Friday, April 24, 2009

The Hat to GPK Virtual Trip

Hi Marston            Report 12   April 22 2009

 The weather keeps changing from hour to hour.  Bright skies then down pour, then when you think it can't get worse, it snows to prove you wrong.. The sky is so immense it occupies almost all of your vision. The geography is the sky. So when they advised the pioneers to " Keep your eye on the Sky”, it wasn't just a matter of speech.

 I'm on my way to Eastend and it’s in the middle of no-where and miles from the nearest city.

 What’s great about taking this route is that you discover places like Eastend that didn't have the Railway as its birth parent. First Nations people were the first here and they left lots of evidence in the way of Tepee circles and writing on stones. Then Isaac Cowie an agent for the Hudson Bay Trading Company set up a post in 1870 on the Eastern slopes of the Cypress Hills. With the Sioux coming up from the battle of the Little Big horn and tangling with the local Blackfoot it got real ugly. After only one season in which he traded 750 bear hides, 1500 Elk hides he decided to get out while he still had his own hide. He no sooner cleared the hill than his cabin was torched and burned to the ground. So much for customer relations.

 About 60 M├ętis families moved in next and called the place Chapel Coulee. By the time Louis Riel had finished rebelling and Sitting Bull was no longer sitting, the town had moved closer to where it is today along the Frenchman River. As it was the most easterly detachment for Fort Walsh,  everyone began referring to it as the

" Eastend".  Today it boasts a 9-hole golf course, a curling and hockey rink, and an indoor swimming pool. To give you an idea of how cold it gets the indoor swimming pool is only open in the summer. .

While I'm here I'm going to introduce you to Stephen Langton Goulet.. He is one of the greatest photographers and you can catch his collection at           Ilse Upsher who created the web page for Eastend, kindly got permission for me to post some of his work on the blog, so I'll pass it on.( A sample is the Bull bison)

 I the mean time, the roads are down hill, I am freezing to death and I keep asking my self " What was I thinking when I left so early”   But must look on the bright side, there are no mosquitoes, and as that Bull Bison goes?  I don't trust him. He keeps looking at my bike and I think he wants to steal it.

 See you tomorrow

 Doug Garrett

Thanks Doug



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