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Labour Day weekend trip discovered friendly dining at Elbow course

Ron Walter writes about a road trip to Elbow and other spots

For years on Labour Day weekend we used to make a day trip past Elbow to the Gardiner Dam where we had lunch and admired the dam.

For someone like Yours Truly, raised in the semi-desert of southern Alberta, the water and the potential dam benefits are a marvel.

This year we did the trip to Elbow, stopping for lunch. Since only the hotel was open to serve food we stopped into the Harbour Golf Club dining room.

It was our first time since the championship golf course opened in the 1980s, promoted by then Premier Grant Devine. Since neither my wife and partner nor I golf, we had little reason to stop there.

Entering was a surprise. We both had the idea that this dining room was one with white linen table cloths and servers with steamed towels hung on their arms.

The only rules seemed to be the standard no shoes, no shirt, no service sign found in many eating places.

The staff was friendly, asking if we wanted to sit out on the sunny deck with the flies or inside. We chose to avoid the flies, later regretting that decision as the air conditioning was cranked up.

The lunch — a three cheese grilled cheese sandwich with tasty tomato bisque for my partner and a turkey club with brie for me — was good. No pie on the menu.

The golf course was especially busy. Trays of sandwiches were leaving the kitchen for the concession window. 

Following lunch we drove around the condo and housing development nearest the golf course. Much development has occurred since the 1980s when one set of condos was built about half a mile from the course.

The price was $20,000. Yours Truly thought about buying one but did not — a case of woulda, coulda, shoulda. When a fire destroyed some of these same units a few years ago they were valued at about $200,000 each.

Outlook and a drive around town was our next stop. The antique shop was closed so we headed to Kenaston, located on Highway 11, noting how barren the mostly harvested fields appeared.

Crops were so short harvesters left virtually no stubble to trap snow moisture.

At Kenaston by late afternoon we caught the end of a car show. Efforts to find the antique shop that used to operate out of a mobile home were fruitless.

Home was then the destination with a stop at Twisted Sisters in Chamberlain. A medium soft ice cream was ordered.

Seeing it my response was: “Oh My God."

A good five inches of ice cream was piled on top of the cone. No supper needed for me.

Ron Walter can be reached at