Backlog II - Roadside Attractions

Driving around Alberta and even walking around Calgary and Vancouver you stumble across all manner of roadside attractions. I only discovered that I was amassing a body of work of things I found by the side of the road. Although not as flamboyant as oversized perogies, easter eggs and UFO landing pads the ones I was collecting were a bit smaller, ranging from defunct pizza restaurants in the middle of nowhere to bright pink store signage on Denman in the west end of Vancouver.

This was another one of those "Let's go to x and see what we can find". In this case, "x" was Waterton National Park. Like my visit to Rosebud and Drumheller, my output from there didn't make the final cut. Lot's of nice postcard pictures but nothing that grabbed me. On the way there though...

There are several ways to get to Waterton National Park. One is to turn south  on Highway 2 when you leave Fort McLeod and head towards Standoff and Cardston.  On the way you'll see the "Sundance Restaurant - Fully Licensed" on the west side of the road. I don't mean to sound like some sardonic hipster, but you have to wonder about the business plan when there's absolutely bugger all in all directions save miles and miles of wheat, barley and canola fields.

I saw this coming up in the distance and pulled off to the side of the road while my ever patient teenage daughter sat in the car waiting for Dad to scamper across the road and work the setting. This one is the one of the set I like best, although I have three others in my gallery.

Fully Licensed
I stop in Fort McLeod on my way south, more to stretch my legs that anything else. While walking around I chanced upon an empty parking lot. This parking lot at one time must have been filled with buildings facing the street I was walking on but over the century, the buildings have vanished, leaving just one old farmer walking to the back of the hotel at the end of the street. When I framed the image, what I couldn't get over was the intensity of blue skies. I visualized it in black and white as I felt the the man would pop better against the white wall.

Walking down the main drag, I happened upon a little strip mall, two stores and a laundromat. In front of the laundry, this:

Please Wait Outside

I may be stretching the defintion of a roadside attraction, but in my defense, it was on the side of the road and it did attract me. I suppose that in the heat of summer, the humid laundromat and the smell of soap, bleach, and all the other things are just a little much; why not wait outside, grab some rays and have a coffee.

Technical Notes

All of these shots were with the Zeiss Biogon 35/2.8 on my Leica M-E. Cropped and processed in Lightroom and then SilverFX for the black and whites. 

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