Monday, June 16, 2008

Road Trip - Part One

Some of you may be aware that the Cowboy is a man of many talents. Not only is he good with animals (friends teasingly call him the Cow Whisperer), but he can run almost any piece of equipment. In fact, when he's not ranching, that's how he makes his living (because nowadays, no-one can make a living as a rancher, but that's a rant for another day...)

In this northern area, most industry that takes place in the bush has to shut down for spring break-up. They can't travel the roads when the frost is coming out of the ground. So the Cowboy has been home, working on the ranch and resting. Spring break-up coincides with calving season, which works out well for the Bag Lady! (yes, she planned it this way! Ha ha) Well, apparently, spring is over. The Cowboy got a call that he is needed back at work starting today (weather permitting), running a log-loader. But before he could even lament the fact, his boss called again and asked him if he could haul some equipment this weekend. Hence the road trip!

He had to haul a piece of equipment to the town of Slave Lake, then pick up another piece of equipment there and bring it back. So he invited the Bag Lady to go along as his "swamper". Many years ago when the Cowboy had his own truck, he and the Bag Lady did some highway hauling, and she quite enjoys the odd trip. She was also aware that this would probably be her only chance for a holiday! So she grabbed her trusty video camera and off they went. Unfortunately, she didn't have time to charge the battery in said "trusty" camera, so it died relatively soon after they got on the road.

A measure of how determined she was to share this road trip with you is the fact that when they
stopped at a little place along the highway for a bite to eat, she paid an enormously inflated price for a disposable camera!

The town of Slave Lake lies at the eastern tip of the lake, so when you are traveling from the west, you catch occasional tantalizing glimpses of the lake for almost 100 km (62 miles). It is the second-largest lake within Alberta's boundaries, stretching over 100 km in length, and 15 km across at it's widest point.

But first we have to get there....


This is the dashboard of the truck:

Crossing a bridge:

Over this river:


Here's an old hip-roof barn. Almost missed it - it's hard to take photos from a moving vehicle, especially one with a really large side-mirror blocking half your view!

Another bridge:


Another river!

The Bag Lady also managed a little video before the battery died in her camera. It isn't very good (as usual, she had the camera set wrong, so it's a little blurry), but she wants you to hear how noisy it is at times. This is going down the hill approaching the first bridge in the photos above.


video

She tried to show on the video (in the side mirror) what the equipment looked like that was on the truck. Here is a better photo of it:
And now she's off to town to get the pictures developed from the disposable camera! With any luck, some of them will turn out and she can show you the rest of the trip!

29 comments:

MizFit said...

SLAVE LAKE?

'swamper?!'

dang I learn something new each trip to the BL's!

Miz

Leah J. Utas said...

Love the road trip. Can't wait for the rest of the pics. Which rivers did you cross? Is one the Athabasca? And is that it in your second river photo?
Love the barn pic. There's something fascinating about old barns.

the Bag Lady said...

Miz - named for the Slavee Indian tribe (who were named thusly by the Cree Indians who conquered them... apparently.)
And a "swamper"? Another word for slave!!!! :)

the Bag Lady said...

dfLeah - not the Athabasca. The first was the Smoky River, the second was the Little Smoky. We crossed a lot of rivers - but I don't think we crossed the Athabasca - I'll double-check.

I love old barns, too, and was glad I managed to capture that one on film.

the Bag Lady said...

dfLeah - I checked and that highway doesn't cross the Athabasca until quite a bit further east of Slave Lake.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, dfBag Lady. I kind of thought that was the case, but it's been so long since I've been there I wasn't sure.
Totally forgot about the Smoky and Little Smoky.

Sagan Morrow said...

Hurray, road trips! It looks like fun:)

the Bag Lady said...

Sagan - it was a nice change to get out and see some country! Haven't been anywhere for a long while.

Geosomin said...

It looks like a nice drive.
I hope it was realxing...I'm looking forward to the pictures.

