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Some weekends there is quite a variety of things to do in and around Slave Lake. The Mar. 17 weekend was one of those. You had snowmobile drag races on the lake. If drag racing sleds wasn’t your thing, there was a big figure-skating show at the arena. Later that evening the college held its annual round dance – something completely different. That was all on top of whatever St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans might have been going on, not to mention some pretty good playoff hockey that same weekend. And on top of all that, the weather was fine – good for walking, still good for skiing or snowmobiling.
We probably missed all sorts of other stuff. Work, for example. A lot of people were working and that is good too.
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One of our colleagues here at The Leader was tying herself in knots the other day trying to figure out what sort of ‘Canadian’ gift items she could take for the folks back home, which in her case is Korea. What is there that is identifiably Canadian and also useful? Maple syrup? It wouldn’t get used, she said. Maple syrup cookies? Maybe. Chocolates? What’s Canadian about those? Maybe if they were shaped like maple leaves? How about hockey pucks? Smoked salmon? They’ve probably got loads of Pacific salmon over there already.
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Have you heard of the ‘hippo roller?’ We hadn’t. Last week we got two emails urging us to help publicize something called ‘A Canadian Campaign to Roll 1,000 Hippos.’
Why anyone would want to roll a hippopotamus, is the obvious question. Neither email provided a single clue, so we had to resort to an Internet search, which probably was exactly what the senders intended. Who could resist? Turns out a ‘hippo roller’ is a device for transporting water that’s easier than carrying it on your head. It’s a plastic drum with a handle attached to its axis. Folks fill them at the well, then push them along the ground. The ‘Roll a Hippo Foundation’ is a Canadian outfit raising money to purchase these things, for distribution in places where women spend a lot of time carrying water long distances on their heads. Check it out online at
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By the way, the people working on the North Shore section of the Trans Canada Trail are planning on getting some work done this year – fixing some of the wet spots and so on. As it happens the group lost its treasurer and is looking for help with that. Get hold of Joe at The Leader if you have any ideas. Or Lloyd Sawatzky, if you can track him down. He’s the president of the Woods & Water Recreational Trails Association.
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We ran a historical photo of a brace of moose pulling three men in a cart a few weeks ago. It had come courtesy of Dennis Barton and we thought it was from Wabasca. But thanks to subsequent information from Mr. Barton we found out it was from Athabasca Landing (now Athabasca) and had caused quite a sensation at the Edmonton Exhibition of 1910. The owner, William Day, drove with his moose team to the capital city and was photographed at the fair by George D. Clark. A photocopy of an article from the book Colinton & Districts Yesterday & Today informs us the moose were found as babies near Baptiste Lake, and raised on bottled milk and broken to drive as yearlings. ‘They died in the spring of 1911, from eating frozen potatoes,’ the article says.

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The calendar says spring has sprung, but mother nature seemed to have a different idea last week. Albertans, must all know about false spring and second winter.

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