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Southern Alberta Circle Tour Weekend

Circle Tour?  Is that a Canadian saying?  I’ve never heard it before meeting Jeff!  Over the weekend we did a “Southern Alberta Circle Tour”.






For you Yankees, I shall translate: we drove around in a big ol’ loop.  Have you ever thought to yourself, “Now, I wonder what Southern Alberta looks like from a car window?”.  Wonder no more, my friends.  I’ll show ya:
Miles + miles + miles + miles (kilometers + kilometers + kilometers) of blue sky + farmland.  Hours of it.  Hoooouuuurs.  As I was driving I kept pestering Jeff, “Are we there yet?  How much longer?  Are we there yet?”.  He would grumble + squiggle around in his seat, irritated.  I always have to remind him that indeed he did marry the youngest child of the family.  That is his ill fate.  Sorry, Charlie.

Our first stop was the tiny town of Nanton.  Recently famous for their antique shops which I didn’t take pictures of because we only went to one.  I will return.  But Jeff kept crowing, “Look at the elevators, look at the elevators?”.  What?!  I swung my head around wondering why an elevator would be outdoors.  A GRAIN ELEVATOR, silly!!!!  Hello!!!  We don’t got no grain elevators in Los Angeles! 

Cool, eh?!

We drove past endless fields of grass + stopped randomly for some thrifting + a little shopping.  Oh!  Hutterite thrifting!  I love my Hutterite sightings!!!!

This shop had lots of old stock.

Look at these prices!  We loves a good bargain, we do.

Sweet vintage Wrangler sign.

I scored this cute, hooded old stock jacket for $30!  Look at the vintage trim!  My new favorite winter jacket!!!

How great is this original sign from the ’60s?  Hear, hear!

Again on the road, where ceaseless farmland lay ahead.

In Lethbridge I spied with my eagle eyes a Japanese store on a far off corner!  An oasis!  Nakagama’s Japanese Food + Giftware.

This place was legit!  Well stocked + merchandised.  Jeff + I regretted the fact that we didn’t bring our cooler, because their frozen toro looked TASTY DELICIOUS!!!!  Ryutaro Nakagama immigrated to British Columbia in 1924 + later became a naturalized Canadian citizen.  Hostilities arose between Canada + Japan, the Nakagamas were stripped of their successful food store + relocated to Southern Alberta.  There they toiled in the beet fields of Iron Springs + Picture Butte.


In 1949, although Japanese Canadian rights had still not been fully reinstated, Nakagama decided to take a chance + lobbied the city of Lethbridge to allow his family to open up a new store.  Nakagama’s is part of the Lethbridge Historical Society.  I was so happy to come upon the store by chance + learn a little bit about the proud Japanese Canadian spirit!!!  Plus, happy to get a C.C. Lemon soda fix!!!  Oishi (Yum)!!!

My main reason for visiting Southern Alberta was to initially hang out in Vulcan (Yes, the real name of the town – I plan on dedicating an entire post!  Just you wait!) for their car show + demolition derby.  Well, with all of our detours + stops, we arrived around 6:30 + missed it all!!!  I was so mad at Jeff!  We sat around for 15 minutes of the vintage tractor pull competition.  It was a lot like the heavy horse pull competition from the Stampede, except mechanized.  Here’s the announcer.

Very tan with a pink sheen of burn.  There were many roasted Canucks at the tractor pull that day.  Sunscreen, people!!!

Here’s an awesome young lady perched atop a fence video taping all the action packed tractor pullin’ whilst taking long drags from her smoke.

It was thrills per minute!


Finally, we headed for home.  I was pooped out, for certain.  Ready to chillax in our Calgary home.  I really enjoy Southern Alberta – all it’s country charm + eccentricities!  I’m going to take some more day trips as the summer progresses!

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. kenny daddO/Papi nishino #

    hi, Nan, did U really need another Jacket, huh huh.. a japanese store in Lethbridge !!!???!!!
    ok, everything is GOOD here, we Miss U, Luv Papi

    July 23, 2012

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  1. Lethbridge Road Trip / Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens | how's it going, eh?
  2. Lethbridge Road Trip / Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens | how's it going, eh?

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