Southern Alberta one Weekend at a time

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Lycan1, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    September Long Weekend 2017:

    "Now it's good to be back
    It's good to be back in the saddle again
    It's good to be back

    It's good to be right back where I belong."-
    Prism



    My first excursion on two wheels in a month and a half now that I am healthy enough to ride. This was the test run for the 990 after my repairs and so far so good. I put about 800 kms on the bike and it sounded, felt and responded as good as it ever has which was a massive relief and the best thing for my recovery that I could have asked for.

    A friend of mine joined me for an impromptu Camp & Ride north of the Red Deer River in an area that still allows campfires even in wild camping spots as long as they are in a fire ring. It was on! I took it easy and stuck to back roads and mostly pavement since I was not 100% and a little rusty maybe?

    I had a camp-site in mind under the bridge on hiway 11 at Clive Creek. I was a bit surprised to see the Lake level so incredibly high, and with whitecaps on it. I actually got blown out of my lane at "Windy Point" in wind like I have never felt before. I hit the opposit shoulder quickly rather than try to fight my way back to my lane on the blind corner, not wanting to be a hood ornament on my first ride in a long time. Not long after that we arrived at Clive Creek and hit the steep rocky descent on the south side of the road and east side of the bridge.

    The construction is finished at the bridge in case anyone was wondering.

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    We scouted the sites but being a long weekend we took one of the last two remaining spots. After setting up we hiked around including the west side of the bridge which has a lot of great sites in and along the trees, as well as out near the lake. Normally there is a huge amount of dry, rocky lake-bed to ride around on and test your arm strength, or your steering damper, but all of that was under the Aqua-blue water this time. The wind howled for a while but abated in time to get the fire pit going to cook dinner on. We just relaxed and enjoyed a very pleasant evening that stayed fairly warm through the night.

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    Smoke from a nearby forest fire drifts across the lake. Our view from the campsite.

    Woke to the sound of light rain while it was still dark this morning and it persisted until about 9 am once we had finished breakfast and packing up. It has been so dry I won't complain, and the clouds made for some interesting pictures on the return trip. We stopped to check out the little road that goes out to the lake side of the rock cut at Windy Point, since it was much calmer, without fear of being blown away. We also took a short detour to see the Bighorn Dam that is why Lake Abraham exists.

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    Windy Point, looking west


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    Looking down from the Bighorn Dam. Tons of Campers and OHVs.


    It was a cool ride home but the best I have felt in quite some time. It's good to be back in the saddle again!





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  2. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    September Long Weekend 2017:

    Few More from the trip;

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    West side of the bridge at Clive Creek. Road to nowhere....

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    This place ROCKS!

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    Windy Point, the highway rock cut behind us.

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    Strange Metal Teepee at the Bighorn Dam Viewpoint.
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  3. cal08

    cal08 Been here awhile

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    Good to have you back.
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  4. drrod1

    drrod1 Been here awhile

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    Lee,
    You have had quite a summer. Glad things are coming around for you. Nice to see you out and about again.
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  5. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Thanks to you and Cal, and all the well wishers.


    Not the summer I had in mind for certain. Bit sore today in the lower back left side but I'll take it, after getting to ride a couple of days.
    Hope you had a great summer and have an even better Fall riding season.

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  6. drrod1

    drrod1 Been here awhile

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    I have been off the bike all summer with a broken ankle but healed up pretty good now. Off to the Alps on a couple of days to see if I can make up for lost time:-)
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  7. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Sounds fantastic! The Alps part not the ankle. Have the time of your life!

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    I'll make do with these.
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  8. Fatallybitten

    Fatallybitten Slow and getting slower

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    Lee, nice way to get back on the horse. With all the hot and dry weather I guess we shouldn't be surprized the leaves are turning early! Anyone wanting to get out for a "fall" ride will have to do so soon or the leaves will be gone.
  9. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    As soon as you get out of the city the leaves are definately turning. like you said, probably the stress of the dry conditions as temps have not been cold yet.
  10. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Teaser

    Went on a 5 day excursion in Alberta and BC with Dale and David from the forum. Just got home but here is a preview.

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    Roads? I don't need no stinkin' roads!

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    Look Ma!

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    Been There Dune that.
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  11. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Five Foolhardy Frozen Fall Days

    September 16th to 20th 2017

    "Tell me again why this is a good Idea?" asked Dale as he arrived at the Tim Hortons where David and I sat chatting, waiting to depart on a planned 5 day Fall Ride. I laughed at the question but in reality had no sound answer. The fact was that I had booked the time off to use up my vacation time before the snow flew and was stuck with the week at hand. The forecast was not very promising and I had done my best to come up with a loop that would chase the most acceptable weather and allow for camping (for the hardy). Day one would see us get to the Nordegg area but the overnight low was supposed to be -5 C. The trunk road north from the Sundry connector was empty and we stopped to shoot some picturesque fall landscape along the way.

