WWII surplus

link to original Google map

Not quite sure how I got this Google aerial here, but shall continue anyway.  The marker points out Vulcan, Alberta, sitting clearly in its 6-mile by 6-mile township.  If you go to the bottom of the township, where there is a clear east-west road, just below this road in the second quarter-section along is a tiny triangular airfield, roughly 45 degrees south west of the marker.

This one was built as part of the Commonwealth Air Training Program in 1943. There is a website for these  small disused airfields all over southern Alberta and Saskatchewan: learning to navigate here would have been like flying over graph paper.  My father who learned to fly in the CATP base in Medicine Hat said you'd fly around and if you were lost, you'd find the highway to Med Hat and follow it in – a nice straight run.

The Vulcan air strip had a number of hangars, the seventh of which was recently removed.  What a great project it would have been to have made all of this into a series of studios for writers, musicians, sculptors, painters.  Must artists colonies always be located in the clichés of either nineteenth century landscape painters (mountains and lakes) or the industrial areas of cities greater than 5 million people?  The depopulation of the rural prairies has left a lot of building stock, a lot of which stands until it falls down.  We could use these places.