Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Hat to the Park

Marston and Bob

Report # 3 May 2010 90 kms Trip total 2360

I don’t know if you get the weather reports for this part of the world or not, but you aught to. It would make you love where you live so much more!

A spring storm came in and we had over a foot of snow from the Town of Cardston in the South to Rocky Mountain House in the North. BY the time it got to Melville, it was blowing so hard sideways the snow didn’t even touch the ground. The ground was bare but everything above 2 feet high was plastered on the west side like it had been hit with a Cream pie

Remember I have to peddle the kms before I can record them on the blog. So it may be slow going every once in a while.

Right now I’m pulling into view at Melville. The Railways didn’t pay much to clerks who chose names for towns in those days. Maybe they only had one per railway. Whatever the reason it’s a bald face shame they got people with no imagination what so ever.

The President of the Grand Trunk Railway was Charles Melville Hays. The clerk must have got the inspiration from studying his pay cheque because he called this place Melville and you can see where it came from. In 1905, just 105 years ago the railway came through here. Now VIA Rail and the CNR do the same and not a lot has changed otherwise. The population has jumped by an unprecedented 200 people since 2007. That in spite of the historical complaints about the poor quality of life.

Any place that features “ A Good place to retire” or “ A good place to Raise Children” isn’t expecting a lot of immanent adventure.

Still, it is both of the above and the quiet, well kept cookie cutter houses will probably still be here long after most of us are long gone.

The Water tower and Railway Station with the shops leading away reveal it started with the railway as most other prairie towns have done since Canada was created.

Some of the old buildings are still standing. Sincere efforts are being made to preserve them, but they are really expensive to maintain or heat. Only a small handful have funding so unless a business wants them they will be all gone too.

Thank goodness for Railway Cabooses. Just about every town has one for its Information Centre. They come with central heating, a pot bellied stove with stove pipes, plus bunks if you need them.

There’s not much money for statues so you get the Plywood silhouette cut-outs instead. The local hockey team is called the “ Melville Millionaires”. Somebody’s caustic sense of humour no doubt.

So is the “ Lake Town Hotel “ featuring Chicken, pitza and burgers washed down with Pepsi.

Don’t ask, I won’t even try to explain..

See you next week hopefully without mukluks, woollies and hand warm- gels

Doug G

Thanks Doug G.

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