Author's note:
(`11/12) All material on this website is covered by copyrite.
Copy, in whole, or in part, without express permission of the author is illegal.

HIGHWAY 2

(Map of Hwy. 2, Alberta.)
Author's note: Original map by RAND McNALLY, butchered by Lee. A Wood

In the Province of Alberta, Canada.

Over the past 60 years, I have ridden, or driven, for pleasure, or gain, from Athabasca to Highway 3, along Highway 2.

Before 2 became 2 A, back when 2 was single lane, unpaved, in each direction.

Most of my travels have been on the stretch between Edmonton and Calgary.

Highway 2, South of Edmonton is known as the Calgary Trail.

Northbound, from Calgary it is known as the Edmonton Trail.

Between Edmonton and Calgary it has been renamed `Queen Elizabeth II Highway'.

Southbound from Calgary it is known as the Macleod Trail.

CALGARY
EDMONTON
NANTON
WEST
EDMONTON
MALL

EDMONTON
HIGHLANDS
MILL
CREEK
MOUNT
ROYAL
OLIVER
STRATHCONA

WEST EDMONTON MALL


May 2009

When it was built, the THE WEST EDMONTON MALL was the largest indoor shopping centre in the world and became the bases for most mall designs in the USA.

(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - inside, looking, way up, along center pole for a ride.)
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - inside, looking, way up, along center of a loop of track for a ride.)
GALAXYLAND - AN INDOOR AMUSEMENT PARK

(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - tracks forming loops for rides inside building.)
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - tracks forming loops for rides inside building.)
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - octopus type ride.)
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - anchor shaped arm of ride, all dark except for orange lights.)
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - targets of skulls for a shooting game.)
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - an old carousel, merry-go-round.)
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - water slide running into the end of a lake with a concrete beach covered with beach chairs.)
WORLD WATERPARK - AN INDOOR LAKE
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - swimmers near the other end of the lake waiting for large waves.)
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - Lady in the mouth of a bronze whale.)
NOAH (SERENA) & THE WHALE
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - a mini submarine in dock.)
THIS SUBMARINE USED TO TAKE PEOPLE PAST
ALL THE WATER EXHIBITS
THIS LAST TIME I WAS THERE IT WASN'T IN OPERATION
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - an old sailing vessel under a huge glass roof.)
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - The bow of the ship, Santa Maria, with figurehead.)
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - The stern of the ship, pirates unload a treasure chest.)
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - mist ship, deck and mast.)

EDMONTON


(Edmonton, Alberta - Highway overpass - city buildings.)
YELLOWHEAD HWY.
(Edmonton, Alberta - Highway overpass - city buildings.)
LOOKING DOWN FROM 156th St.
(Edmonton, Alberta - city street - overhead signs, city buildings.)
156th St.
(Edmonton, Alberta - West Edmonton Mall - city street - city buildings.)
LOOKING SOUTH ON 156th ST.
Copyrite `98

HIGHLANDS - (11042 76 St.?)

2 wooden houses
(Photo `04) According to city archives
I lived in the house on the right, 11042 76 St. the first year of my life,
then the one on the left, 11036 76 St. from `47 to `50.

My earliest memories are of a house in the Highlands of Edmonton, Alberta.

The Highlands district was near the Eastern boundary of the city of Edmonton and butted against the town of Beverly.

When Edmonton expanded it's boundaries, it drew Beverly into the expanding metropolis.

The street (98th St.) was one block long. On the north end of the street, on the East corner, was a corner store. To the South the street ended on a cross street that bordered a steep bank that went down to the North Saskatchewan River.

Often, across the street from our house would sit a large highway rig. The trailer was a white tank. I believe it was from Purity 99 oil. I say large, I was only 4, by today's standards it was pretty small. I'm talking of a 1949 single axle tractor with a 38 ft. single axle trailer.

Andy Megaw, the driver of the truck lived in our attic. My sister and I called him uncle Andy though he wasn't related. He was a good friend of my father and rented the upstairs room when he was in town.

I don't recall ever having been inside the truck so I am not sure if it was the memory of this vehicle that eventually led me to being a long haul trucker.

I'm not sure how long we lived on this street though I believe we lived in more than one house. My only other recollection of this area was of some older boys pushing me over the edge of the cliff. I was hanging on by my fingertips when my slightly older sister chased the boys away and pulled me up. I do recall her telling them that they were not to pick on me. Only she was allowed to beat me up.

