We finished our trick-or-treating, candy gluttony, and traditional watching of Buffy musical episode and Nightmare Before Christmas so as the kid finally comes down from her sugar high to get to sleep, I’ll post this year’s Halloween postcard:
It’s a postal card from Canada Post from a couple years ago. It was part of their series of stamps and postal cards commemorating ghost stories across Canada.
This one is of a haunting at the Banff Springs hotel, as described by Canada Post:
Employees and guests have reported seeing a figure with a long, flowing dress descending the stairs. She is believed to be a bride who tripped and fell to her death on her wedding day.
While the kiddies are asleep, unwrap some of their candies and enjoy this ghost story.
On this day back in 1885, Canada’s transcontinental railways was symbolically completed with the hammering in of the last spike. The railway is regarded as a defining moment in the history of Canada. The image of the train executives posing to hammer in the last spike is famous in Canada. But there’s more to the story – as the Canadian Encyclopedia puts it, “After the dignitaries left on that gloomy November morning, the workmen persuaded the photographer to insert another plate and they posed for their own version of the Last Spike.” Here’s their picture.
Eight years ago, I got the chance to do something I wanted to do for most of my life – take the train across Canada. We did it in a couple trips Toronto to Vancouver and later Toronto to Quebec City so we never made it completely across Canada. And we did it with a teething baby.
Nonetheless, it was truly a trip of a lifetime. I highly recommend it – the history and scenery that one passes is incredible. And here’s one such image:
I sent this postcard to a friend from a stopover in Jasper, Alberta. (I love it when people give me back the postcards I sent them.)
And on the other side is:
[Top:] “Canadian Rockies”
[Bottom:] “The Royal Hudson is seen here making it’s (sic) last run through the Canadian Rockies”.
“Dear X. Our last day of our trip and we saw this and thought: XXX. The imagery speaks for itself. Enjoy!! Ciao, Glen.”
Last week was my fourteenth wedding anniversary. Four years ago, we went to Banff, Alberta with our daughter and renewed our vows in the mountains. My daughter was the flower girl and insisted on singing “Here Comes the Bride”.
Here’s a postcard from that trip that my daughter made for our cat:
We all made snow angels on this glacier. My daughter still has ice from the glacier above in a bottle in our freezer (forming its own glacier as “protective ice” keeps adding to it). Here’s her drawing on the back:
“The gigantic Columbia Icefield is located on the Banff to Jasper highway in the Canadian Rockies.”
“[transcribed for our daughter] Dear Bela. I hope you are not pooing on the carpet. I miss you. I hope you miss me too. Love”
It was a great way to celebrate our anniversary. Now where should we go for our 15th anniversary?
Tonight I watched the third episode of the television show, The Amazing Race Canada. I wanted to watch it as I figured it was a great way to see some of Canada’s amazing scenery and sites. And the show has definitely delivered on that.
The show started in one of my favourite Canadian destinations – Niagara Falls, of course. The racers quickly headed to western Canada and ended up this last episode in this place:
I’ve been to the mountains of Alberta, but never to the Badlands. I’m dying to go though. Just the name “Badlands” sounds enticing. These hoodoos and the nearby famous dinosaurs finds and museum would be incredible to see in person.
The show does an incredible job in highlighting such must-see attractions – like televised postcards of the country. The network airing the show has a cool interactive map that traces the racers route across Canada and their associated cultural and physical challenges.
I’m looking forward to next week’s episode in Canada’s territories. Interestingly, I have ample postcards from all ten of Canada’s provinces but zero from our three territories. So who know’s what sites there the show will highlight (I’m guessing gold panning in the Klondike, however).
A friend, and new donor, just got back from my dream vacation. She and her family went to many of my A-list destinations and some I’d never heard of before. Like this one:
Gopher on the left: “This one is needed for the museum”
Gopher on the right: “Save the endangered species!!”
Placard: “G.A.G.S. Gophers Against Getting Stuffed”
I saw stuffed mice dioramas scenes in the movie “Dinner for Schmucks”, but had no idea there was actually a stuffed rodent museum – in my own country even! And I never heard of it!
This postcard from the Gopher Hole Museum in Torrington, Alberta is a post-modern – satirizing the controversy over the museum. It’s also a fine addition to my offbeat museums collection.
The flip side of the postcard extols the museums unique appeal:
The museum, although smaller than a classroom portable, is everything you might wish for and more. You can even wear a giant gopher head. Kitschy heaven.”
Look what came in the mail today:
I’ve been through Edmonton, Alberta twice and had no idea they had pyramids! See what postcards can teach you? The sender knew he was onto something:
“The pyramids of Edmonton! Flight leaving soon.”
The flight must have been leaving soon as I’ve never seen a stamp placed so askew. I understand the short message as he was in Edmonton after all.
I’ve been going through the vaults of my postcard collection to find the best specimens to put on display here. I still have many more to go through, such as the vast holdings I have from Ontario, Florida (the second Ontario), and the United Kingdom.
But I feel confident in saying that the specimen below is like nothing I have ever seen before (or hope to see again). It is the strangest postcard I possess.
Behold this bizarre, startling, and glorious oddity:
The creature depicted is the remains of a merman. Normally on display at Banff, Alberta’s Indian Trading Post, it seems that the merman snuck out one day from his glass display case for a photoshoot in Banff’s beautiful alpine scenery.
For more check out the message:
“Just a little something to make you think why as opposed to what in this instance. Even stranger is why it’s on display in a store, nestled amongst the sweatshirts. Bet there’s nothing like this in Krakow!!”
I was so transfixed with this hideous, awesome creature that when my wife and I went to Banff to renew our wedding vows for our tenth anniversary, I was compelled to seek out the merman. For some reason, the creature is not given the prominence it deserves, instead it is hard to find, buried behind stacks of sweatshirts. But finding such an one-in-a-lifetime site is well worth the journey. (The scenery in Banff is also nice.)
There’s lots of information on the web about the Banff merman, including an article in the Calgary Herald.
Mysteries of the universe are revealed through postcard collecting!