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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    August 24th 2019


    Just a little time with Pictor and his new Steed today. We went up Moose Mountain and then into McLean Creek just to keep our ADV cred somewhat intact. I can't afford any more parts right now so we took it easy and didn't get too far in over our heads and stayed away from the mud holes. It was amusing to see the side by sides blasting through the middle of the big holes and chatted with a friendly older guy on his KTM dirtbike. I suspect he thought we were lost... or at least me.

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    A little playtime at McLean Creek. Video is uploading.




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    New road bed on Coalmine road.

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    The city just keeps spreading like a fungus. The developers keep finding new fancy names for former cattle grazing land. This one Sirocco
    mxbulldog and Fatallybitten like this.
  2. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    August 31st 2019

    We veer west of the usual subject matter for one weekend.....

    Southern BC this time, Radium Hot Springs area.

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    Leaving right after work Friday trying to beat the sunset to my free campsite just west of Radium Hot Springs, I played it Long Weekend traffic. It absolutely bucketed down rain near Morley reducing visibility to mere feet for about 1/2 an hour. I made it but not by much. Just across the intersection from the Petro I was flagged down by a fellow ADV'er "Cal08". We chatted briefly before I raced across the bridges in the valley by the Canfor Mill to set up in the failing light of day. I enjoyed a drink standing on the ridge overlooking the valley, the town and the mill.

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    The Next morning I headed for Wilmer and up and over Mount Bruce to check out the Paradise Mine. The lower section about 15 kilometers west of Wilmer is an old deactivated logging road (as is the run up) and it has become fairly overgrown with several small water crossings where culverts have been removed. There were lots of slippery spots and an abundance of rocks to avoid (large enough to be a problem if you were to be deflected by one)

    Typical, I was so focused on the trail that I forgot to turn on the Go-Pro until i was up on the easy stuff and stopped for a breather.



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    The View from the top.

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    The Paradise Mine site below me. I'm parked at the Toby Creek Adventure Cabin area. If you choose to travel down the south side it is Privately owned and maintained property. I was honest and stopped at the office at the bottom, bought a sticker and chose to pay $20.00 for the privileged of riding an, expensive to maintain, road that was well worth it.



    I had passed several groups from the Adventure company going up on my way down and pulled over and stopped for each one making it safer for all concerned on the narrow winding trail.

    The man in the office thanked me for doing so and we had a great conversation about both the side they maintain and the Wilmer side. They have a big CAT sitting in a pullout about half way up and apparently it gets a workout keeping the trail passable every year.

    https://tobycreekadventures.com/




  3. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    August 31st 2019

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    After a number of I was here shots on top of the mountain and the initially very steep descent,

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    I took a few shots without the bike.

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    Then Headed north of where I was camped on Horsethief road and Westside road.

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    Stopped at a recommended spot that only the locals normally get to see. I'll keep the secret.

    Then I returned to base to hang out with a couple of older American tourists (Robert and Lisa) from Arizona with a Toy Hauler and two dirt bikes. It started pouring , Lightning and Thunder banging, and they invited me in for a drink. How could I refuse when the alternative was to huddle in my tiny tent far too early in the evening.

    The plan was to sit under the awning and have a campfire, but the weather was having none of that. We sat inside instead, and exchanged riding stories and enjoying a few beverages. They insisted that I stay for a simple but welcome dinner, as cooking outside was not going to happen. Finally about 9 pm we said our good nights and I made the dash through the pouring rain to the solitude of my little tent. The rain didn't let up until morning, waking me a few times with the flashes and bangs of the storm. That and despite the ear plugs, the regular train horns down in the valley.



    .
  4. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    September 1st 2019

    Morning came and the rain was petering out, replaced quickly by fog. I packed up, made a simple breakfast and coffee then rolled over to my freindly neighbors and bid them a safe and enjoyable remainder of their trip and was on my way.

    The air was cool and damp but my gear was up to the challenge. I stopped at Marble canyon to add a fleece as at that elevation it was a good idea. While pulled in by the campsite entrance I noticed something in my tire and gave it the spit test. Tiny bubbles confirmed my suspicion and out came the plug kit for the second time in as many weeks!

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    The offending rusty nail sitting on the lug (for reference) after plugging the tire.

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    Picturesque spot if you have to have a flat.

    The rest of the trip was uneventful and traffic light in the direction I was going anyway. The rain started again at Morley, much like the trip out.


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    One of the trails that I explored on Saturday after Paradise Mine.

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    A dock on a secluded Lake that is in need of TLC.


    That was my Long Weekend. Now all that remains is to dry out (already in progress) my soggy tent and gear.

    Until next time; Get out there and RIDE what ya got! Remember; SAFETY THIRD!
    knight, mxbulldog, AJRJ and 5 others like this.
  5. cal08

    cal08 Been here awhile

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    The film doesn't do justice to the narrowness and steepness of that line. Glad you made it up. For next time, there is a right turn about 3/4 up that will take you to the valley that you stood over.
    Lycan1 likes this.
  6. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    I appreciate all the area Intel you provided. It made my one day adventure very productive.
    You are absolutely right about the video but such is the nature of the wide angle lens of the GoPro.

