October 11, 2012
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Route map and elevation profile.
With a glorious long fall in Alberta, we attacked Pocaterra Ridge. I had to make a run to Canmore to pick up my trekking poles first (glad I did), so after that and a fill-up I drove out to the trailhead at Highwood Pass. We had eight people in our group – a pretty large group! The advantage here is that we had enough cars to do this as a point-to-point hike; we weren’t forced into an out-and-back. I ate a Subway while I waited for the other folks to show up and set up the shuttle, and then off we went.
A beautiful hike through meadows that were full of wildflowers not a month ago led to the base of the ridge. The smell of fall was everywhere, with the damp, moderately pungent but still refreshing odour of disappearing vegetation omnipresent. The ridge itself climbs out of the meadows with a bit of a trudge, but when you reach the top you’re rewarded with a valley view on the left and hwy 40 on your right. A technical – but spectacular – traverse of the ridge leads you to a steep and long downhill through trees to the north end of the trail, where we’d stashed a car for shuttling. This descent is really made easier with trekking poles. On the south end before the ridge, the Larch trees were still full of yellow needles, while on the north end they were bare. Just awesome.
It’s fair to say that when I was on top of the ridge I was in exactly the place on the planet I wanted to be at exactly the time I wanted to be there. That should be evident from my grinning like an idiot in the video, below. I’ll get some photos up of this eventually, but here’s what Garmin and Strava had to say about the hike. Even the drive in and out was spectacular and relaxing – given the lateness of the season, there was very little traffic; not a motor-home to be seen on highway 40, which can be a bit of a slow drive in the peak season!
September 24, 2012
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Photo evidence! Bikes parked at the candy shop.
Well, as summer winds down, we reflect. With family and things happening around us, we didn’t get a chance to ride as much as we wanted. We did do a couple of great (easy, low-impact) rides with our friends Russ and Lucie though, and I thought I’d share. We did the Canmore-Banff Legacy trail along the river, and we also did a loop from our house to downtown Calgary and back. In both cases, we took full advantage of our surroundings halfway through the rides to snack. Hey, if you’re riding, you need to reload, right?
Canmore-Banff Legacy Trail
Here’s the GPS plot. First off, we need a rematch on this ride. It was Adena’s first ride on her roadie in quite some time, and we ended up stopping a few times to make adjustments and repairs as we went. That’s fine, but it detracted from the rhythm of riding a bit. She was thrilled, though; she loves going fast on the road bike way more than riding her mountain bike. Whenever we’d stop to make an adjustment, it was like she was being tortured… she wanted to go!
The only trouble is that the trail starts on the Canmore side just at the park gates. There’s also nowhere to park there. The way we did it was to park in Harvie Heights (right here), ride along a trail towards the park gates, and then go the wrong way over a one-way overpass to the other side of the highway. Once there, we rode about 1km up the Trans-Canada against the flow of traffic (the move looked like this going from B to A). A bit unnerving, but there were lots of people making the journey and it’s the only way to hook it up. Access: a small oversight on the trail designers’ part!
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April 2, 2011
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Spring is in the air
Ahhh, spring. What a beautiful feeling to escape from winter and come out on the other side. The flowers are just emerging from the ground, the sun has re-emerged from its six month trip to the southern hemisphere, new life is blooming everywhere. That, and two feet of snow. That’s right, spring is here and it’s time for winter to continue, because we are in Alberta. Mom and I were going to go skiing today, but decided there was too much snow to do it.
We had a good day otherwise, though. We headed into downtown Canmore and got a pizza at the Flatbread Company, then wandered around some of the shops. We ended up at a wine tasting near the end of the afternoon, and walked out with six bottles of wine. So really, just as successful as skiing.
What a winter, though. Sunshine has had over 45cm of snow in the last 3 days and still has over a 2m base. There was snow on our lawn in Calgary still last week. There’s still ice on the road, and now a couple feet of snow again! It’s also supposed to continue snowing all this week. This is all seems to be a really good argument for moving to Fiji.