Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What a difference a day makes!

Four nights were spent camped in a popular (obviously) random camping area on Abraham lake, west of Nordegg, Ab. CIMG1500

My friends and I had arrived on Thursday night, and secured an excellent spot overlooking the lake, and shared it with a scattered group of others. CIMG1541

But by Saturday and Sunday nights, all the yahoos in Rocky Mountain House or Red Deer had arrived, so we were treated to non-stop musical entertainment (!), fireworks, and occasional demonstrations of burning u-turns in the gravel. That said, we were somewhat removed from them and among quieter company, and ear plugs to sleep were at least optional. Weather was mostly warm and sunny, with occasional showers to cool off the partiers, who were all in tents.

On Monday morning however, it all came to an end. Everyone packed up and left. And ‘left’ they did. In spite of a few charges laid by the Forestry officer who visited that morning, the amount of garbage and trash left laying around was disgusting. There were tents, tarps, shoes, clothing, cans and bottles galore, fireworks, food, sleeping bags, you name it. I hope the court sends them back to clean it up.


Shortly after peace and quiet returned, I noticed that I had some ‘local’ company. A black bear had come down the roadside feeding on berries, when he noticed that there was an awful lot of enticing odors coming from the recently vacated garbage filled campsites. Soon he was spreading out even the garbage and cans that had been bagged by the slobs, and helping himself to any morsels he could find. He was still a very shy, wild bear, but a few more rewards like that and he may become a problem or hazard to the next campers who come along.

During the few days here, we toured around a bit, checking out the area near the Bighorn dam. It is open to ATV’ers and was packed with every imaginable camping unit, and all types of atv’s were constantly roaring around creating a dust storm throughout. We were glad we were not camped with that bunch!

There is a metal teepee and plaque near the dam that was placed when the dam was constructed.CIMG1502CIMG1504CIMG1503

Some of our less, umm, experienced neighbours created a few problems for themselves. one guy with a big 1 ton pickup had gotten it stuck right down at water’s edge in the deep, loose gravel and rock. CIMG1505CIMG1512Let’s say there is no way to get there ‘accidentally’. He came seeking assistance, and much to my surprise, my buddy had 2-300 feet of cable and rope in his truck and was able to pull the other guy out, without getting his own truck off solid ground.

Another guy came by wanting to borrow some booster cables. Apparently he and his companions came with enough music and booze to last the weekend, but with not thought to any other necessities. City boys, I would guess? Played his stereo too long and killed his battery.

We also took a drive down to Nordegg one day and found the one gas station in town doing a roaring business, with trucks lined up in both directions for the pumps. All pickups, too; hardly a car or an SUV in sight! We also checked out the very nice provincial recreation area and campground at Crescent Falls. We found the price for camping there very steep at $27 with no services. But the campground is very nice with lots of room and trees between the sites, and most along the river’s edge.


Big surprise this time. After I had set up my satellite internet dish


and was online, I discovered that I had full 5 bars of coverage on my Roger’s iPhone!

Lets say that in my experience, Roger’s does not have the best coverage in small towns anywhere (none at all in the Yukon, even in the capitol of Whitehorse!). And this area hardly even qualifies as ‘small town’ area. It is definitely verging on wilderness – except on long weekends. I checked online and with my binoculars, I could even see the forest of towers on a distant mountain – one of which boasted Roger’s I guess.

As usual, Hailey had a great time camping, both inside the fifth wheel and outside chasing butterflies in the sunshine, and rolling pebbles down the steep bank toward the lake. I even had to let out the harness a little bit as she is certainly changing from a wee kitten into a small cat! CIMG1520 CIMG1528 On Monday, after the crowds had left, I had planned to head out to my place near Sundre and ride the mower for a few hours. Regular rain showers dampened that plan, so I just stayed put and enjoyed the solitude. Today I hope to head that direction, and pick up the rig on the way home.

Only a few more weeks or months of this returning to work habit, and I will be able to travel full time and perhaps even blog a bit more regularly!

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