    I just didn't want to say, "it was steeper than it looked...." How many times have you heard that?!
    cal08 likes this.
  7. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    What goes up.....



    This is the run down the Toby Creek side. Much easier if you want to get up with less effort as well.

    Paradise Mine run.JPG

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  8. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    September 21st & 22nd

    "I'm getting very tired of waiting for the weekend
    Then there's nothing when it comes around
    I need a little more excitement
    Give me some adventure
    I don't know how you've held me this long
    It's a Mayday
    It's a Mayday
    Time just marches on."
    - Saga, Times Up


    The season's hourglass is nearly empty, as far as outdoor overnighters go at the very least and I have been feeling the walls closing in as of late. The weather was less than Ideal on Friday evening and up north of Cochrane it poured by the evidence in the ditches and pot-holes the following morning. I opted to stay home Friday night and depart Saturday morning instead which ended up being the right call.

    We met up in Cochrane at the Tim's and headed out north of Waiprous Village along Trans Alta road. The road was as bad as I have seen it in years and with my compromised vision picking a line to miss the overabundance of pot holes took more concentration than usual. I could have slowed down but where's the fun in that? The ridge-line campsites along the road were mostly full but I did manage to find a spot with a great view.

    We set up camp and then cleaned up the mess left by the thoughtless animals the had camped prior to our arrival. Multiple fire pits all within yards of each other, really people?! Enough rusty nails, and screws to build a house, making venturing off the main roadway risky to any air filled rubber. I decommissioned almost all the extraneous fire pits and all the nails are now in the one remaining pit. We tried our level best to melt them down in the roaring fire later that day but were unsuccessful. Next time we will bring a big magnet to collect them for proper disposal. At the very least they should no longer pose a hazard to tires or feet at that one location.

    It is sad how little respect for nature the average camper has, treating the sites like a single-use landfill. Plastic caps from little disposable water bottles, beer tabs and caps, cans, broken glass (beer bottles), toilet paper, you name it, all just dumped on the ground. Where is Jason Todd when he is needed? Maybe a
    war on slobs is needed rather than a "war on fun" like our previous government seemed to have. If you can pack it in you can pack it out. That or go set up at the local landfill and enjoy what is obviously your natural habitat!




    We Set up then went exploring in the Ghost River Valley and a few trails.

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    A room with a view.

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    Gunfire echoed through the Valley while I stopped to do a different, quieter type of Shoot.

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    Waiting for the XR to come back from Recon.

    After getting our fill of riding we returned to the base camp to fire up the pit and make dinner and relax. We enjoyed a few drinks and enjoyed the warmth of the fire until the milkyway was fairly bright above us and the fire had reduced to a dim bed of embers.

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    The next morning as the sun came up the yellows of fall lit up in the valley below us. The cold air quickly warmed as we made coffee and cooked breakfast. By the time we packed up to head home the morning was quite pleasant. Time grows short for these ventures so I'll take what the weather allows.
    knight, mxbulldog, Bartron and 9 others like this.
  9. AJRJ

    AJRJ Been here awhile

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    The Like button does not do this post justice. Well stated, and it looks like an awesome weekend was had.
    Lycan1 likes this.
  10. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    October 5th 2019

    "Deep beneath the cover of another perfect wonder
    Where it's so white as snow
    Running through the field where all my tracks will be concealed
    And there's nowhere to go"
    - Snow, Red Hot Chili Peppers

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    A cold start on a well worn track south through Turner Valley and down to 940.

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    Up over highway 40 as the temperature dropped to single digits as the elevation climbed.

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    A quick u-turn when the other sign was occupied by fellow riders.

    IMG_20191005_142421093_HDR.jpg Then a run across Spray lakes road into Canmore.
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  11. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    October 5th 2019

    "When I come home
    Cold and tired
    It's good to warm my bones
    Beside the fire" - Pink Floyd, Time

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    south of Turner Valley just north of 940

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    On the south side of Highwood minutes from the pass.

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    Pictures at the peak

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    Highwood Pass October 5th 2019. 1 degree celsius.
    knight likes this.
  12. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    October 5th 2019

    "Our breath comes on white clouds, mingles and hangs in the air
    Diamonds, diamonds and rust
    Don't want no more diamonds, diamonds and rust" - Joan Baez

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    Fall in Alberta, a tumultuous time.

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    The air is crisp, the smells pungent, the colors rich and warm.

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    The shadows grow long as the days grow short.

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    The artists and the poets busy.....



