Posted with permission from the Edson Trail Historical Society
1911 marked the beginning of the last great land rush in Canada. Over the next 5 years, thousands of men, women, and children fought their way over 250 miles of rough terrain which became known as the Edson to Grande Prairie Trail. It was the journey to the last Great West, a journey to the final frontier. The prize - hundreds of thousands of acres of bountiful land virtually free for the taking. The only problem was getting there.
Using horse teams and oxen to haul sleds and wagons, they slogged through the forest and muskeg. They block and tackled their way up steep hills, braked and skidded down slippery slopes, and crossed rushing streams and rivers. They endured scourges of insects, lack of food and fodder, freezing temperatures in the depths of winter and the blistering heat of summer.
Their words are illustrated by archival photographs and re-enactments by skilled teamsters (many of whom are descendants of the original settlers). The viewer can expect to re-live the experience and trials of the trail - from the blistering cold of a prairie winter; to the gooey challenge of spring when wagons are cemented in bogs and rigs have to be triple teamed to break free.
Anyone with the grit and determination to take on the trail and beat it deserves to be part of the great story that continues to be written. Given the conditions faced, it's hard to imagine how they did it. Looking at the rewards, there is no question why.
Producer/Director: Pauline Urquhart
Director of Photography: Daron Donahue
Location Sound: Carey Opper
Editor: Shawn Ratke