Sunday, May 28, 2017

Saturday May 27, 2017 --Hike # 4--Parts of Goat Creek Trail, East End of Mount Rundle and Ha Ling Trail in Spray Valley Provincial Park

Hike # 4 (yesterday's hike) was muddled as we were lost in the mountains. We thought we were at the right place but we were not and it took us another hiker to point this out to us.
I am going to write down hike #4 as it happened.
Saturday May 27, 2017
1) We got out late again. This was because I was not able to get out to Helva before 11:00 am.
2) Crisp mountains like loaves against the tablecloth of blue sky.
3) Polka dots of brown cows on the green fields.
4) Faded red barns (so cute) and wire fences with wood posts.
-river dimple
-curving roads like pasta strings coiling
-good fuzz of dandelions on chin of field
5) at 11:29 am near Canmore police doing their fining business
6) Amazing view in front of me.
7) Cows in truck beside us make me feel I should go vegetarian.
8) Morley Road N Exit 131 at 11:33 am.
9) 45 km left to Canmore.
10) Small dabs of dark green shrubs in the landscape of lighter green.
11) Shoulders of the mountains are draped in snow cloaks still.
12) Hard feast of trees all the way up to the treeline.
13) A small congregation of saplings praying by the side of the road without a priest leading them.
14) Mother and child horses sauntering together like a button in it's button hole.
15) Early morning shadow of fir beard on a mountain.
16)Toe of a house seen inside a forest of firs.
17) Exit 118
Kananaskis Country
http://www.albertaparks.ca/…/informati…/parks-in-kananaskis/
Spray Valley PP
Goat Creek (Day Use)
Although we had no idea where we were going we eventually ended up in the Goat Creek area of Spray Valley PP.
18) Exit 114
Seebe
Exshaw
Kananaskis River
Exit 114
Bow Valley Provincial Park
It is already 11:42 am.
19) Canmore 27 km
Banff 48 km.
20) Shyly the poplars and aspens peek over the broad shoulders of the fir trees to wave good bye to us.
21) Stripes of snow on the pyjamas of the passing mountains.
22) Bald stone like a statue by the side of the road.
23) 11:46 am Exit 105 Lac Des Arc
24) 11:47 am Heart Creek Trail
25) 19 km left to Canmore
26) Big lake with a gray colour that seems silky.
27) Dead Mans Flat which seems to be a small pit stop in the middle of nowhere with cashing going to build some housing behind the facade of gas station.
28) Three Sisters Campground
Dead Mans Flat only seems to be distinguished by an Esso Station.
29) Silvertip resort. These things seem to be popping up everywhere. I guess everything is a resort to make us pay big bucks for the place.
30) I think they have one of these resorts in Vernon, BC as well.
31) Canmore at 11:53 am.
32) Canmore Nordic Centre
33) Three Sisters Parkway. Wonder how this road got its name. Why not Two Sisters parkway?
We turn right on Exit 93 and leave highway 1
Then we stop and turn left. This stuff is important to note in case I drive here without hubby. I need to note signs.
The Exit 93 is critical or I would go on to Banff.
Then the matter of turning left onto the Three Sisters Pathway is important as I do not want to spend ages in the town trying to avoid the construction that is going on there madly.
This is the only way we have found to avoid the town of Canmore and go directly to hiking areas.
We then turn right at 742 to go on the Three Sisters Parkway to some undetermined hike we had decided on this morning. Unfortunately we took a picture of the map but forgot the name of the hike. So we're going to wing it.
34) There is a long curving road and at 11:55 am we are told to go at 50 km/hour.
Apartments and or condominiums on both sides of this road and seem to be new. At least I don't remember this frenzy of growth from the time we lived in Calgary between 1990 to 1996. The entire town is one giant tourist trap or holiday housing advertisement now. It's lost its original small feel and simply feels like a place where the richest folks win.
35) The place I am passing is called Crossbow. What the heck? Why call a luxury development a weapon?
36) Going up. Three Sisters Parkway. Narrow. Curving. Creepy. I feel that the car will drop over the edge.
Quite a view. No clouds. Lineups. Turn right onto 742.
I will never remember how to get here.
It was turn right and then turn left on 742. 60 km/hour. We pass Quarry Lake. That doesn't sound like the hike name we planned.
37) We pass Grassi Lake -the hike we did on the long weekend at 12:02 pm so we at least have one place we recognize.
38) A sign comes up saying Spray Lakes in 16 km so we decide to head in this direction.
Quite a view. It is now 12:03 pm and the early morning hike we planned is down the drain because we don't remember the name, I don't have my hiking books with me (they are in the basement packed away in the house in Edmonton) and the picture on hubby's cell phone just has a map but not the name of the hike. So we're going to have to figure out what's around to hike.
