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Southern Alberta one Weekend at a time

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

  1. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,627
    Location:
    Calgary
    2021 April 2nd

    A bonus day without plan, without destination, just a vague direction and time.

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    The 1090 Warthog in her natural setting.

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    "Dry Weather only" Road just SW of Nanton. The best ones always are.

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    Following old roads on Satellite images can be a dead end. The exploration has its rewards on occasion.

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    Southwest of Nanton not far from Boneyard Coulee. a nice northbound option through a picturesque valley.


    Stay Dusty My Friends!
  2. m11harker

    m11harker Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2021
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Had an amazing ride thanks so much @Lycan1 for the route, we made it pretty far up the lime stone look out, then out the Coal camp creek road! So much fun

    Attached Files:

    Fatallybitten, MGV8, pictor1 and 5 others like this.
  3. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,627
    Location:
    Calgary
    2021 April 3rd

    "It's a beautiful day
    Don't let it get away

    You're on the road
    But you've got no destination" - Beautiful Day - U2

    It was a cool start to the day but the sun was up and the air calm for a change. I suited up and wound my way north through the big city past the new NW Stoney trail interchange to Springbank road. Turning north on 40th I set a brisk pace to the rendezvous in Cochrane. As I came over the rise south of the highway one underpass tunnel, closing on it fast, a tall figure stepped out of the shadows raising an arm in the motion to stop. As I rolled to a stop under the highway, "license and registration please".


    Thankfully as @pictor1 took photos of the event @Fatallybitten and I talked, no ticket forthcoming. I took a moment to clear any incriminating data from my GPS before we carried on at a slightly more sedate pace, although I do enjoy traveling briskly on gravel. We collected the remaining crew member @flossandfly at the Tim's in Cochrane before starting the loop posted earlier in the thread. The mercury had climbed to a balmy 5.5 indicated on the Warthog's dash.

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    We stopped at McCue Creek's new bridge, my curiosity peaked as the company I work for had transported all the materials out during its reconstruction last year. I remembered the site contact trying to describe its location to me and reassuring him that I knew exactly where it was and how to get our trucks there loaded to 46,000 kg.
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    The sky to the west still a little hazy, perhaps still seeing a bit of the white stuff at elevation. On the last shaded hill before Mountains Aire we passed a southbound T7 (white & red) tip-toeing up around the ice covered curve. We all did the same going north but with the advantage of a gravity assist unlike him. There had been a few small fingers of ice in other shaded corners but nothing of real concern unless you were in a much bigger hurry than our group. We were just out to drink in the sights and smells of the great out doors. It was a beautiful day!

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    A couple of shots just over the "Blue Bridge" at Mountain Aire.

    Stay Dusty My Friends!
  4. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,627
    Location:
    Calgary
    2021 April 3rd

    We carried on up Coal Camp road and stopped at an unmarked campground on the river side, not far from the Trunk road turnoff.

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    While Pictor1 and I took photos, Fatallybitten and Floss played in the nearby horse offloading (in more ways than one) area, dodging what the horses left behind.

    _MG_1932.jpg
    Pictor1 has a shot of me taking this shot. we carried on down the dusty Coal camp road until it turns paved and eventually meets the highway into Sundre. At lunch I was asked if I mind having Pictor1 post his shots in this thread. Hell no, why would I mind the big guns posting great photos in this thread? It ups the overall quality having a pro posting here! The thread is here to showcase Alberta, southern and otherwise and if the material is relevant anyone is more than welcome to add to it for others to enjoy and be inspired by. Outside the gas
    station I made some rude jokes after seeing a sign that made me laugh with their unusual combination of sales items on the same bin. Brought to mind an Unusual Cowboy Movie from years back about a damaged spine and a big rock.

    After lunch we met a rider on a V-Strom that asked for assistance diagnosing a strange clunk in his front end, we had a look and from the best we could figure it was internal on his forks, my best guess was worn bushings as there was no signs of leakage and his steering head showed no movement. He tagged along as we meandered our way south to Calgary, pealing off on pavement toward home before we wound down one of my favorite bits of twisting gravel twp 273a. The afternoon was slipping away as we hit pavement NW of Simon's Valley road before joining the hoards as we filtered through the city to our respective homes.


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    It's the journey not the destination, on this beautiful day. Thanks guys!


    Stay Dusty My Friends!
  5. pictor1

    pictor1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Oddometer:
    126
    Location:
    Calgary
    here are a few from yesterday

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    slow down there cowboy!