    Time keeps on rushing by and with it the riding season. Get out there comrades before the rust is gone and the diamonds cover everything.
    IanInCalgary likes this.
  13. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    October 12th 2019

    "Goodbye my friends (who knows when we shall meet again)
    The stars wait for me
    Who knows where we shall meet again
    If ever
    But time
    Keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
    To the sea, to the sea
    Till it's gone forever.."
    Time - The Allan Parsons Project

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    Gorge Creek trail south end

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    Overlooking Sheep River road west of Turner Valley.

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    Sheep River Provincial Park. The season closes in.

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    Men have entered the forest.. but leave just as quickly.
    Five fewer degrees and the road would have been an icy disaster.
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  14. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    October 19th 2019

    "Nobody on the road
    Nobody on the beach
    I feel it in the air
    The summer's out of reach
    Empty lake, empty streets
    The sun goes down alone" - The Boys Of Summer, Don Henley



    Perhaps it was my imagination but as I rode through the chill air, I could have sworn I heard the distant voice of an Italian, well fed, curvaceous female singing.

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    I looped west over powder face trail for the last time this season. There was ice and snow in the spots that the sun rarely sees at this time of year. Bad spots as they are on curved downhills. Down is easy, one way or another. Getting back up would have been interesting and challenging. If you go start from Forget me not and 66 across to 68, not the reverse.

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    There were nice spots and the sun was ducking in and out from behind clouds that spit snow on me in the form of tiny balls that looked like styrofoam on the ground.

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    Up over 68, under the Trans Canada to race over toward Cochrane, then back south on more gravel to slip under the highway further east and then past Bragg Creek, south off 22 and into Calgary from the south.


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  15. xscoobysnack

    xscoobysnack Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the heads up about Powderface. I was thinking of going that way tomorrow, now I'll pass. Probably best to go east.
  16. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    always look forward to your weekend ride reports.
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  17. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    Thanks guys. I almost went east but the thought of mostly flat grid roads or mucky green lanes really didn't appeal for what could be a last weekend of 2-wheeled play time. I won't throw in the towel until November but the bike had a good wash after getting back to town just in case.

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    It was a bone chilling ride across Powder Face Trail. 2 less degrees and it would have been even more trecherous in many spots along the way. Other areas that see all day sun were dry and dusty. Caution and full attention was required.

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    The clouds to the west were dumping snow on travelers west of Banff. On the way home I clicked over 12200 kms for the season and the new machine. Both have been good.
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  18. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

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    October 20th 2019

    Morning rituals, traditions, habits, call it what you may, but we all have them. Weekend mornings I like to make coffee, relax briefly and hang out with the cats before heading out on a ride. I have always been an early riser, unlike the rest of the denizens of our household, the cats excepted.

    In the summer I'll open the blinds and the back door and open the window, then sit with my coffee listening to the joyful sounds of Robins heralding the dawn. The dew steaming off the rooftops and grass as the warm first rays of sunlight give the leaves of the Lilac bushes a golden hue and making the grass sparkle. Sipping coffee and thinking about what direction I will ride for the day.

    morning coffee.jpg

    Now as Fall winds down and the dawn is so much later in coming I sit by the fire its flickering flames the only light save for the harsh ghostly glow of my phone screen. The bird song replaced by the intermittent thunk of the duct-work as the furnace cycles off once again. The cats sitting in the shadows hoping that I'll feed them early since I'm up.

    When pale light starts to finally light the yard, those same Lilac leaves are the only holdouts remaining from the bitter fall winds, snow and cold. Always the first to sprout and the last to fall, the hardy Lilac. They remind me of how I was when it came to motorcycling as a young man. The thrill of riding worth the discomfort of the frozen air biting at my face inside the helmet. One of the first out for the season and last to put the bike away for the winter.

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    Forty Summers and forty Falls have come and gone of street riding and still the thrill of riding remains. What has faded, like the summer, is my tolerance for the sting of freezing flesh when my denial (that it is either too early or too late to ride in a season) overwhelms my experience. When the dawn comes not until closer to 9 a.m. and the birds have long since gone south and the hard frost on cars and rooftops is still there nearer noon than eight. The only thing steaming from those rooftops is the exhaust from the chimneys.

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    To paraphrase a song lyric;
    did I get tired or did I just get lazy? Maybe I just need more coffee, if just to warm my fingers.

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    .
  19. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    Maybe you just need a storage locker in PHX and a couple of return tickets. Just sayin. I’ve been thinking of doing that one of these winters.
    ‘cause age is just a number. Ride on friend.
    Cal and Lycan1 like this.
  20. xscoobysnack

    xscoobysnack Been here awhile

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    Sounds like a very poetic and profound way of saying "winter sucks", a testament that I am certainly in agreement with. Not a bad subject of conversation though while we await the inevitable.

    Lee, you often reference to songs in your posts. Do it again by the Kinks pretty much summarizes the ruts many of us get stuck in and feel trapped. This is why I ride. Dirt, pavement, 10km's or 4000, no matter.



    Fuck it, I'm pulling the bike out.
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