I got a bit of my fix for adventure this past week when I hit the road with a coworker for a two-day course in small town Alberta. We left early Thursday morning and got back at about 7pm Friday night. We had lots of fun and managed to break up two days of pretty heavy course material with fits of laughter and random side adventures. I grew up moving around from small town to small town in BC and I adore them. It was like being thrown right back into my childhood and I loved being in small town Alberta for a couple days.
Despite going through two days of emotional and intense training on Indigenous residential schools, we managed to have some fun. We got to know some great people at the course and we had a good time on our mini road trip. We were able to see a spectacular sunrise heading east to St. Paul on Thursday and then watched the sunset driving west home on Friday. On Friday morning we made the decision to risk being 30 seconds late to the course so we could stop and take pictures at the worlds first UFO landing pad, in St. Paul, built in 1967.
I went for a 5K run early Friday morning along St. Paul’s main street and the UFO landing pad was lit up so I knew we needed to stop on our way out of town. It was actually so hilarious. It was built for the Canadian centennial and places in St. Paul go along with the theme, streets named “Galaxy Way” and pizza places “Alien Pizza.”
The coworker I went with talked about her dream to take a road trip around the prairies to see the “Giants of the Prairies,” all of the small towns that have giant statues of random things, like the UFO landing pad in St. Paul, the Kubasa sausage in Mundare, and the giant pysanka egg in Vegreville. It was too dark to take pictures at the sausage when we drove out Thursday morning but when we were heading back to Edmonton Friday evening, we took a minor detour to stop in Vegreville.
I had never stopped in Vegreville before, only driven through, so we made the stop. It is actually a super cool giant egg! All of the designs and colours have meaning, and it is actually pretty cool how it was created. We decided that our work needs to send us on more courses around Alberta so we can complete the Giants of the Prairies road trip. The fact that these little prairie towns spent so much money on these random monuments is amazing. I love small towns, they just feel comfortable and friendly. It was nice to get out of the city for a couple of days, even if it was for work. We enjoyed the only radio station in the area, ate at one of about 5 restaurants in town, I ran up and down one of the twelve streets that make up the town, and I really had a great time.
Small town Alberta, never change.
Have you been to any of the Giants of the Prairies?
Do you prefer city life or small town life (if job wasn’t a consideration)?
What did you get up to this weekend?