Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Look Back In Time

While the main purpose of last month's trip to Lethbridge was for birding, I couldn't resist taking in a little history as well.

Below is Fort Whoop-Up, or least a close replica of the original, which was actually constructed about 6 km to the south in 1869.  This replica was created in 1967 in Indian Battle Park to mark Canada's centenary.  It was the elicit whiskey trade which prompted the federal government to send out the Northwest Mounted Police (which later became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) to restore order in 1874.

This kiosk pays tribute to Lethbridge's early coal mining history.  Coal was king during the 1880-1900 period though I was surprised to learn that the last coal mine here remained open until 1957.

While I'm not 100% on this, I believe this was one of the old engines used to pull coal wagons up a horizontal railway which which built nearby.

This slope, now a foot path, was the site of the vertical railway mentioned above.  I'm sure there were a few of these constructed.

Entrance to a coal tunnel.

I should mention too that a lot of historical buildings and structures connected to the days of coal were built in what is now Indian Battle Park.  Successive floods and neglect have pretty much destroyed most traces of them, though the park's pathways are marked with some very interesting interpretive signage.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Icy Trails

As the weather warms I find it increasingly difficult to stay inside.  Yes, I wanted to do a little birding but I had no real destination in mind.  For the most part, I just wanted to stretch my legs and enjoy some sun.  I more or less randomly ended up over by the Birchwood Trails.  

Trail conditions were much different since the last time I had been here.  Back in February, while there were icy patches there was enough snow to give me the traction I needed.  Not so this time.  I made a couple of abortive attempts to get down into the valley, each time to find a small skating rink blocking my way.  But I can't say I wasn't warned...

I had to content myself with the trail along the top of the valley, but this eventually lead me to a section of trail I had never actually explored before.   Once I reached the lower part of Thickwood, I had an interesting view across to the Timberlea neighbourhood.  I think this damage was caused less by last year's wildfire and more by efforts of responders to clear sections of brush to deprive the fire of more fuel.  

I was rewarded with a nice little "peek a boo" view of the river...