Decided it was time to contribute a little something to the asylum... Here's a Google Earth file with the track and thumbnail photos. I was in Cranbrook, BC for the Canada Day long weekend (July 1). Headed out to Ft. Steele with my sister, niece and nephew for the Canada Day celebrations. They drove, I rode. The festivities were in full swing by the time we arrived. A group of show riders from the Calgary Stampede were there (probably polishing up for the Calgary Stampede happening the next week.) There in the distance is Mt. Fisher. My plan is to go up a road that runs along a valley to the right at the base of it. You can see the rescue wagon in case I get into trouble up there... One of the coolest things about Ft. Steele is an old working steam engine that takes people on a short ride. Originally used for logging on Vancouver Island up until the 50's. I have a newly-plated xr250r with street-legal knobbies that make highway driving a little nervous, so I was eager to get on the dirt. So off I went... I'm sure this must have been put up by the farmer down the fork to the right! The road quickly started climbing from the dry ponderosa pine country of the valley to moist hemlock and spruce forest in the mountains. There's still snow up there! Avalanches in the winter can play havoc with the trails. This put an end to my little exploration. The road continues up to an old abandoned mine. Had to ford this pretty little creek. (hey, there's snow here!) This is where the creek came from... After riding almost back down to the valley, I couldn't resist this little side trail. Just had to see where it went. Apparently straight through this grouse's home! These birds are renowned for how dumb they can be. Nice to see a bit of wildlife. Down in the Wildhorse Creek valley, they're still doing placer mining. In the late 1800's there was a huge gold rush into this area. People came from all over the States and Canada to try to strike it rich. Nothing left of the town that was here because they mined the ground out from under it. Just a little graveyard left and a couple of old foundations. The gold rush is the reason Ft. Steele was founded by the North West Mounted Police. Sam Steele later became police commisioner for the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush there at the turn of the 19th century. A little further down the road a bear had been wandering by making deposits into the road bank... Most likely a large black bear or juvenile grizzly. Black scat is often an indication that it's been eating meat...and is likely going to protect the carcass. If you see a few of these in an area, it is likely hanging out and feeding on a nearby carcass and you'd best be gone before it decides that you may be a threat to it's food source. In this one you can also see the seeds, indicating that it's been nibbling on vegetation. Bears are omnivores, and in this area, mostly herbivorous. Here's a bit of perspective... And that was the ride. About 2 hrs total from Ft. Steele. Now a 20 minute ride on the slab back to Mom's home cooking!