AMA Insider Spring 2018 / Over 55 - Page 62

by the way Albertans’ indomitable spirit, the rugged Rockies are an easy metaphor. But a gnarled, bare pine might be even more apt. Standing sentinel on a rocky berm alongside the Crowsnest Highway, the Burmis Tree is said to have lived for more than 700 years before dropping its last needle in the 1970s. During that time it bore witness to the arduous settlement of the west, including turn-of-the-century mining towns like Hillcrest and Frank. Today it’s a symbol of resilience When We talk about 62 Spring 2018 AMA inSider in the face of hardship, memorializing mining explosions, the notorious Frank Slide and the eco- nomic decline during which thriving communities became ghost towns. The tree itself has suffered its own tragedies: It was blown over in 1998 and, in 2004, vandals cut off one of its limbs. But thanks to the efforts of local residents (plus a few metal rods and brackets), the pine endures—and has become one of southern Alberta’s most photographed natural historic landmarks. —Craig Moy One Tough Tree