Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Doug G. Sends some great pics and story
We moved to Medicine Hat about 2 years ago after 26 years on the West Coast For some time now we have been driving past signs, south of the city which promise there is a place called " Many Berries" some where towards the U.S. border.. This is no doubt an English translation of the original Native name. We decided to take a ride south to see what a town with such a colorful name could possibly look like.
Many of the towns settled in the early 1900's have long ago fallen into the prairie grass as the second and third generations left the farm for the cities with no one to replace them. After about 45 minutes, we stopped on the road and took a picture looking back from where we had come from ( North) and another picture where we still had to go, South..
The road disappeared over the horizon in both directions. As we had not passed a single vehicle since starting, we began to suspect this might be one of those which gave up the ghost too. Past experience has taught us that just because the name shows on the latest map does not guarantee the town is actually there.
Some towns have now only a wrought iron sign post stuck in the ground, bearing it's name, the incorporation date and the date the last person left. As we traveled about 25 minutes further down the gravel road we could now see some buildings on the horizon. The town is still there and surprisingly, is still inhabited with about 15 of the houses occupied.
In the center of the town's 4 streets is a restaurant/tavern/pub. The name Southern Ranchmen's Inn seems to say it all. A white paper sign on the wall announced " Happy Birthday Evelyn". While we didn't see a soul around, it was reassuring to know there were people here who still called Many Berries home.A stiff wind was blowing and as I stood out side the van snapping photos, I was quickly reminded of how cold it was even though the sun was shinning brilliantly and there was no snow on the ground.
The other picture is what was once the railway station. The tracks are long gone and judging by the laundry that was flapping madly on the clothes line in the wind, it is now used as a home. We have since heard that this place is host to summer music festivals as well as other events and is well known to the locals
In the mean time for those who think Canada is over populated, its roads over crowded and the air too poluted, you might want to spend a week or two off the TransCanada Highway in rural Alberta.
Bet you change your mind.
Catch you later
We appreciate your efforts to share with us..