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Best Places to Visit to Lose Yourself

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man standing looking at mountains

Best Places to Visit to Lose Yourself

If you are struggling with personal anxiety, depression, or addiction, it is important to find a way to unwind and take a break from yourself. Getting the distance you need requires losing yourself in a new environment and concentrating on the meaning of your life. Doing so will provide you with the power you need to beat addiction.

Spending Time Outdoors is Healing

One of the most effective ways to lose yourself is to spend time outdoors. People have noted for generations that the natural world has healing powers. However, it goes beyond simply making a person feel better. Nature is, in many ways, our natural environment. When you go kayaking, take a hike, or camp in the woods, you are coming back to an instinctive home.

It might not be easy for you to manage this kind of outdoor living at first. Many people struggle to enjoy camping or will miss modern electronic technology. However, that’s a big part of why the outdoors are so effective for losing yourself. If you find a comfortable, but not extravagant, cabin in the woods, you cut yourself off from the sometimes negative influence of the modern world.

Great Places to Camp

A few of the best places to camp in our province include Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, and Waterton Lakes National Park. Each has their advantages. For example, at Banff, you can hike to glacial lakes and can camp in one of the most natural and beautiful places on the planet, just a few hours away.

Vacations Can Be Helpful, Too

While spending time in nature is the most efficient way to lose yourself, it may not be right for everybody. Some people simply can’t handle those kinds of mental or physical demands. That’s when a nice vacation can be so effective. People who spend time in beautiful vacation areas often find their troubles disappear and their mind clears wonderfully.

Consider a Mexican Vacation

Mexico is a relatively short flight from Canada and there are plenty of great places where you can vacation. One particularly beautiful destination is Cancun, which has a variety of wonderful beaches to relax on while you lose yourself and your worries.

You could also check out Mexico City, where ancient Aztec ruins exist next to places like the Frida Kahlo Museum. And in Teotihuacan, you can visit the ancient Pyramid of the Sun and celebrate the Day of the Dead in style.

Why Finding Yourself Again Matters

Losing yourself on a road trip to a relaxing vacation spot is just part of the journey towards addiction recovery. Once you have lost yourself and experienced mental and spiritual awakenings, you need to find yourself again. After an experience like this, you are not going to be the same person. That’s a good thing, as the person you were before was struggling with an addiction.

How do you find yourself? By spending time in your new area and thinking hard about who you are as a person. For example, you could try to figure out why you started using, why it became an addiction, and what you can do to stop it. You can also try to rediscover your life goals and brainstorm ways to achieve them.

Losing Yourself Can Help With Addiction

By losing yourself and your troubles in a new environment, you can open up new avenues of self-expression and personal understanding. Many people in similar situations turn to an addiction recovery center in times like these. They can be a powerful tool for those who can’t seem to shake their substance abuse and who need help regaining a sober life.

So if you need help beating addiction, consider visiting one of these treatment centers. They are a healthy and healing way to get through withdrawal, identify the influences behind your addiction, and walk away as a clean and sober person. While it won’t be easy, it will help you become the person you deserve to be and make success a real possibility.

Kevin Gardner

Maybe Kevin’s article gave you the travel bug?  Check out some of Gerry’s adventures and get out and see the world.

Todayville Travel: Turks and Caicos – The Road Less Travelled

 

I'm a writer based in the Unitd States.

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Alberta

Get away from the city – Rock Lake Lodge seeks maintenance and caretaker

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Wilderness Lodge Maintenance & Caretaker Needed

Click here to apply now.

Looking to get away from the city and experience the wilderness?

Rock Lake Lodge may have the perfect opportunity for you. WHO ARE WE? We are a lodge located in Rock Lake Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada.

Just a short distance away from a 90-foot deep lake with four species of fish, and the lodge is surrounded by wildlife and abounding nature.

Check out www.rocklakelodge.ca to have a look at the stunning surroundings, our lodge and cabins.

It’s not all work and no play up at Rock Lake Lodge! Some of the activities provided on site will be hiking, fishing, canoeing. and wildlife watching. This is a seasonal live-in position from June 2021 -Sept 2021.

We are seeking someone with the following:
-general handyman experience (able to use basic tools and general maintenance of the lodge)
-generator experience
-plumbing & electrical (basic)
-construction experience

Above all, we want someone who loves fishing!

Do you have experience with diesel generators? Log buildings? Chainsaws or log splitters? Let us know in your application. Even if your job history doesn’t reflect the above- your personal experiences may be exactly what we’re looking for!

