Today I am sharing a photo of Alberta, Canada my home province. The shot was taken today by a friend of mine, Jeffery Wallace. I love his photos and follow his travels via Facebook. I just had to share this with my readers. Incredible beauty!
I’m in Lethbridge, Alberta this week while my wife attends university. My exploring has taken me to the Galt Museum and Archives (www.galtmuseum.com) which concentrates on the history of the area and it is fascinating.
Today I’ll tell you about the longest-highest railway bridge of its kind in the world, the CP Rail High Level Bridge. Completed in 1909 it was built to replace 20 wooden bridges and shortened an existing route from Fort McLeod to Lethbridge. It spans the Oldman River valley. The construction of the bridge was named a National Historic Event in 2005.
Length: 1 mile, 47 feet
Height: 314 feet
Cost in 1909: $1,334,525
Time to complete: 2-years (some delays due to flooding in 1908)
Unique feature: Railway track is nestled between two girder beams instead of running on top of them. This makes it practically impossible for derailed cars to leave the bridge deck.
This bridge is very much in use today and is inspected regularly.
Canadian Pacific Railway High Level Bridge at Lethbridge, Johnston, Dr. Alex, Occasional Paper #46 published by Lethbridge Historical Society, 2008
Stats Canada projects in the next decade about 30% of the Canadian workforce will retire. In my industry alone, oil and gas, it will leave about 40,000 job vacancies. This is without the impact of oil prices and activity levels.
Virtually ever other industry including small business will be impacted by the boomers leaving the workforce. Now it will give younger persons starting out great opportunities, but most of the rookies in the workforce need about ten years to build experience to the levels of those workers leaving. This results in a knowledge gap.
Some of this knowledge gap can be filled by hiring the boomers back as consultants on short term basis. Most boomers don’t want to quite cold-turkey anyway it seems. Many of my friends who have retired out the door ahead of me are back working part time. Great opportunities for all generations it seems.
“Severe labour crunch forecast for oilpatch as workers retire”, by Dino O’Meara, Calgary Herald, March 29, 2011.
“The Decade Ahead 2010-2020″, report by Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada, 2009.
A good friend of mine, Jeffrey Wallace, took this picture recently and it captures the spirit of this province I live in so well I got permission to post it. He is an awesome photographer as you can see.
Notice the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep on the outcrop in the foreground.
The falls are 35 metres (over 100 feet) in height and quite spectacular. It is possible to drive close to them and then a short hike through the trees gets you there.
They are west of Red Deer, Alberta in the Rocky Mountains.
No wonder my American friends call us the Great White North. We had a major blizzard hit this past Friday and it lasted all weekend. A city of over one million brought to a stand-still. Along with the snow came the cold weather. Last night the overnight low as – 29 C. Today we’re having a scorcher at – 21 C. It took me two hours to get from my suburban home to the office in the downtown core. The usual commuting time is 35 minutes.
Photo of Ram River Falls. These are in the Canadian Rockies west of Red Deer Alberta. The Ram River eventually flows into the North Saskatchewan River near Rocky Mountain House.
They were discovered by the famous mapmaker and explorer David Thompson.
Living up here in the Great White North – Canada, I always enjoy seeing somewhere else get that early snowfall.
So for all my American friends here is a photo of snow in Colorado on September 29th.
Here in Calgary, Alberta it is getting cooler but still well above freezing and definitely no snow. Unfortunately my time will come, but in the meantime I have this photo to show it could be worse.
Several bloggers have done this lately. I thought it would be an interesting way to look back in time, so here is my version.
1. Who was your first date?
A girl name Terry who was in my class. I remember it took me forever to work up the nerve to ask her to a dance. I think I was around 15 at the time.
2. Do you still talk to your first love?
No. My first puppy love was at age 14 and her name was Crystal. We met while vacationing at a resort. Apparently she married and had several children. I never saw her again after that summer, except we did write letters back and forth for a while.
3. What was your first alcoholic drink?
Vodka and orange juice. A couple of my buddies and I tied one on when we were about 16. Certainly something I am not proud of, but I was so sick that it’s something I haven’t forgotten.
4. What was your first job?
My first part-time job was working at the local IGA grocery store. I worked there through all of high school. Started when I was 15. The first full-time job was in June 1969. My employer was Babcock & Wilcock. I was a timekeeper/first aid man on various construction sites. There was lots of shift work. I remember the starting wage was $3.00/hr and after three years I got up to $5.00/hr.
5. What was your first car?
First car I owned was a 1969 MGB sportscar. It was a snazy convertible. I had lots of fun for a couple of years, until I had an accident and couldn’t afford the insurance, so I traded to a Toyota Corolla. Before cars I did have a couple of motorcycles, a Yamaha 100cc Twin and a Yamaha 350. Got my first one when I turned 16 and got my licence.
6. Who is the first person you thought of this morning?
My beautiful wife Cindy. I get up early, around quarter to five, and it is very difficult to leave the warmth of the bed.
7. Who was the first teacher who influenced you?
I don’t remember at all. The one teacher that really sticks in my mind is Gerald Kelsey who was my grade 8 teacher and also principle of the elementary school. I was severely challenged by math. He took the time to work with me after school several times a week. If it weren’t for his patience and perseverance I would likely still be in that grade.
8. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane?
In 1957 I went for a helicopter ride in the small town I lived in at the time, Iroquois, Ontario. It was part of their Christmas celebrations. Santa had arrived via the chopper and Dad arranged for us to have a ride.
9. Who was your first best friend, and are you still friends with him/her? When, high school? Elementary school?
I had two very best male friends all the way through high school. Unfortunately I lost touch with them over the years. Recently I found out one is a drunk and the other has passed on. Very sad all in all.
10. What was your first sport played?
I played little league baseball when I was around 10 or 11. I was a pitcher.
11. What was the first movie you saw?
Bambi when it first came to the screen. My folks took us to see it in Ottawa. It would have been in the 1950s, but I’m not sure of the year.
12. What was the first concert you ever went to?
The Rolling Stones in 1964 in London, Ontario. They had just released “Satisfaction”. I remember how conservative they were at the time dressed in suits and not dancing around the stage like they do now. I also remember girls fainting and pulling off their clothes in a frenzy.
13. What was the first foreign country you went to?
The United States because I lived across the St. Lawrence River from it.
14. What was your first run-in with the law?
The police rousted a bunch of us who were at a bush party. Nothing serious though, they just told us all to go home.
15. When was your first detention?
It is hard to remember since I got so many in high school, but I was likely about 14.
16. What was the first state/province you lived in?
New Brunswick because I was born there. We left in 1955, when I was six, to live in Ontario. I left in 1977 to move to Alberta where I still reside.
17. Who was the first person to break your heart?
A girlfriend I had in high school. She was a minister’s daughter, but you would never have known it. She was a wild one let me tell you. She ended up marrying one of my best friends.
18. What was the first world event that influenced you or that you remember the most?
The Kennedy Assassination – the killing of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963 still fascinates me. I was only 14 years old at the time, but from that point forward my interest in world events and history knew no bounds. For me it was a life changing event.
If you enjoyed this why not try this exercise yourself. I know I had a few chuckles jotting these memories down.