Nice new colours on the blog :)

the Bag Lady said...

Geosomin - it was a nice drive. Haven't been up that way for several years, so was interesting to see the changes.
Thanks - I kinda like the new colour, too.

Missicat said...

Slave Lake? Hmmm...would not go over well in the U.S. of A....
I so need a road trip. Can't wait for the next set of pics....

the Bag Lady said...

Missicat - there are actually TWO Slave Lakes - Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories is huge (look at a map of Canada - it's the large body of water up north) and Lesser Slave Lake (where we went).
I'm hoping to have the rest of the pictures developed today.

Anonymous said...

We are home- Your email box was full this a.m. when I tried to send message, came back. My camera battery died in Yellowknife also and I forgot my charger. We had a good trip and very nice weather. Very few bugs. We were going to stay at Slave yesterday but it was raining. will email later

Reb said...

Obviously it is time for me to take a road trip up there, I didn't recognize the rivers - lol! Had to look again after I read the comments. I was maybe thinking about the way I used to approach it?

Nice pictures Sis! Can't wait for the rest. Sucks about the batteries, need to get yourself a car charger or a second battery?

Hilary said...

Fun stuff, Baggie. I'll have to check out part two after I come back from my own time away. This was good timing to remind me about back-up batteries.. thanks! ;)

Emily said...

Oh how fun! He should go be one of the Ice Road Truckers (I know there are tons of Canadians on the show but I don't know if it airs up there!) Anywho, if you have no clue what I'm talking about let me know and I'll find you a link. Keep the videos and pictures coming; I'm jealous of your beautiful weather.

Haley said...

What beautiful country!

Fitarella said...

so...what reeeeally goes on in that rig BL? You being his "swamper" at SlaveLake...? ehem..

the Bag Lady said...

Hi, Hi: glad you're home. I'll fix the email.

Hi, Reb: the bridge looks different at the Smoky since they twinned the highway... Yeah, need to at least get an extra battery.

Hi, Hil: have a great time at the cottage - hope the weather is good!

Hi, Emily - sorry, I don't know what you are talking about - is that a TV program? Fill me in...

Haley - Yes, it is - hope you can tune in tomorrow for the rest of the shots - some of them are pretty nice!

Fitarella - oooh, you caught me out!! There IS a sleeper on that truck...ahem.

Scrumpy's Baker said...

That dash looks like it belongs in an airplane, not a truck!

the Bag Lady said...

SB - I know!! the first time I saw the new dashboards, that's exactly what I said! Even hubby has trouble finding everything he needs to look at.

Maggie said...

Wow that disposable camera works pretty darn good. I recall when I would go on road trips when I was younger,with a friend of mine that was a trucker. I loved it. The scenery was worth the long trips.

Looks like you're getting in some beautiful scenery as well.

Hope you two are having fun. Can't wait for more pictures. :)

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, great pics, hard to believe it's just a disposable camera!

Can't wait to hear more about the road trip--hope you're having a great time.

the Bag Lady said...

Maggie and Crabby - it wasn't a very long trip - back already!!

More photos to come tomorrow....

bunnygirl said...

Good stuff! I love that old barn!

Carpe Diem said...

Yeah, a Holday!!!! Road bans off coming off here too. At least that's what Husband says and he's the one to give the orders. I think he's secretly taking them off because we need to haul in dirt ;)

the Bag Lady said...

BG - I love the old barn, too. There were several more cool-looking old buildings along the way, but couldn't capture them on film. Sigh.

Carpe D. - the bans are at 75% here now. It was lovely to get out and see some of the countryside - a change is as good as a rest!!

Susan said...

Oh, I do enjoy the pictures. Looks like a beautiful road trip... but I'm not sure I'd want to be a swamper. Cow Whisperer... now there's potential money in that talent!!!

the Bag Lady said...

Hi, Susan; it was a beautiful road trip - everything looks so green and new!