I dug into a box and found my written journal for the time I was in Canada to see what I wrote about the grain elevator museum. Turns out that it wasn't a grain elevator museum in Cereal--it was a railroad station museum. I read about meeting Esther and her family. The hill we met on was called Drymeat Hill. It was where the native people used to dry meat for jerky and pemmican. John and his family were from Saskatchewan. John told me there were all sorts of things to see in Saskatchewan (I had heard I would be better off sleeping through it), and sketched out a route for me that would take me southeast across the bottom of Alberta and into Saskatchewan. It was this direction I took instead of just going east, "to see what there was to see."
I drove into the town of Cereal and noted that it looked like a dying town. Most of the storefronts on main street were boarded up. I came across a kid riding a Honda scooter down the street. His name was Jason. He told me about the museum--his sister worked there. I went to the museum and his sister, Jaycee, gave me a tour. She talked about the prairie economy, and how things were changing. I spent more than an hour there.
I took her picture, way before I was even remotely comfortable taking pictures of people. I wanted to remember her. After the tour she directed me to the grain elevator museum, which was about 40 miles away (Canadian miles) in a town I didn't recored the name of.
I dug out my old hard drive to find the pictures that went along with this trip. Took me an hour to find it, and another half-hour to find the connecting cable. I started looking through them and was really surprised by them. When I first took them, I didn't like any of them. Maybe because there was a lot of dust on my sensor and I lacked the knowledge and tools at the time to fix it. But I look at them now, almost ten years later, and they really capture the loneliness I was feeling at the time. There was a quiet and emptiness to the landscape that perfectly matched my mood. The big empty.
Although I found the grain elevator museum and apparently got a tour from another young woman, I only took a few pictures--it was kind of dark. This is from another grain elevator I came across the same day in Meeting Creek. The girl who gave me the tour also gave me my next destination--Empress, right near the Saskatchewan border. More about that tomorrow.
Wild horses in a field in southern Alberta.