I don't recall this next part but I was told about it by my parents.

My father, at that time, was a member of the R.C.M.P. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police.). His office was many blocks to the West of our home. Apparently I remembered where it was and walked there, unbeknownst to either of my parents. In those days, the barracks, or detachment headquarters were ensconced in a castle like brick building that was heated by steam. My father's job, after dressing up in his shiny red uniform every morning, was to go down to the boiler room and shovel coal.

Apparently a truck had just delivered a load of coal and I entered the basement via the coal shute from the street. Needless to say I was black from head to toe.

After searching the boiler area and not finding my father at his desk I proceeded to the holding area and explored the cells, receiving cat calls from the prisoners. Not finding my father there I proceeded to explore the entire building, floor to floor, hallway after hallway, until finally returning to the basement where I found my father cleaning out a toilet in one of the cells. Prisoners would break the heels off their shoes and stuff them down the toilet before using it, which would cause a very messy situation that my father would have to resolve.

Later there was much to do about the little, dirty, child that had been seen wandering around the headquarters and never having been stopped and questioned. Apparently my father never admitted to having seen the apparition.

MILL CREEK

AN OASIS OF NATURE, IN THE HEART OF A CITY.

Mill Creek was an oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a major metropolis. A small forest with a small creek meandering through it.

A small dirt road left the helter skelter of; roadways, and railway tracks, that used the Low Level Bridge to cross the North Saskatchewan River (the train used the same bridge as the cars) and gently curved through the forest.

There were three or four wood frame houses along the road before it crossed through the creek, there was no bridge, and came to an end in the yard on the other side. North of the yard the creek curved East and then South where the valley narrowed even more. Further South a bridge carries Whyte Ave. over the canyon. Just North of the bridge, where the canyon widened, the city built a swimming pool. In the yard, 9422 98 St., North of the canyon, my father built a house.

While serving with the RCMP, day shift at the barracks, in the evenings, my father bought lots, and built houses. The last place he bought and built was the very last place on mill creek.

I don't recall what the house looked like. I know it had a basement and a kitchen. I do recall the brick fireplace under the trees, near the driveway, they didn't have barbecues in those days.

And I certainly recall warm summer evenings when my parents would have their friends over. The home-built, brick, fireplace would be ablaze. We would roast marshmallows and hot dogs, washing them down with my mother's home made root beer. To this day I can not find a root beer that tastes as good.

One day my sister was running down the hill behind the fireplace and ran, head first, into a beehive hanging form a branch. To this day, anything that sounds like a bee, even a buzzing fly, will send her screaming.

Behind the house was a set of stairs that went up the bank to a leveled area where my father built, for my sister, and I; a playhouse, a sandbox, and swings, surrounded by a high wooden fence, to keep us children off the train tracks. It didn't, however, protect my golden cocker spaniel which, I am told, was run over by the train.

I can't recall ever seeing the train but I do recall riding on it. My mother took us on the last trip before they closed it down. I vaguely recall the interior of the cars. I remember being excited about the ticket for the door prize. I have no recollection of the drawing so, I assume, I did not win.

I remember looking out the window and watching our house roll by, and I remember going over the Low Level Bridge.

Below the hill, where our play area was, were cages with rabbits. At the time I thought they were pets for us children but my sister told, me recently, that they were actually for the kitchen table. I am sure my father would have also found a market for the pelts. In our basement were many cages where my father raised chinchillas, chinchilla coats being in vogue at the time. We were allowed in the basement but we weren't allowed to play with the chinchillas which may be another reason my father had rabbits, to distract us from the basement, as we were allowed to pet, and play with, the rabbits.

I recall the kitchen because that is where our cat felt safe from our dog. However, at that time I had grown to where the counter was shoulder height and I could walk through the kitchen, sweeping the counter with my arm, dropping the cat in front of the dog. How I loved to see the blur of colours as the two sped out of the kitchen.


Three storie  red brick building
(Photo `04 Aug.) BENNETT SCHOOL (Built 1912) Now - Bennett Environmental Education Centre.