39) The 742 ends. We are now on gravel roads that are dusty and bumpy. It is unsafe and I want hubby to turn back but he is set on Peter Lougheed Park in 34 km.
40) Very steep.
Bumpy.
Curvy.
Some places only one car can pass.
Did I say gravel?
Very very curving.
One Lane Traffic here.
Dust.
Stop.
We let all oncoming cars pass as we don't want a headon crash.
12:06 pm.
We are very high up.
Biker. Crazy people.
Mountain Goats.
We fail to take photos. Maybe on the way down.
They're not interesting goats anyway.
41) Dust ballooning from the cars before us. Very steep. Very narrow road. I fear for our lives. It is now 35 km/ hour around the curve. What the heck?
I spot a sign saying "End Avalanche Area". Again what the heck? I hadn't noted we were in an avalanche area at the beginning.
We get to the top of the Grassi Lake hike where hubby and younger boy had hiked to. There is a gorgeous lake there and I think that we should stop. There is a very bumpy area near the lake and cars are parked by the lake.
42) We see a parking lot with a ton of cars and decide to stop. We are obviously lost. I find signs saying "Spray Valley Provincial Park" and "Goat Creek". We try to think of what to do. Everyone else seems to have a purpose and know what they are doing. We are lost in the parking lot.
We have no idea of the name of our hike and so we are stuck.
We decide again to leave the safety of the group at the Spray Valley Provincial Park parking place and go forwards and see if we recognize a name of the hiking trail.
We go up the 742 at 12:21 going where the road takes us as the confused family we are.
Further down the road we get to a sign saying Provincial Park Boundary. We decide that this is the limit to lostness.
We go back at 12:27 pm.
The gravel road is crappy. We are at Goat Creek by 12:31 and we park in the same place but on the side of the road.
43) At the Goat Creek place we try one hike which we think is the Goat Creek hike and we're told it is closed by another hiker:
http://www.tourismcanmore.com/…/things-to-…/goat-creek-trail
Goat Creek Trail
A scenic, and mostly-downhill ride on the west-side of Mount Rundle. Cross mountain streams, navigate gravel and dirt trails, and experience some moderate technical riding on the way to the Banff Springs Hotel. The Trail concludes at the Banff Springs Golf Course. To return: leave a vehicle near the Hotel and drive back to Canmore, use ROAM Public Transit, or use the Legacy Trail along the TransCanada Highway.
LOCATION: To find the trailhead: follow the Smith Dorrien Highway / Spray Lakes Rd 10 kms past the Canmore Nordic Centre and turn right at the Goat Creek parking lot next to the Ha Ling Trailhead.
DISTANCE: 2-3 hours one-way
ELEVATION CHANGE: -300m
44) The other hiker tells us to try the Mount Rundle hike. We just do this hike for tiny bit and almost die.
The chosen trail-head is a short distance north near the power pole at the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canad
***
The only reason we found the start of the hike was because of the other hiker. Even with her help we did not know the easier route until we met another hiker.
This hike was too hard for me and I was feeling like we were going to fall off the side of the mountain. Hubby wanted to do it but I did not. So we went down.
43) Stuck now with two hikes that we could not do there was only one hike left in the vicinity which was this one:
Ha Ling Trail
This trail provides access to scramble up Ha Ling Peak, a common landmark that overlooks the town of Canmore. Only the bottom portion of this trail is maintained. The final 900 m traverses through loose, rocky terrain.
Trailhead:
Goat Creek Day Use
Length: 3.0 km
Type: Out-and-Back
Elevation Gain: 732 m m
Activities: Hiking
Trail Map: Ha Ling Trail Map
Trails: Kananaskis Country - All Parks
***
This third hike was pretty tough. We did it for the longest time we could manage but we did not get to the top. Younger boy went ahead and he was tuckered out and did not make it to the top.
We walked from 2:00 pm to 3:46 pm and then decided to head back. It's very steep and I was tired out.
44) So we did three attempts on Saturday at three hikes and it was a bust. But there you go. This is what happens when you forget the name of the hike you had planned to do.
45) On the way back it was relaxing to just see mountains and not be climbing them. The crisscross crosshatching on the sides of the mountains felt very artistic from a distance.
46) We stopped at Quarry Lake as we felt that we need to see the next day's hike before we got lost again.
At 4:04 pm we decide to go home. We drive home with ten million other folks. By Cochrane the red barns appear and the swirls of clouds like cream in coffee.
It begins to feel that the land is soulful again rather than threatening as in falling off a mountain.
Stubby remains of last year's crops are on the fields.
Windbreak of trees hug on side of a farm. For sale signs appear. Electricity poles mile upon mile. Gray barns and gold field. Rain clouds in Calgary. And the end of hike # 4.
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