Dear friend now in the dusty clockless hours of the town when the streets lie black and steaming in the wake of the watertrucks and now when the drunk and the homeless have washed up in the lee walls in alleys or abandoned lots and cats go forth high shouldered and lean in the grim perimeters about, now in these sootblacked brick or cobbled corridors where lightwire shadows make a gothic harp of cellar doors none shall walk save you.
Cormac McCarthy - Suttree
The cache is hidden on the site of a ghost town about 50 kms west of Medicine Hat just off of Hwy 1. The town site is now a large field pock-marked with empty foundations, shrubs, faint traces of streets, rabbits, owls and other birds and most importantly... uncovered, hidden, deep wells/root cellars. The walk from the nearest parking spot to the cache location is relatively safe, but please do watch where you are stepping.
Alderson is a classic example of a pioneer town settled by people encouraged to do so by a fervent government and a railroad company, both equally keen to expand the West. The town’s primary industry was agriculture, but the area’s desert-like conditions were vastly impractical for any kind of farming. A lack of irrigation, droughts, plagues of pests (grasshoppers and rabbits) and severe wind storms all conspired to bring about the demise of Alderson.
Today, little remains. The train station has been removed along with the four grain elevators that once stood next to the siding just north of the town site. Where there were once houses and stores, empty foundations and abandoned vehicles now sink into the ground. The town cemetary is located just east of the town site, slightly north of the nearby pumping plant.
To learn more about Alderson and it’s telling history, the excellent book, Empire of Dust by David Jones is highly recommended reading.