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    After fueling at the new Shell gas station in Nordegg and lunch at the Hotel we headed up Baldy Mountain for a quick look. The trail up was steep and full of loose rock but not too challenging. The views from the Fire Lookout were awesome.

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    Looking southeast from the fire lookout

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    The road down from the top of Baldy Fire Lookout. David rides by.

    .
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  12. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Five Foolhardy Frozen Fall Days

    At the last minute I came up with a cabin rather than shivering in a tent. A lot of emails and calling around had finally born results in Chungo Creek Outfitters.

    http://www.chungocreekoutfitters.com/rentals.html

    A rustic Cabin about 20 kms north of Nordegg would provide a beautiful shelter from the cold. The area around the cabin is remote and the site itself is very well kept.

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    A bit Fuzzy but you get the idea. Moving the table allowed for a third bed and prevented any spooning.... The wood stove was amazing at heating the small cabin. A propane stove-top and stove was there for indoor cooking. Clean water by jug outside the front door.

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    There is no WIFI , no power save for lights powered by solar and no running water. There is a shower house that provides gravity fed, propane heated water in a semi-open air format.

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    Wood is provided as well as an axe so with a little physical exertion you can heat your cabin or fuel your fire pit. Our cabin was on the River Valley complete with large outdoor picnic table and chairs on the ridge. I would highly recommend this to all.

    More to come.
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  13. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Five Foolhardy Frozen Fall Days

    The night was Cold and we were greated by a hard frost, taking our time to get going the next morning. No vehicles are allowed into the cabin area so our bikes sat like horses tied to the fencing along the dead end road on the property's north edge. They were covered in frost but all started without hesitation.

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    By 10 am we started out carefuly, expecting the road north to Hinton to be slippery in places but soon wicked up the pace being mindful of wildlife. As is customary I ran bird-dog and frightened the animals off the road ahead with the freaky orange monster. My track took us to Hinton via Cardinal River road that "officially" was washed out and would not get us through to Cardinal River Divide or Mountain Park. We had a quick discussion at the turnoff and decided it was worth the try. It was an Adventure Ride was it not?

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    It varied in surface from loose and rocky to brown dirt. There were a couple of barriers to dissuade the sedans and mini vans that did not heed the dire warnings to USE AT YOUR OWN RISK and what not, but the quaders had made it easy for us.

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    The views were well worth the effort!

    More to come.
  14. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Five Foolhardy Frozen Fall Days


    A bit Further another ominous "Bridge Out" sign was ignored by the stubborn guy at the front of the line and soon we came to a missing section of road. We were not the first to boldly go and once again the quaders had blazed a trail. A quick scout of the surface and clearing of a few larger loose rocks and I suited back up and led the way, followed by David and Dale.

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    Once on the other side we climbed elevation and arrived at where the First Sign said we would not. The trail down was rocky for a bit then gradually improved until we reached the Mining area surrounding the Mountain Park cemetary (all that remains of the old mining town) just southwest of Cadomin, Alberta.

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    It was all downhill from here.

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    Hiding right west of the big mining operation and reached by driving through a large Culvert tunnel was the campground of Wild Horse Creek Provincial campground. Mostly a jumping off point for trail riders it does have some very unique spots, most of which are reservation only. There are a few nearer the road that are first come basis but bring ear plugs as the Mine is a 24 hour operation.

    More to Come.
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  15. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Five Foolhardy Frozen Fall Days

    We cruised through Cadomin and carried on to Hinton to have lunch. The day was getting long and we decided to head straight for Jasper to camp rather than take more time to go up north toward Grande Cache. I wanted to stop briefly at Athabasca Dunes as although I had been very past it many times I had never seen it. Too busy watching the road like you are supposed to...

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    A few quick road side pictures and we carried on to Whistlers Campground that had lots of room despite the parade of motorhomes that we waited behind. We were even allowed a fire which was a pleasure on a cool but not uncomfortable evening.

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    Later I listened to the sounds of Elk trumpeting a challenge and the sounds of their antlers smashing against each other that echoed through the silent valley.


    More to come.
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  16. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Five Foolhardy Frozen Fall Days


    That morning before the sun came up I woke a few times to the sound of rain on my tent. None lasted very long but it was not a welcome sound as packing up a wet tent is not fun when you plan more days in it that would no doubt be cold this late in the season. We made breakfast at the site and packed up before any serious rain had a chance to start. The plan today was to run highway 16 and 5 down as far as Clearwater then jump off onto Dunn Lake road down to Barrier and then Adams lake Forestry road across to Sorrento for the night. The rain started a few times but was light and the air cold but not really uncomfortable the way we were geared up. We stopped at Mount Robson view-less point, the mountain totally obscured by the low cloud.