Wage to be negotiated. This is a fulltime-temporary contract position.

Experience:

  • maintenance: 1 year (preferred)
  • diesel generator: 1 year (preferred)
  • rural water systems: 1 year (preferred)
  • chainsaw: 1 year (preferred)
  • plumbing: 1 year (preferred)
  • electrical: 1 year (preferred)
  • Driver’s License (MANDATORY)

Contract length: 3 months

Start date: Immediately

Click here to apply.

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Alberta

The Canadian Northern Railway’s legacy at Big Valley, Alberta.

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By Shawn I. Smith, Canadian Northern Society

“The newly constructed train station circa 1913, Big Valley. Photo- Canadian Northern Society Archives

 

It’s a Saturday afternoon in June in the quiet Village of Big Valley. Visitors admire the splendid heritage railway depot and gardens at the end of main street. Two blocks south is a historic grain elevator – a classic Canadian symbol standing tall above the prairie landscape. To the east across the tracks are large stark concrete walls, visibly reminiscent of Stonehenge. “What are those curious walls?” is often asked. Then the sound of a locomotive whistle breaks the silence, creating a scene out of the 1950’s when a vintage passenger train pulls into town, and the train crew scurries about on the platform unloading its cheerful patrons.

“Visitors explore the Big Valley Roundhouse Ruins” Photo- Canadian Northern Society Archives

While not obvious to the guests who have enjoyed the 21-mile excursion train ride from Stettler aboard the Alberta Prairie Railway, the scene that unfolds on summer days in Big Valley is part of a legacy left by two dynamic railroaders who over a century earlier had an ambitious and grand vision for Western Canada. Today, both active and abandoned rail lines in central Alberta, related historic structures and sites, and indeed the communities that owe their existence to the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) share this common heritage.

Since the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885, railways have been inextricably linked with the development of western Canada. After Confederation the new Dominion Government quickly recognized that without railways real settlement would not take place in the sparsely populated North West.

Energy, Enterprise, and Ability

“The Canadian Northern Railway lines map, 1916” Map- Atlas of Alberta Railways

The CNoR (Canadian Northern Railway) was a product of two Canadian-born railroaders with CPR roots. William Mackenzie and Donald Mann met during the 1880’s while the senior road was under construction in the Selkirk Mountains. Their “Energy, Enterprise, and Ability” – which would become the railway’s motto would lead to a partnership in contracting, steamship lines, and a 9,500-mile transcontinental railway empire that served seven provinces and included the Duluth Winnipeg and Pacific Railway in the U.S. The two were knighted for their achievements in 1911.
Branch lines were the key to the CNoR strategy.The Vegreville to Calgary branch – chartered in February 1909 by CNoR subsidiary Alberta Midland Railway – was the company’s key north-south spine through Alberta. The portion between Vegreville and Drumheller was opened for service in 1911. While it had the appearance of a typical prairie branch line, its primary purpose was to carry steam and domestic heating coal from mines at Brazeau and Drumheller to growing prairie markets.
The fact that the line traversed a region of great agricultural potential for both grain and cattle farming was an added benefit. In typical fashion, grain elevators were located every five to ten miles – the distance being established around the practical ability for a livestock team to haul a load of grain and return in one day’s time from the growing number of homesteads clustered around each delivery point.
The Battle River Subdivision along with further line completions in 1914 to Calgary and Strathcona respectively provided the CNoR with an effective intercity freight route, albeit longer than those of its competitors.
The Brazeau Branch, extending 176 miles west from the junction at Warden to the Nordegg Collieries was extremely important to the CNoR which depended largely on this supply of steam coal for terminals across the West. The subsequent extension of the Goose Lake line at Munson became an important link from Calgary to Saskatoon. All of these CNoR lines were financed using provincial bond guarantees.

“Bustling Big Valley railroad yard, roundhouse, 1920’s” Photo- Canadian Northern Society Archives

By May of 1912 mixed trains crewed by Big Valley men were running north to Vegreville and south to Drumheller. Another run to Rocky Mountain House was added in June. A Second Class depot was erected that year and a five-stall roundhouse and turntable were complete by April of 1913.
By late 1913 a Railway Post Office Car service had been established on the line, and Big Valley was home to 14 locomotives and an equal amount of engine service and train crews. Assistant Superintendent Thomas Rourke oversaw terminal operations that included a train dispatching office.
By September 1917 fourteen mines were operating in the Drumheller Valley producing 250 carloads of coal every 24 hours. Drumheller was without question the “Powerhouse of the West.” Big Valley’s railroaders were kept busy 24 hours a day operating the trains that pulled the coal out of the valley.

