sojourn with a stroll down the breezy boulevards of Sunnynook.