  Though in the middle of the city we were in the middle of a forest and for my first year of school I had to walk about a mile. I don't recall the walk in the winter but I remember the summer trips, walking past the city incinerator where there was a huge mountain of garbage. My mother was afraid to open my lunch bucket when I got home.

Mother was more afraid to open my sister's lunch pail. Where I would tarry at the garbage dump my sister would dawdle in the creek. Where my lunch bucket would be full of valuable stuff, my sister's would contain: newts; frogs; and other oddities of nature.

On the other side of the creek, down the road a ways, was a clapboard house wherein lived a lady of my age. My fist girlfriend (Crush)? They called her Pidgey because, when she was a baby, she sounded like a pigeon, cooing, when she cried.

One sunny afternoon Pidgey, Elaine Brown, and I, were sitting on the back steps of her home. Her bigger sister came up behind us and clunked our heads together. I went crying home and told my big sister. My sister went back down the road, and with a long piece of grass, gave my Pidgey's big sister a whipping. No one was allowed to beat me up, except my big sister.

In the summer of 2001 I rode the bus from Whyte Avenue down the hill and across the Low Level Bridge. I could see some roof tops above the trees in Mill Creek but not our house. The house burned down some years after we had moved out.

Now, all the houses, along the narrow winding drive, are gone and so too is the creek. I have been told that that part of the creek now runs through a culvert, and the entire area is buried under many feet of land fill.

STRATHCONA ? (89 Ave. near 100 St. ATMS*.)

Our next abode was above mill creek just South of the valley. This was a small stucco bungalow. We only lived there for about half of a year and I don't recall too much about it.
At Christmas I was sick with double mumps and I lay on the couch too sick to participate while my family decorated the Christmas tree.

I'm not sure if we were in the Strathcona district but we moved West from there to the other side of the Strathcona School to a tall two story house with a big birch tree in the back yard.

STRATHCONA - 10114 86 Ave.)

“front
Built in 1915, (remodeled in `57 Photo `04)
Gone is the balcony that stretched across the front.
used to climb out my window (The one on the left) and put Christmas lights on the railing.
Also a verandah stretched across the front and the yard was surrounded by a hedge of caragana.

My bedroom, like my sister's, was on the front of the house. Side by side our rooms had windows that opened onto a balcony. I would crawl through mine and string Xmas lights along the railing. Each year my father bought me another set of lights.

Though we were only there for two and a half years I had many adventures.

One Christmas morning I went down the stairs to find an O scale train set layed out on the living room carpet. On New Year's Eve my parents went out and left us with a baby sitter. When I snuck down the stairs I found my train tracks scattered around the floor and the cars scattered around the room. The next day I told my father that the sitter had had some company. She never worked for us again.

Coming home from school was a learning experience. On each corner the school had older students as traffic monitors. They didn't control traffic but they taught students how to correctly cross a street. If we were caught jaywalking we had to correctly navigate the intersection five times; stopping, looking, and listening at each corner.

The school had large stone stairs with large rock railings, which were topped with concrete. We were not allowed to climb on these. One day I was sitting on the newel post when the principal walked by. I thought I would be in trouble but all he said was, "You shouldn't climb up there, you might fall off and break your coconut".

At the ripe old age of seven I took up smoking.

The underneath of our back porch was latticed in and I hid my cigarettes there, and would usually hide there when I was smoking. Neither of my parents smoked so I am not sure why I started.

At the Western end of the block was; a park with; an outdoor rink, a community hall, and swings. One morning my mother went out on the back balcony to shake out her dust mop and saw me sitting on a swing, smoking. Pinching my ear, she led me home. When father came home she told him but all he said to me was, "You shouldn't smoke. You are too young".

In late August the community hall would put on a movie sponsored by Coca Cola. They would hand out; rulers, pencils, and book covers, all with the Cola logo.

One of the rules at home was that, if I wanted to go out to play, after school, I should change out of my good, going-to-school clothes and dress in some older wear.

Every now and then, about once a week, on the way home from school, I would see a shunt engine repositioning grain cars at the elevators just West of the playground. I would rush past my home, forgetting about the clothing rule, and run down to the train. The engineer would lift me up onto the train and the fireman would hand me a shovel.

I wasn't strong enough to hold more than one or two chunks of coal on the shovel and I didn't weigh enough to trip the floor lever to open the doors on the boiler. The fireman would help me hold the shovel and step on the plate that opened the door so I could toss in the coal.