“Train time at Big Valley. A Southbound train at Big Valley, 1920’s.” Photo- Canadian Northern Society Archives

After being selected as the CNoR terminal, Big Valley boomed. By 1919, its population had increased to over 1025, with some 325 souls working for the CNoR. At its peak, the company’s payroll included 26 train and engine crews, a shop staff of 40, and a Bridge and Building crew averaging 45 employees, managed by Frank Dewar. There were 8 sectionmen, and at the station an Agent, operators round the clock, yard clerks, and the train dispatcher. Four to five carman conducted car repairs and inspections.
Coal from Brazeau was piled in a huge stockpile almost a block long on the east side of the yard. A gravel pit operation north of town at Caprona was established to provide aggregate for line ballasting on all of the CNoR area lines. Steam shovels kept this operation steady, mining volumes often equating to 100 carloads per day.
Big Valley’s early railroaders were a colourful lot. Many came and went, and with the Big Valley collieries in production by 1914 shipping coal as far east as Ontario – night life in town could be wild. Assistant Superintendent Rourke, a former baseball player in the Detroit Tigers minor league system, was responsible for putting together the “Big Valley Bugs” – made up almost entirely of railroaders – who in 1918 put together a resounding victory over the high-flying Edmonton Red Sox.

The National

During the First World War, financial problems caught up with Mackenzie and Mann and their rapidly expanding enterprise. Despite profitable western lines such as the Vegreville and Brazeau branches, lack of traffic on the transcontinental lines, burdensome debt, and the negative impacts of the War would result in the company being “nationalized” by the Dominion Government in 1918. The rival Grand Trunk Pacific (GTP) Railway would fare even worse, having been placed into receivership in 1919. These events led to the creation of today’s Canadian National (CN).
The new CN was confronted with the task of rationalizing the CNoR and GTP lines throughout western Canada. Consolidation was affected by the elimination of duplicate facilities and improving services by combining portions of the former competing lines. Construction of track connections joining the Brazeau branch with he former GTP Tofield to Calgary line at Alix were opened for service in 1922.
Connections were also made between the Battle River Subdivision and the former GTP mainline at Ryley. Geographically the GTP divisional point at Mirror was seen as central to the operations of the Brazeau branch vs. Big Valley. Coal that had originally moved over the Brazeau line to Warden then northward was now diverted over the new connection at Alix via Mirror which became the new home terminal for crews running west.
The new routing via Alix saved a distance of over 50 miles between Brazeau and Saskatoon. The former GTP south of Camrose also became the CN’s north-south main line through Alberta.

“The end of daily passenger train service between Edmonton – Drumheller. VIA Rail’s Dayliner at Big Valley, 1981” Photo-Charles Bohi

This consolidation led to the significant decline of Big Valley as a railway town. While the company kept a small number of train crews assigned to both freight and passenger service, by 1925 the exodus to Mirror, Edmonton, Drumheller, and Hanna began. It was reported that over 100 railroaders’ homes were moved out of the village, some of which continue to exist in Mirror today. In what was known as the “Battle of Big Valley” – the unions fought the company’s decision hard but were left with little compensation for their relocation expenses after the issue went to arbitration in the late-1920’s with the decision going with the company. By the onset of the depression, Big Valley’s population had dropped by some 500 souls to 445.
It is without question that the old Canadian Northern Railway’s reason for existence in central Alberta has changed dramatically since its arrival in 1910. Coal is no longer used to heat our homes – and in fact its use is considered sinful by some!
Packages ride on trucks, and people drive their own cars and trucks instead of riding mixed trains and Nos. 25 and 26 to get to Calgary or Edmonton.
While huge volumes of grain still move on trains – these are now loaded in modern high capacity elevators capable of loading 100 cars or more in 12 hours or less. The original steel rails that remain in service between Stettler and Big Valley are therefore of historic testament to Mackenzie and Mann and their great accomplishment. In fact, this section of track is the sole operating survivor of many similar “60-pound” branch lines that have now been re-laid or abandoned across the prairies. And almost incredibly one can still experience a passenger train ride over these vintage rails, pulling into Big Valley just as travellers did one hundred years ago.

Canadian Northern Society
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