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    the bad attitude boys

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    dual sport glamour

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    Lee doing his thing
  6. drrod1

    drrod1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,994
    Location:
    Calgary
    Sky.high and I were either just in front, or just behind, you guys on your leg from WV back to Calgary. We rode up to the saloon for a coffee and sandwich and then pretty much reversed our route back on the same roads. Nice day!! No pics unfortunately.
    Lycan1 likes this.
  7. MGV8

    MGV8 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,553
    Location:
    Canoe BC
    Oh to be out and about. Most FSRs here are still covered in Deep Snow. Soon, Rig is back together and I'll plate it next week. Maybe I'll make another trip your way this summer. I love just poking around on that side of the Rockies.
    My Camp Just south of Ram Falls last summer
    tempImagepw7tl8.jpg
    yamalama, m11harker, pictor1 and 2 others like this.
  8. Fatallybitten

    Fatallybitten Slow and getting slower Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,139
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Stay Dusty My Friends!

    Lycan1's sig line for this thread is not just a catchy phrase. Any ride with Lycan1 involves gravel, and when conditions are dry, as they were yesterday, that means when you follow Lycan1 you are going to get dusty. And it gets progressively worse (or better, depending on your view of off-pavement riding) the further back in the group you ride. Before we lost IaninCalgary to the west coast he used to be the reliable tailgunner, and he took Lycan1's sig line as gospel. There is no evidence he ever washed the dust, dirt and mud off his WR250R. He is the polar opposite of Lycan1. I guarantee, the Warthog is gleaming again after yesterday's outing.

    And speaking of yesterday's outing, despite having to use heated grips most of the day it was great to get out and play. It was relaxing poking along at subsonic speeds and stopping at a few new spots along the way, as well as some old favourites.

    Here are Lycan1's Warthog and flossandfly's Big Red Pig taking a break at McCue Creek. Despite the 15 year age difference (the bikes not the boys) they still both had a rip snorting good time.
    2020-09-10-33-33.jpg

    pictor1's well sorted 690R enjoying the rest stop. Check out the fresh shoes.
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    Mountainaire bridge is a regular stop on the FTR when you ride with Lycan1. Here is a shot of the young man and his beloved 990 from 7 years ago.
    2020-09-10-33-41.jpg

    Global warming at work. Look how the glaciers are melting.
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    Stopping for a break in the horse off-loading area, being careful where I step.
    2020-09-10-33-37.jpg

    Guys, thanks for a great outing. Until next time.
  9. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,627
    Location:
    Calgary
    I will neither confirm nor deny the statement regarding the current cleanliness of the Warthog.
    PKmDoP3g.jpeg
    Photo courtesy of Pictor1.

    Ah yes, when I had more hair and it was described as brown on my driver's license.

    2020-09-10-33-41.jpg
    Photo courtesy of Fatally bitten.

    Gotta run, the Big Red Pig needs a new shoe.

    IMG_20210404_134444322.jpg
    Easy peasy, new gently used tire for big red.
    By the time we started the tire the snow was just starting. After quickly wrapping up and then having Garage Coffee, it was looking a little more serious. Dust would not be an issue today.

    Attached Files:

  10. pictor1

    pictor1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Oddometer:
    126
    Location:
    Calgary
    another great Lee loop, this one south today. About 300km for me door to door. Saw lots of new terrain that I had never seen before, thx Lee.

    DS Apr17 21-0096.JPG

    DS Apr17 21-0103.JPG

    DS Apr17 21-0137.JPG

    DS Apr17 21-0142.JPG
  11. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,627
    Location:
    Calgary
    2021 April 18

    "Riding on the range
    I've got my helmet- on
    I've got my boots- dusty..."


    _MG_1947.jpg

    "Riding on the prairie, plays havoc with my hair."

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    "Makes me feel quite dirty, Don't we all do sometimes?"

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    "I wanna be a Cowboy."

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    Well, not really, but I do enjoy the remnants of the old wagon trails, and the song I was borrowing lyrics from by Boys Don't Cry.

    Stay Dusty My Friends!
  12. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,627
    Location:
    Calgary
    2021 April 17

    _MG_1964.jpg

    I had to see where this trail went.

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    Big Country.

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    Forgotten dirt roads.

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    My take on the snaking RR 295.

    Stay Dusty My Friends!
  13. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,627
    Location:
    Calgary
    2021 April 17

    "So take me away, I don't mind
    But you better promise me, I'll be back in time". - Huey Lewis

    _MG_1953.jpg
    Living in the wild, wild west.

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    Back to the modern world across vestiges of a simpler time. "Caution dry weather road only"

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    Is that Lyle Swann? Where will he get premium...

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    The trees yet to wake, and today another spring snow, heavier by the minute. We can use the moisture though as it was dry as a bone out there yesterday.