Needless to say, by the time I got home I was black from head to toe and my mother was not happy.

We didn't have a TV, at that time, they were new on the market. On Thursday evenings our parents would take us across the alley to the neighbour's where we would watch the Lawrence Welk Show. On Saturday afternoons my sister and I would go down to the end of the block where we visited a lady who let us watch Disneyland.

In the summer, after school ended we packed up and moved to a little town in BC (British Columbia) called Sicamous.

OLIVER DISTRICT - (10228 123 St.)

The house in the Oliver District didn't have a basement. After school and on weekends I would carry five gallon pails, not full, of earth, up a set of earthen stairs and dump them in the back yard, my father probably carried most of them. In this manner we dug a basement.

In this house I took up smoking again, at least I don't remember smoking in Sicamous. I do remember where I got the cigarettes when I lived in Edmonton before.

When I lived in Strathcona children needed to have a note from their parents to purchase cigarettes but at my tender age no one would have guessed they were for me so I was never asked. I would collect pop bottles and take them to the drug store at the end of the street.

Cigarettes came in thin flat metal containers. Black Cat, Export, Players. Not many brands in those days and certainly not a large selection. There was no such thing as mild or filter tips. When we hid under the bridge in the West end we smoked Vogues, man, were they strong.

I remember when Black Cat came out with their No. 7. They weren't filter but they were cork tip, so your lip wouldn't stick to the cigarette. Only smokers of plain end know the joy of pulling a cigarette out of their mouth and taking a chunk of lip with it, of course one soon learned to wet their lip with their tongue before removing the cigarette, but that trick was usually learned the painful way.

I was paid an allowance of fifteen cents a week which I would save up. Every second Saturday I would have enough to go to the theatre for a matinee and jaw breakers. As I grew older I graduated to popcorn, can't watch a movie without it. I think I have spent half my life and half of my income in the dentist chair, just went in this week for another crown, but I will not give up popcorn.

The Oliver District is also where I was introduced to french fries. The paper boy that I was helping would take me to a cafe. I didn't like the vinegar but the salt was good. Since then I have taken to smothering them with ketchup, I like a few fries with my ketchup.

MOUNT ROYAL

The Highlands district was near the Eastern boundary of the city of Edmonton and butted against the town of Beverly.
When Edmonton expanded it's boundaries, it drew Beverly into the expanding metropolis. When we moved to the Highlands district in the East end we got our first television.
It sat on the mantle of the fireplace where we couldn't reach it.
In those days electronics such as TV's, radios, stereos, whoops, didn't have stereo then, they had what was called Hi Fi or high fidelity, were not for little children to play with.

When we had lived in Strathcona our family would be invited across the alley on Saturday nights to watch the `Lawrence Welk Show' on TV.
On Saturday afternoons my sister and I would sometimes visit an old lady, when you are seven, everyone over ten is old, down the block and watch `Disneyland'.vSometimes after school one of my classmates would invite me over to watch `The Lone Ranger'.

In the Highlands end we lived not far from my aunt in Beverly.
We were also not far from the North Saskatchewan River, at least horizontally.
Vertically was another story.
The houses in that part of the city are far above the water.
Just under the lip of the bank my cousin had a small cave where she hid her cigarettes and matches.
We would go there to smoke.

I don't recall any chores, or jobs, in the Highlands but I got an allowance of twenty-five cents a week.
I saved my allowance for several weeks and bought a plastic model airplane.
A yellow navy trainer. A two seater.
An invitation to the wrath of my father, "How dare you waste your hard earned money on junk like that", I still had to buy the glue yet.
It was the first of many and I guess my father finally got used to it.
My room, over the years, became filled with planes, and tanks, anything military.

Not much else of consequence happened while we lived in the Highlands area of Edmonton.
In the mornings I would leave home in the wrong direction, meet a young lady who lived down the street, and carry her books to school.


(Photo `04) Built in 1951  Mount Royal School  11303 55 St.

While visiting in Beverly, three blocks away, one night, my aunt asked me to go to the store for her, I got chased by some geese.
On the street, at the end of the block, some people had some big farm geese, much bigger than the wild Canada Goose, and much meaner.
A lot of farmers use farm geese as watch dogs.
I found that I could run faster scared than they could mad.
When I came back from the store I chose a different route.

