If you have stuck with it this far then you will know that despite a climax in the last installment there is more excitement to be had. Read ahead to find out if our fuel pump keeps on pumping. Other exciting highlights include; I get stung, a surprise is revealed and we visit a very large teepee.
After leaving Climax things did not go perfectly smoothly. This group missed the turn off and had to turn around. As did we since we were following them.
We had survived the rough road that lead into Climax and the next settlement along the route was Frontier. If there were any interesting sites here we missed them. Sorry residents of Frontier.
A smattering of oil and gas development in these parts but the dominate industry was still mostly agriculture by a large margin.
Our old friend – the gravel road. It was not too thick at the beginning but soon turned to deeper packed gravel. That is the Acadian in the distance. They blew past us mostly nullifying “my rear wheel drive with short wheel base” excuse for driving slow.
For miles there are not a whole lot of places to hide if nature was to call.
The Saturn ute passes us with the usual GBC wave given and received.
Since the air-conditioning does not work in the Mustang and it was a very warm weekend we had to keep the windows down, at least partially, even on the gravel roads. As a result there was thin layer of dust covering everything in the car.
The gravel road ended which meant higher speeds most of the time. As a result these guys hit a railroad crossing a little too fast and were giving their vehicles a quick once over to make sure nothing was broken. Or more broken than at the start of the day at least.
Robsart is an amazing ghost town with many structures still in place. A few appeared to be occupied, others were used for storage and some (most) abandoned. This building apparently was a hospital at one point.
There were quite a few old vehicles about but the vast majority were not particularly accessible for photos without trespassing.
There were a few visible from the road like this big Chrysler. It does not get any better than this – a legitimate barn find in ghost town.
Beaver Lumber Co.
A few more modern cars in storage.
Here is an example of some very odd road repairs seen in Saskatchewan. I would have thought it was more work to do it in such a patchwork style rather than just pave the whole road but there must be a reason.
Next up was some go-karting in the Cypress Hills inter-provincial park (the park is in both Saskatchewan and Alberta).
After we completed the go-karts we returned to the car. The front bumper, grill and hood was absolutely covered with dead bugs from the drive. These attracted wasps. Jerk wasps apparently as one stung me on the hand in a totally unprovoked manner. Oddly my son had been stung by one on the first day.
Another team’s musical challenge set the the music of the band … Cypress Hill.
A splash of oil and we were off again.
Despite being a town of just over two thousand people Maple Creek was one of the bigger places were visited. They even had more than one gas station to choose from. Randomly my son was accused of shoplifting at the one we choose to fill up at (he wasn’t for the record). Life of being a teenager I guess.
An orange dune buggy sits outside a muffler shop.
The historic post office in Maple Creek.
The poor Blazer was fighting with charging issues on day two.
The fate of more than one old farm truck is to be turned into a sign platform. This one was a Fifties Ford but neither it nor the sign seemed to be doing particularly well.
After Maple Creek we were on the big road. Which is Highway One or the Trans Canada Highway which has a full two lanes on each side plus a generous chunk of grass in the middle.
Trains heading west can often be empty or close it and as a result can be massively long. This one did not even remotely fit in a single frame as this was only a small section.
Welcome back to Alberta! These ladies were taking several photos and we were on a mission to keep going so they get to make a cameo appearance here.
A neat sign for Dunmore Auto Wreckers. There are two old pickups barely visible behind the minivan hinting at a yard that might have some interesting stock.
Next up was Medicine Hat which was the largest place by far we had seen since leaving Lethbridge. With a population of over sixty thousand it had every service one might need. This is also where we would be parting ways with Highway One.
One of the less challenging items to find was “the world’s largest teepee”. The Saamis Tepee is billed as the world’s largest Teepe and was originally constructed for the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics. I lived in Calgary in 1988 and remember the Olympics but not this teepee which is odd given the size of it. It is now located in Medicine Hat overlooking the Seven Persons coulee. The main masts are steel and 66m/215ft tall and the tepee has a diameter of 49m/160ft.
The parking lot provided another good opportunity to get to know some of the other competitors including the gentleman in the blue shirt and his two tone pickup truck. He was supposed to be participating in a Cadillac that ran into serious engine trouble on the journey to the start line. He managed to wrangle a deal with a hot rod shop on route to trade his stricken Cadillac for their shop truck which he completed the challenge in. Nice! He had just done an oil change in the big city of Medicine Hat and had offers on the truck from a friend already.
A couple vintage road side signs and one modern one as we prepare to leave “The Hat”.
A few classics in the rough at a storage yard.
There was an extremely large green house along the way. This was a small portion of it.
A giant putter in Bow Island.
We picked up milkshakes and burgers for dinner at Jimmy’s. The Aerostar was a GBC competitor which had tire trouble and had to pit stop at their house along the route to swap one out.
A lot of dry edible beans are grown in this area and the town mascot, Pinto MacBean, is a nod to that industry. He was unveiled in 1992 which males him the same age as our Mustang.
Rod had bought a 1970 Datsun 521 at the same auction I acquired the Mustang at. It was a little rough so he picked up a parts truck to make one good one out of two so we rejoined up with him in Bow Island.
A french fries stand going down the highway likely from Corn Fest in Taber.
We made it back to Lethbridge to the same parking lot that we started in. Just in time for the awards presentation to start. There were more mechanical issues but I believe everyone who started day two finished it.
The convertible K-car won the points total.
The agriculture pivot Dodge truck was also an award winner. The final standings have yet to be announced but I expect we were likely solid mid pack finishers as usual. Our Mustang did very well. It has been a generally very reliable car for us but had been strictly an inner city car.Very oddly the fuel pump was never a problem again even after the event. Perhaps some strange combination of temperature, moisture and parking angle? Not sure but that is a wrap for the 2021 Great Beater Challenge. We will see what 2022 brings.
The whole Great Beater Challenge 2021 series