Banff and Crescent Falls 2012

The week before school was back in, we took the truck and trailer and all headed off to Banff. The original plan was to do Jasper but the weather forecast was not favorable and the wx seemed to be better south. Stayed most of the week at Johnson’s Canyon campground. Even though Davyn wanted me to take him up to some mountain peaks, there was really no hiking involved this year. Brysen had caught caught a blister on his foot from some new shoes and because he didn’t say anything about it, it wasn’t treated properly. The blister turned into an infection so he had to go easy on the walking. Thought that hikes would not be a good idea this time around.

Managed to take in some of the great sites in the area and have a great time even if we didn’t go on any hikes. Weather was ok, not as good as forecasted but definitely better than it could have been.

Last few days in the mountains we went to Crescent Falls and stayed in that campground. I was always worried about going into that area with the trailer. Since the trailer is so long, there’s a small stream I had to cross where the rear of the trailer would rub badly on the rocks; every easy to get into trouble and it’s certainly not advisable for any low riding trailer or RV. Managed to get through it fine and at least now I know I do it, I’ll be going there a lot more in the future. It’s one of the nicest falls you’ll see in Alberta and it’s highly recommended for anyone that has not yet seen it. It’s one of my favorite areas to visit. Back in our 2010 quading trip, this is the area we went to and always love coming back to it. Even saw a wedding party hike down to the lower part of the falls to take wedding pictures. Considering the way down is not easy, I’m, amazed their clothes managed to stay clean.

Also managed to teach Davyn how to chop wood and build a fire on his own. He’s 11 years old and thought it was time for him to learn how to make a fire in case he ever needs to do so to help survive.

This was Davyn's first campfire that he built on his own. Way to go buddy!

 

Sighting in my crossbow

The other day I finally got around to sighting in the crossbow. It’s an Excalibur Vortex with a bolt velocity of 330 fps. I’ve been meaning to get at that task since spring but have been just too busy. Even let the Davyn and Kyle fire off a few bolts (arrows). Poor Kyle got his eye a bit too close to the scope and when the crossbow kicked, the scope hit him in the eye. He was not impressed.

 

 

 

Kananaskis 2012

Just got back from Kananaskis Country for our July vacation. After leaving from our annual Meeting Creek ‘get-together’, we pulled the trailer down to Peter Lougheed Provincial Park where we first stayed at ‘Interlakes’ campground. This is a great lake-front campground located on the SW side of Lower Kananaskis Lake. The rain came down in buckets the first night we were there. I’m happy to say that was the only rain we saw in the two weeks we were in the area. The remainder of the trip we stayed at ‘Lower Lakes’ campground which was on the opposite side of the lake from Interlakes.

The bears this year were extremely active in the park. There was an abnormally high number of grizzlies moving through the area. We had one young grizzly that kept coming into our campground almost on a daily basis; once sitting in a campsite for over three hours until the wildlife officers chased it away with their bear bangers. Apparently his mother had been put down earlier leaving her two younger ones not yet fully educated to the ‘DO’s and DON’Ts’ of bear-hood.

Kyle, 6, still has not had enough confidence to get his training wheels off his bike so while at the campgrounds, we took that opportunity to help him out. Lots of encouragement (along with some offered rewards) we managed to get him riding without the training wheels. Before Kananaskis, it was tough getting him to ride his bike but after he found his new found freedom, you couldn’t keep him off the bike. It’s all he wanted to do for the rest of the stay.

I brought one of my multicopters (a robotic aerialphoto platform) in hopes of getting some great aerial pictures of the area. On a daily basis, I visited the information center for some internet access to stay in touch with geomagnetic conditions. Because my MK hexacopter has a digital compass and has GPS navigation, it’s very sensitive to any geomagnetic solar disturbances. Most of the days in Kananaskis, the solar K index was 3 or 4 which is higher than I’d like. It meant a mild geomagnetic storm was in progress. The last day there, the K index came down to a 1 which is pretty quiet so I managed to get the copter in the air and take some pictures and a bit of HD video too. One day is better than nothing so I’ll take it. A few days later, we had an X class flare so any autopilot flying would have been out of the question for sure.