A few years ago while visiting Stanley Park, in Vancouver, I saw a small child approach a gosling (baby goose), and the mother goose chased the boy away.
The boy's mother berated the goose for scaring her son.
I shook my head in wonder.
Here was a supposedly intelligent animal talking to an animal that obviously didn't understand English and just as obviously had been protecting it's young.
Instead of chastising the goose the lady should have been explaining to her child that wild animals are wild and potentially harmful and should be viewed from a distance.
Though not as large as a farm goose a Canada goose could quite easily remove one of her child's fingers with one snap of it's beak and would do so if he was to harm one of her offspring.
BUT, on the other hand, the human mother was instinctively protecting her offspring.

Years later, when I was interested in photography, I took my models out in the snow, turned some on their side or upside down and placed little figures around them.


These black and white photos were taken with a small box camera
 that my mother gave me for my birthday when we were holidaying in Ont.
It got baked and warped from the sun while in the rear window of the car.
It fell down a rock wall into a river.
And it still took nice pictures.

I put spots of lighter fluid here and there, in the snow and on the models, and set fire to the little patches.
Standing on top of the stairs I took pictures of the scene.
I later showed the pictures to my friends and told them they were aerial photos of a war.
They were very realistic.

Years later I got into model trucks and better cameras.
In my photo album I have pictures that I tell people were my first trucks.
A few people notice how shiny the tires are but others accept my deception.
My photo album is a collection of pictures I have taken of truck accidents I have seen along the highways of North America.

For realism I actually took my lowbed, carrying a D 8 Caterpillar tractor splattered with real mud, pulled by a Mack conventional complete with scratch built sleeper, to the side of a road to get a gravel road look.


The tractor is a kit but the sleeper is scratch built.

One problem with that picture is that the model kit came from the states and the trailer has three axles, something not seen on the highways in Western Canada in those days.
I have since shortened the trailer deck and removed an axle for more realism, and of course once I had that accomplished the laws have changed and three axle trailers are very common in B. C.

I still haven't taken the gloss off the tires and I am not going to put the trailer back the way it was.
For one thing I don't have the parts anymore and secondly I have never pulled a three axle lowbed.
I have however, pulled a tandem with a D 8 on it.
I got stopped at the scales in Pouce Coupe, B. C. and they made me take the `C' frame off.
They said I was too wide even though I had a pilot car.

Nowadays, they not only leave the `C' frame on, they leave the blade on.
If I had left the blade on I would have been charged with dangerous driving.

* ATMS - According To My Sister

END

SOUTHBOUND FROM EDMONTON
TO CALGARY

CALGARY


(Calgary, Alberta - HWY. 2 - sign, welcome to Calgary.)
CALGARY - HEART OF THE NEW WEST - WELCOME
CLICK HERE TO GO TO MY `CALGARY' PAGE

NANTON


March 2010

(Nanton, Alberta - HWY. 2 - Late afternoon, dark snow clouds, snow on shoulders and in fields of stubble.)
NORTHBOUND TO NANTON
(Nanton, Alberta - Late afternoon, dark snow clouds - grain elevators beside road.)
ENTERING NANTON - 20th Ave.
(Nanton, Alberta - Late afternoon, dark snow clouds, old house used as store.)
HEARTWOOD 2010 17th ST.
(Nanton, Alberta - Late afternoon, dark snow clouds, bare pavement, industrial bldgs.)

(Nanton, Alberta - Late afternoon, dark snow clouds, bare pavement, snowy shoulders, two jet fighters on stands frame large building.)
NANTON LANCASTER SOCIETY - AIR MUSEUM - 21st AVE.

(Nanton, Alberta - Late afternoon, dark snow clouds, jet fighter on stand of poles.)
CANUCK ( CF - 100 )
(Nanton, Alberta - Late afternoon, dark snow clouds, sign about plane.)
(Nanton, Alberta - Late afternoon, dark snow clouds, jet fighter on stand of poles.)
(Nanton, Alberta - Late afternoon, dark snow clouds, jet fighter on stand.)
SILVER STAR (T - 33 )
(Nanton, Alberta - Late afternoon, dark snow clouds, sign about plane.)
(Nanton, Alberta - Late afternoon, dark snow clouds, jet fighter on stand.)

END

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