    Stay Dusty My Friends!
    MGV8, yamalama, sirvelo and 8 others like this.
  14. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,627
    Location:
    Calgary
    2021 May 1st

    My brain flipped through the catalogue of songs as I raced south fighting the howling west wind after work the last evening of April. Playing bits of Bob Seger: Against the Wind, Judas Priest: Riding on the Wind, Jimi Hendricks: The Wind Cried Mary. The mental DJ is a strange one, "She'll go sailing off on any old wind that blows" - Johnny Cash

    After a short neck-straining rip south on #2 (aptly named) highway to Stavely, I tacked into the wind making my way past the Pine Coulee reservoir to join my comrades at Willow Creek Campground. Being Men of leisure they had enjoyed the previous night there as well, using it as a base to explore the area west on Friday while I toiled. They had set up in two spots expecting a potential run on camp spots by Friday night. Perhaps still too early for the urban hordes as the rush didn't materialize. I certainly appreciated their forethought and preparation.


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    A distinct feature of the Willow Creek Campground.
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    I was too busy enjoying the fire and the libations to take any photos Friday evening after setting up in the howling wind that even in the valley was strong. After a time the wind calmed enough for a nice roaring fire, the temperature very mild so early in the season.

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    I had a basic breakfast of coffee and oatmeal after a quick breakdown of the camp. Then a wander across the bridge and up the hill for a look around before saddling up.

    Stay Dusty My Friends!
    MGV8, pictor1, squid61 and 1 other person like this.
  15. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,627
    Location:
    Calgary
    2021 May 1st

    Using old-tech before departure, a Back Roads Map book and my memory we headed north. Typical of map books the first option didn't exist so I went to plan B and hooked up with a road that Pictor & I had scouted a prior weekend from the west side.

    _MG_1965.jpg

    I took no shots along and up and over its length but I know Pictor and Fatally Bitten did. I was busy hiking and scouting the path ahead before getting into something that would be a pain to get out of on loaded bikes. I was feeling slightly less than 100% after the pickling fluid the evening before and not in the mood to do heavy bike lifting.

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    A stop above and west of Boneyard Coulee after the successful green-lane crossing.

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    The wind was picking up and the temperature slowly declining as we meandered northward.

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    I think Pictor and his steed were meant to ride this avenue.

    We enjoyed a few dry weather only avenues on the way home almost dodging all the incoming weather save for a few errant raindrops carried on the wind. The water crossing rising and picking up strength north of Black Diamond since our last fording. Another week or any significant rain and it will be a no go for awhile.


    Thanks to @pictor1 and @Fatallybitten for doing all the work organising this much appreciated respite from the daily grind.

    Stay Dusty My Friends!
  16. Fatallybitten

    Fatallybitten Slow and getting slower Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,139
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Pictor1 and I arrived at Willow Creek Campground on Thursday and, as Lycan1 said, we had our pick of spots. Just the right number of hot dogs washed down by some smooth sipping rum put us in the mood to solve all the world's problems, which we did. Only thing is, the problems were all there in the morning. C'est la vie.

    We had a general plan for the day's riding that started off retracing our steps part way back west then southwest to Hwy 22 just north of the turn off to Chimney Rock.

    It was a pleasant morning, helped considerably by our leisurely 09:30 start.
    2020-09-10-33-53.jpg

    Pictror1 lead the way and his artistic eye is responsible for all the good photo op's enroute.
    2020-09-10-33-5.jpg

    We tried a side road that was supposed to take us up into the hills to a small cabin, but as usual the road was closed to motorized vehicles after about 1 km, citing concerns over damaging the delicate environment. The sign told us to contact the Alberta Government if we had any questions. Since there was no cell coverage we turned around and retraced our track back to the main gravel road. Still, it was a pretty spot to turn around.
    2020-09-10-33.jpg
    After reaching Hwy 22 and then turning west on Chimney Rock Road we took the Saddle Mountain off shoot and found a nice spot to stop for a break.
    2020-09-10-33-2.jpg
    Heading further up Saddle Mountain Road we were on the lookout for wild camping spots but didn't find anything interesting so we returned to Chimney Rock Road intending to find the elusive formation. But as the road seemed to end at the Chimney Rock Ranch Wellness Centre and since we have an aversion to crossing into what might be private property we turned around. A google search confirmed the existence of Chimney Rock and even had a photo of the formation, which we could see a couple of kms up the road from where we turned around.

