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Sedgewick to Wetaskiwin, AB (82 miles)

Great day to be biking—no winds for the first five hours. What I find fascinating is how some businesses, farms, and ranches make their place so welcoming, and others do not.

Today’s photo is obviously an Alberta ranch. The horse, rider, cow and calf are silhouettes, but appear so realistic on a pasture hill. Another place yesterday was an acreage, apparently an oil-field worker, who had constructed a huge archway of perhaps 12 inch black pipe. Without words, it was welcoming and showed pride in his &/or her profession.

Late this afternoon, we were invited to a farm by a couple we had met while wintering in Mexico. As an agronomist, I was thrilled to see their canola emerging and spring wheat attempting to establish itself in a cool spring.

However, the real treat was being taken to their private campground with a newer camper, expansive deck overlooking a small 28 foot deep lake stocked with trout. They are not large farmers and had allowed an area to be mined for sand and gravel. Rather than just letting weeds grow as if it was past usefulness, they asked their gravel contractor to reclaim an old pit by flattening an area for camper and parking. Then tapering the slope into the water’s edge. Trees and shrubs were allowed to fill in around the lawn that was well maintained.  Even a play ground was erected for their four grandchildren. What an enjoyable evening by being taken to a private family spot to enjoy peaceful conversation.

As I bike, I look forward to seeing businesses and farms that take pride in their place. We certainly found one this evening.