Stories

  • Growing up in a small prairie town in the ‘80s, like I did, you had to make your own fun. It was an era of fast cars, wild fashion and some pretty darn good rock and roll. Probably a good thing most of us were too young to drive. But that doesn’t mean we’re too old to party now. And Three Hills gives you licence to let loose.

  • Purple wildflowers carpet the grassy hillsides as the morning sun warms the Waterton Lakes valley. In the distance, we see a mother bear carefully watching over her three frolicking cubs on a closed trail below Bears Hump on Mt. Crandell.

  • Not sure what I expected when I selected Level 2 on the power mode switch. Helmet strapped on, I took my first pedal stroke and with a surprising burst of energy my electric assist mountain bike burst to life. Now that’s more like it.

  • Rolling prairie hills and grasslands abruptly give way to the montane forest and mountains of the Canadian Rockies as we drive westbound. The Castle wilderness almost appeared as a line across the land where it was decided the prairie would become towering mountains. It was here drove into Castle Provincial Park.

  • The mighty Canadian Rockies thrust themselves upward abruptly from the soft rolling landscape of the Alberta prairies as we turned into the Waterton Lakes National Park driving from Lethbridge. Honestly, the anticipation of rounding the corner and laying first sight on the iconic Prince of Wales hotel.

  • As you head east through Central Alberta, through Red Deer County from Highway 2 to 2A to Highway 21, the towns seem to get progressively smaller and the space in between get wider. No — not wider, that doesn’t quite capture it. Bigger, broader, more open and expansive. I don’t know if there’s a single word that exists to explain the sensation: the feeling of leaving behind the urban buzz of modern life for the solitude of wind blowing through long grass. This is prairie-raised Alberta writer W.O. Mitchell’s territory, out beyond where the sidewalk ends.  

  • Mirror is place where you have to slow down, take your time and appreciate the finer things of rural living, like heirloom furniture, hardy vegetables, bright flowers, horse riding, fresh homemade baking and downhome rural Albertan hospitality.

  • Mainstreet marquees, heritage buildings, boutique shops, craft stores, cafes and good restaurants anchor downtown, the Camrose County Nature Conservation Centre and Miquelon Lake Provincial Park give reign to the wilds just beyond town limits.

  • Ask for recommendations on where to go for a quick romantic getaway in Alberta, and the town of Trochu probably won’t top the list. But somehow, like a hot prairie day that slow cooks a sultry evening tempest, the town has simmered into a romantic getaway destination.

  • One pedal stroke after another, we work our mountain bikes to the top of Old Baldy Trail in Elkwater, Cypress Hills Provincial Park. The climb is less than a kilometre but we are rewarded with stunning views of Elkwater Lake below, shimmering in the late-afternoon light and embraced by thick forests around it.

  • A lake in southeastern Alberta is a pretty rare thing, especially one this size where you can boat, water-ski, kayak - and swim. The number of water activities is as long as an Alberta summer day. 

     

  • In Clive, AB – a town of just 700 northeast of Red Deer – even the ghosts know how to have a good time — sometimes well past closing time. At least, that’s according to Dale Bright, co-owner of the Clive Hotel.

  • We are about to be robbed. Gunsmoke and pistol reports fill the prairie sky, as horses and riders bear down on us. Watching from the train car, my two sons and I are spellbound.

  • The term “hidden gem” is used to describe something that is outstanding and but not necessarily obvious to most people. That’s what I wanted to learn about Medicine Hat, so I met up with Attiya Fune and her parents to explore the city and learn about the more off-the-beaten-path places for visitors.

  • It’s often the little things that make the heart grow fonder in relationships, but that, I discovered, can also apply to your old home city. I recently made a return visit to Medicine Hat where I hadn’t lived in more than two decades only to find the city had changed – a lot.

  • It’s been a few years since I lived in “The Hat” as we used to call it. So, when the chance came along to go back and experience Medicine Hat on a brewery tour, I was pretty excited. It would be interesting to see how much the city has changed. One thing’s for sure, there weren’t any craft brewers like Hell’s Basement Brewery and Medicine Hat Brewing Co around when I lived there. Today, they’re putting the small southern Alberta city on the international craft beer map.

  • Driving along Highway 3 through the Kootenays, many folks pass by the city of Cranbrook, not realizing what lies just off the busy road. I recently spent a couple of days here and discovered this: a cool recreated historic village, miles and miles of trails for hikers and bikers, a deliciously vibrant food scene and a local craft brewery named after the impressive Fisher Peak that reigns the landscape here.

  • If you were to tell a friend you were going to the mountains of Fernie, what would come to mind? Images of challenging multi-day treks in alpine wilderness, fearless climbs up huge rock walls, adrenaline-pumping mountain trail riding or daring white-water rafting?

  • “That used to be my hotspot over there,” said Captain Mike Halvorsen, pointing across the Alberni Inlet to a cove where Douglas Firs covered a mountainside and stood branch-to-branch at the edge of a pebble-covered beach.

  • The bulbs of market lights twinkling above were strung between cedar boughs, and Perry Como played on an outdoor loudspeaker.

    “It’s 1953 Day at the Mill today!” said Deanna Beaudoin, executive director of McLean Mill Historic Park  as she walked up to me with root beer floats in hand.