    Pictor1's trusty Back Roads Mapbook showed a connection east off of Hwy 22 just south of the Chimney Rock Road that hooked up with trails in the Porcupine Hills north of Hwy 520 that runs from Hwy 22 to Claresholm. Turned out there was no such road. So we carried on to 520 and then decided to see what shape Skyline and East Sharples Roads were in this spring. Both were passable, although Skyline had some muddy spots and one short section of ice/snow that hadn't yet melted. The views more than offset the slight risk.
    2020-09-10-33-3.jpg

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    The views on the east side of the Porcupine Hills are not too shabby either.
    2020-09-10-33-5.jpg

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    We sauntered back to camp via Claresholm where we picked up fuel for the bikes, dinner for us and another bundle of firewood to light the night. Shortly thereafter, Lycan1 arrived in a cloud of dust after redistributing the gravel that had been neatly laid down by the campground hosts. Festivities commenced....

    Despite everyone's commitment the night before that we would ease into the day, 07:30 found us packed up and engines on. We wound our way north relying on Lycan1's photographic memory of Southern Alberta's gravel roads and green lanes. Exploring the new green lane he introduced us to was a great way to ward off the bite of the early morning's chill wind. Being the first time he had ventured down this avenue we did a fair bit of reconnaissance by foot to pick out lines before piloting the bikes down the green lane to the next gravel road. Nothing like a few brisk hikes down and back up to get the sweat running, then having your wet shirt freeze to your body once you are back up to cruising speeds in the brisk morning temps.

    This is looking back the way we came.
    2020-09-10-33-9.jpg

    And this is our first of several stops to check out the footing.
    2020-09-10-33-8.jpg

    The boys doing their due diligence.
    2020-09-10-33-10.jpg

    Pictor1 made the section near the bottom look easy.
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    2020-09-10-33-12.jpg

    After that is was back to criss crossing the grid roads and finishing up the green lanes with one of Lycan1's old standbys that I had never done. After a snack break at the bridge...
    2020-09-10-33-13.jpg

    Lycan1 and I took the easy way up....
    2020-09-10-33-16.jpg

    2020-09-10-33-14.jpg

    and Pictor1 showed us that the difficult way was not difficult at all.
    2020-09-10-33-17.jpg

    2020-09-10-33-15.jpg

    Thanks to the guys for a great first moto-camping trip of the season. It was short but sweet.

    And a special thanks to Pictor1 for suggesting Willow Creek Campground. It was the perfect way to ease in to the year.
    2020-09-10-33-19.jpg

    2020-09-10-33-18.jpg

    Until next time.
  17. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,627
    Location:
    Calgary
    2021 May 1st

    Just a few extras to share from yesterday as the cool rain comes down outside.

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    Fatally Bitten enjoys the view and the morning sun.

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    Going simulated old school.

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    Photo shoot above Boneyard Coulee looking SSW.

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    Early morning May 1st packing up at Willow Creek Campground. Even if you wanted to sleep in, the Geese swooping low through the campground honking incessantly made that highly unlikely. It was comical in a way, watching them circle through the trees and over the creek never stopping their honking all the while.

    Stay Dusty My Friends!
  18. pictor1

    pictor1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Oddometer:
    126
    Location:
    Calgary
    and yet more from the trip above........
    DS WilCreek-2473.JPG

    DS WilCreek-2507.JPG

    DS WilCreek-2550.JPG

    DS WilCreek-2564.JPG
    MGV8, Fatallybitten, sirvelo and 2 others like this.
  19. pictor1

    pictor1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Oddometer:
    126
    Location:
    Calgary
    and a couple more.....
    DS WilCreek-2574.JPG

    DS WilCreek-2584.JPG

    DS WilCreek-2585.JPG

    DS WilCreek-2604.JPG
    MGV8, superfunkomatic, G-Mac and 7 others like this.
  20. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,627
    Location:
    Calgary
    2021 May 15th


    "We're here for a good time
    Not a long time
    So have a good time
    The sun can't shine every day" Trooper-Here for a Good Time

    I joined friends after work again or a brief wind down after a long week. Family obligations required that I not stay a second evening but we used our time wisely and covered a decent variety of terrain before I bolted for home.

    _MG_2005.jpg

    "It was an early morning this fine day and I was up before the dawn." Really, it's a curse.


    _MG_2011.jpg

    I packed up while trying not to wake the others. "I really have enjoyed my stay, but I must be moving on."

    _MG_2008.jpg
    Dennis & Motley's Rig. Great to meet you both!
    "Goodbye stranger it's been nice."


    _MG_2012-Pano.jpg
    A fine day for getting off the beaten path. The lines were easy to pick today having been ridden and scouted previously. I skipped the short cut having not had time to check it out. "If I never look behind me, my troubles will be few."



    Stay Dusty My Friends!
    Fatallybitten and MGV8 like this.