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4:27 p.m. - 2005-04-21

Back roads and hauntings

I recently came across this site. It reminds me of when I was a teenager growing up in the foothills of Alberta. Back then, my dad made a deal with me. That although I didn’t have my driver’s license yet, my dad gave me the ‘old’ car (a silver 4-door 1974 Datsun 610 – which ended up being my very first care when I truly did get my license 2 years later). I was allowed to drive it around town as much as I liked as long as I told the police officer I’d stolen the vehicle if I was ever pulled over.

OK – so my ability to see ‘consequences’ clearly was not this teenager’s strong point.

Un-daunted my girlfriend and I were often found gallivanting on old back road we could find. In hope of coming across small gems of rustic, dilapidated, forgotten old homesteads. We found many in our adventures far off the beaten path, and even the occasionally long forgotten cemetery.

Once, we were so excited to have found an old house and cemetery not far from each other, but we had managed to scare ourselves to badly that we quickly drove back to town to get my girlfriends younger brother (and a buddy). Having found them, and talked them into joining in to our escapades, we drove madly (ok – really I mean sedately, and well within the speed limit – it just sounds so boring that way) back out to our new found treasures.

Someone, I forget who, felt that they had heard rumours to the history of the little farmhouse we’d found. There was still quite a lot of belongs left behind, and the house was easily entered. But according to palaver, this farmhouse had once been the home to a fine family. The children had all grown up and drifted away, leaving the parents behind to continue their backwoods lives. However, ‘something’ occurred that made both aging husband and wife to go right barmy, and were reported institutionalize in the local insane asylum in Penoka. We all knew that if you went to Penoka – you never came home again.

Well this little fanciful tale managed to raise the hairs on the backs of our necks and we high-tailed it outta Dodge!

I still like to find back road rabbit trails, but living in a far larger community now than when I lived in Alberta – well, it’s just harder to find these little gems. So I’ve resorted to live vicariously through the link mentioned above. They all take place in the states, but have some fabulous pictures to accompany the stories. If any of you find sites like this (with pictures, I don’t do so well when I gotsta reed’s lots) I’d love to hear about it - particularly if they refer to Canadian sites.


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