Managed to take in some hikes too. Kananaskis country has some of the best hiking to be found anywhere. Kyle and Brysen are still a bit young to be taking in the long and more challenging hikes but in the coming years, I’m sure we’ll be doing those. Davyn is always asking to get above the tree line and some altitude; the higher the better. Guess he takes after me that way. I was always the same growing up. We found this year that many of the higher altitude trails were not being recommended for travel because of all the snow still up on the mountains. Some trails still had over 3 feet of snow on them! And it was obvious from the lower levels too; as you can see from some of the pictures, there is more snow pack than usual. Kananaskis had more snow than usual this past winter. Normally the creeks and river levels are coming down by now but this year they were all very high. Lots of great looking waterfalls on the mountain sides.

Other than the first day which was rainy, the clouds stayed away and the temperatures hung around between 26 and 33 degrees for the whole two weeks we were there. The day we left (the 12th), the clouds were supposed to be coming in and thunder storms were in the forecast so our timing couldn’t be better.

We had hoped to take in a bit of the Calgary Stampede and also Calayway Park but we ran out of time. Did manage to spend one day in Banff though. It was a great time.

Next is Jasper in August so hoping the weather will be a good there as it was in Kananaskis Country.

It’s vacation time!!!

We’re off to Kananaskis Country and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park as soon as our house sitters become available. We should be on the area’s campsites by Sunday or Monday of the long weekend. Hope to be camping at either Elkwood, Lower Lake, or Interlakes campgrounds and eventually ‘Eau Claire’ which is a bit further North. These are the areas the movie “RV” was filmed. There are some fantastic hiking trails in the area that I know my son Davyn will be wanting to go on so I’d better muster up the energy fast. Cheers!

Boy’s Club camp-out

The weekend of June 15 – 17th, myself and my three boys met up with other members of the “Boy’s Club” for a camp-out at Starland campground near Drumheller. There were 8 other dads and 12 boys in all. It gave me a chance to get some one on one with Davyn, Brysen, and Kyle. There was LOTS of great food and no shortage of activities for the kids. The ball gloves were put to good use as well as the hiking shoes. I don’t know how many times the steep hill sides were climbed by the boys but it was certainly more than I’d try. Man those kids have energy. Saturday we made time to go into Drumheller for an afternoon of swimming and playing on the water slide. Kyle really wore me out but it was well worth it; they all had a blast. The weather for foretasted to to be rainy but we got lucky and got an abundance of sun exposure.

Thanks to Vic for organizing the camp-out.

I couldn’t ask for a better Father’s day weekend. Can’t wait until next year.

 

Meeting Creek quading

All the quads lined up together just before heading out

Last Sunday a bunch of us did a nice quad ride from Hwy 53 to Meeting Creek. It’s sort of an annual cross country ride where it’s the first ride of the year. It’s a chance to get out and enjoy the spring air and have a good time. We took along some of the kids; unfortunately, there wasn’t enough quads to bring along all the kids that wanted to go.

Working on a temporary fix on my tie rod

Just as we got close to Meeting Creek, my tie rod let go and suddenly my front two wheels when toe out (pointed in two different directions). Who knows how far back I’d lost one of my tie rod nuts and cotter pin. I hit a rut and it was enough knock it lose. We were pretty limited for tools so I wasn’t able to do a proper fix. We pulled the quad on its rear and did what we could. I used a pair of small vise grips to grab the rod where the nut would go, then used duct tape (yes good old duct tape) to

Duct tape saved me on this one

hold the vise grip into place along the rod. It was crude but it worked as a temporary fix until I could get something better in place later. When we go to our destination, Harvey and I found a bunch of washers and a cotter pin to hold them in place until I can get a permanent and proper fix done (thinks Jerry for the washers and pin).

They put on a great breakfast at the curling rink in Meeting Creek. The annual Meeting Creek palt feed was the night before so there was even some left over palt used up for breakfast (the Sweds know what palt is).

Davyn and myself finding some water to play in

It really hit the spot. We worked our way back to our original starting point using a different route. Managed to see and elk in the process and find more than our fair share of water and mud. It was a pretty good spring ride.

Hello world! This is post #1

Welcome to my blog. This whole site is work in progress so please bear with me. There will be many changes being made over the next months or possibly the next year. I have a busy lifestyle and not a lot of time for website updates. However,I’ll do what I can to add updates as the happen. So check back from time to time and I hope you see new posts or new links (at the top menu) every so often. I’ll try and post video and pics on many of the future posts. Once again,Welcome to my site!