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    I think more tourists took pictures of the crazy-ass motorcyclists, fool enough to be out in this weather. One trying to be sly about it until I waved at her. We stopped a few times along the way to warm up our fingers despite, the always on grip heaters. I missed the turnoff to the gas station and A&W having never seen the new traffic circle on the highway at Clearwater before. After a quick U-turn and run back around the circle we had lunch before venturing back off-pavement. Dunn Lake road was a bit wet but in good shape and had a few entertaining sections, and was a much more civilized way to get to Barrier from Clearwater than Number 5.

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    More to come.
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  17. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Five Foolhardy Frozen Fall Days

    It had warmed up and the sun peeked out finally before Barrier and the run over Adams Lake road to Sorrento was relaxing. Dale's left fork seal had really blown out, after leaking most of the trip, despite us fashioning a seal-doctor from a empty pop bottle and cleaning both sides back at the cabin. After getting rattled around across Dunn and Adam's roads he had decided that the best thing was to head back to Calgary via pavement the following morning rather than risk damaging his bike further or risking a crash on back roads. The weather was beginning to close in anyway and this would likely be our last good night of camping. When we arrived in Sorrento I guided our group to a known camp spot that I had used on a prior trip. The sign said no vacancy but I often ingnore signs and this was no exception.

    As it turned out the nice lady in the office explained that BC Hydro was going to shut off power between 6pm and 2 am so they thought that they would just close. I told her that it would not be any trouble for us and if she was willing, I would be happy to rent a camp spot from her. She graciously agreed to (for a slightly reduced rate) rent a spot to me. We had time for a hot shower before the power went down and it would otherwise be of no consequence.

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    We wandered through the town in search of dinner, after setting up camp and having showers. We decided by virtue of two out of four restaurants being closed on "the one attached to the gas station" and it was actually fairly decent. Returning to camp we had a fairly hard downpour and sought shelter under one of the many covered picnic tables around the nearly empty campground and Motel site. It did not last long but it dropped the temperature a bit. We returned to our site and sat telling stories and sipping malt until it was well and truly dark. Ear plugs muffled the sound of the nearby highway and one inexplicable chain saw??


    More to come.
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  18. cal08

    cal08 Been here awhile

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    The best thread. Glad your back.
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  19. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Five Foolhardy Frozen Fall Days

    The next morning was cold and we packed up and headed back over to the Home Restaurant for breakfast before Dale headed for Calgary and David and I headed toward Kaslo. We ran together as far as Salmon Arm and with a wave and a honk Dale rode off toward home. David and I headed south across to Enderby and via back roads (paved and Gravel) on to Lumby. A quick refuel and I took us off highway 6 to a gravel run past a lake and park area south of highway 6 that rejoined number 6 in time for all the good twisty bits. So far the weather had co-operated and we enjoyed arguably the best road In the area despite what "Destinations Highways" has to say. We continued across to Nakusp and on to New Denver and a brisk but responsible run across 31A to Kaslo for Lunch.

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    David researched Grey Creek Pass and the weather during lunch. Grey Creek Pass was closed at kilometer 16 and the weather was quickly turning biker-unfriendly. The original plan was to camp at Toad Rock, but the forecast for the route suggested pushing on to Cranbrook. It was a cold and wet ride after the Ferry, which was as rough a ride as I have been on with very strong winds up the lake. It was so overcast and raining that it felt like night riding as we went from Creston on to Cranbrook. David decided a hotel room made more sense considering the wet and cold weather and I did not question his wisdom.

    The next morning came to a balmy 3 degrees but clear skies for the moment. We got into "Eastbound and Down, loaded up and truckin' " mode and headed for home. Stopping only for fuel in Coleman and blasted up the trunk road.

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    We made one final stop at the Chuckwagon in Turner Valley for a good lunch. Then ran to Calgary on back roads before heading for our respective homes.

    It could have had better weather but the company was first rate. Considering the inherent risks of planning and doing a trip in this part of the country at this time it was better than it had a right to be. As always the scenery in both Alberta ( technically not "Southern Alberta" as was pointed out by David) and BC did not disappoint and I think we all saw new places, if only a few.

    I hope that (and encourage) the other members of the expedition to post their undoubtedly excellent photos of the trip here.

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    Thanks Gentlemen for the enjoyable late season trip!

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  20. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Five Foolhardy Frozen Fall Days

    Leftovers;

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    Dale Gets it done!

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    Between Enderby and Lumby.

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    On Top of Baldy Mountain. First on scene.

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    The Trunk road in Fall.

    .
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