"Cereal, Alberta" Cereal by MrBill
Cereal Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 29 photos
Yes, there is a place called Cereal, Alberta. It is a small town, population 150, including cats & dogs, on the Canadian Prairies. It is located between Hanna and Oyen, East of Calgary on HW 9. If you know where Chinook is, then you know where Cereal is?
In any case, although not technically born in Cereal, I was most certainly conceived there, and spent the first 3-years of my life living there. I have been going back ever since.
Once the Prairie gets under your skin, it is a life long affliction. For a feel for it, listen to the song by Prairie Oyster, 'Running on a One-way Track', about a boy, Billy, who leaves on a train for the Coast. Great country band, by the way, and they can play western music, too.
What can one do in such a small town? Well, we used to go goose hunting there every Fall. It is one of my best teen memories of my Dad and Grandpa and shooting geese. If you go to the museum there, you can ask them to show you the big, grey honker my dad shot one year. My poor Mom had the stuffed goose on her living room wall for a number of years, until one day she met another woman, and she said, ''oh, you're the lady with the goose on her wall''. Well after that, the goose was confined to the den, and then one day donated to the good people of Cereal and their fine railway caboose museum.
I would give you exact directions, but if you imagine a grid for playing Xs & Os on then you have the general idea. Two streets going one direction, one of them is Main street, and two going the other direction, and one of them is the highway. If you go over the tracks past the Pool elevators you have probably gone too far. The other edge of the town is highway 9.
Notable landmarks are the gas station, the general store, the post office, and the hotel with its bar. You will notice a statue of an antelope on main street next to the fire station. Antelope are really stupid. This one is standing the wrong direction, mooning passing cars as they go by.
The nearest town to Cereal is Chinook. First of all, a Chinook is a warm wind that blows in from the West Coast. Normally, it is blocked by the mountains between British Columbia and Alberta. However, sometimes the warm weather builds up, clears the mountains, and comes blowing across the Prairies. These can turn a minus 30 degree Celsius Winter day into a balmy zero degrees. Believe me this is a welcome relief when it is minus 30.
If I only had one week in Canada, I would skip Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. I might consider renting a motor home and driving from Vancouver to Calgary. From Calgary it is only another 6-hour return trip to take in Cereal as well. I think that it is more interesting than seeing Canada's parliament buildings (home of Canada's longest running soap opera)?
Unfortunately, I do not have any of my own photos, but as soon as I do, I am going to post them for your enjoyment. I hope you have enjoyed my piece on Cereal (and Chinook), Alberta.
Bill - Munich
Although this is not Cereal, this is what a lot of small prairie towns looked like. Founded at the beginning of the last century, their hay days were in the middle of the fifties. But, constant migration to cities and larger towns, plus a tough rural economy have reduced many to ghost towns or shadows of their former glory. The hopes and dreams of millions of Canadians and immigrants were played out in these small towns. We pay tribute to them for the part they played in our history.
Cereal just celebrated its 90th anniversary this summer. Many long-time residents that had moved away came back for the weekend to see old faces and reminisce. My family were also there, but unfortunately I could not make it myself. It is too bad because then I would have more photos and stories to add to these pages. Oh well, I hope to be home in a few months, and then I can collect more fodder for these pages.
- Pros:friendly people, unique landscape, good for the soul
- Cons:in the middle of no where
- In a nutshell:away from it all, and off the beaten path
I really just wanted to post this in case somebody who used to live in or around Cereal stumbles across these pages... more travel advice
The Albertan economy depends crucially on three main industries - oil & gas, tourism and agriculture. Tourism is... more travel advice
Written Oct 1, 2004
Alone on a sea of prairie grasses
Written Oct 1, 2004
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- "Cereal, Alberta"
- "Cereal, Alberta, not the breakfast food"
- "Not Illinois, Pennsylvania or Texas, but Alberta"
- "Cereal, highway 9 east"
- "oil & gas, cattle & grain, small towns & prairies"
- "my hometown"
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