During the many years living in Alberta’s wilderness outside of the big cities of Calgary and Edmonton, along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains NW of Calgary, I have encountered situations which to most city dwellers may seem frightening. [This post continued from my last posts – on Alberta Wilderness.]

The best way to start a story is at the beginning. When we first came across the US/Canada border into Canada. Somewhere North of New York State and Ontario late April of 1976. It was still cold. Our home so far had been our old Volkswagen (Square Back – I call it my ‘Hobomobile’), an antique you might say, in which we (myself and my nine year old son) had spent weeks travelling up North from New York State (Syracuse University). Then traversing Canada going West towards Edmonton, Alberta, where I was meeting a friend – we had done some projects in Geneva, Switzerland together in 1974. To make this short: I needed a job as a single mother (my husband had passed away end 1974). In Edmonton things fell into place somehow. One of the commitments was to travel up north to Slave Lake, Alberta, to meet someone who promised to help.

[ http://albertaparks.ca/lesser-slave-lake-pp/activities-events/winter-activities.aspx ]  A long trip with an old vehicle on Highway 2 north from Edmonton [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta_Highway_2 ], a highway which later in all those years in Alberta I got to know as “the killer highway”, especially in winter. And winter up there starts early and ends late. Tough going. Car trouble, oil leaking, and more. On the way up it struck me as my first impression of real wilderness. Not many homes along that highway, once in a while a stop at one forlorn house in the middle of nowhere, driving into the yard, to ask for motor oil. There were mostly Natives – a glimpse at the Native First Nations [ http://atc97.org/first-nations/athabasca-chipewyan-first-nation ], busy processing hunted beaver in their yard. For us – a different world from what I had known in Europe, or for that matter the almost two years at Syracuse University, New York State. We made it to Slave Lake with that old Volkswagen, running on two cylinders. Meeting my contact at this great lake, in the midst of constructing a house there. Slave Lake is huge and was still at this time of year covered with big ice floes . My slides showing select images starting from Ontario, across to Alberta and up North to Slave Lake, Alberta.  . And the way back to Edmonton ? My Hobomobile finally gave up its life on the road.

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