Monday, June 19, 2023

More Summertime Travels - Part 2

 After a week of camping in the 'new and improved' Abraham Lake area west of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, it was time to move on.  Don headed for home, but I headed west!

I got on the Icefields Parkway at Saskatchewan River Crossing and headed south.  This is all area that I regularly patrolled for 15+ years, so it was very familiar territory, but always good to see it again.


 From there, it was right back to one of my favourite spots on Revelstoke Lake, for another weeks worth of camping.


This time, the Starlink worked fine, with only short outages because of all the trees and mountains surrounding us.



Friend, and fellow retired Park Warden Anders showed up on his motorcycle and visited for a couple of days.

Weather was very nice, and only a few pesky, non-biting bugs during daytime, so I slept all but one night in my hammock, with no fly, or bug net.

According to my phone, these are Eastern tiger swallowtails butterflies (Papilio glaucus).  Not sure if there was something attracting all of them to one particular spot on the beach, or whether there was a butterfly orgy being attempted, but they all converged on this one spot to display their vibrant colours!
Check out the action on the video!

As usual, did lots of biking around the area.  This highway is a dead-end, so normally very light to nil traffic, and none at night.  Water was still chilly, but very refreshing to cool off in, as the temps were very warm.
Because there is no cell service in the area, it is interesting to see the way various campers mark the turn-off to their sites, so friends will know where they are.  One site just down the road started the week with a yellow grocery bag fluttering in the wind.  Later, the bag was gone, and a bright blue painted rock was in place, then it too was gone.  Another site up the road is marked by a green grocery bag!  Some use flagging tape to mark the turn-off!

That's about it for this trip.  Next, a road trip to Saskatchewan, coming soon (?).

Friday, June 16, 2023

More Summertime Travels

 The usual route from home base in Alberta to some of my favourite camp spots in B.C. gets a bit boring after a while.  So this time, it was decided to head northwest, and enter the mountains west of Rocky Mountain House.

First stop along the way was my old fire base camp - that I managed for four years for Alberta Forestry.

I just wanted to chat to the new manager and see what was new.  Unfortunately, he/she wasn't around, but I had a good chat with a couple of helicopter pilots, and saw a few firefighters lounging around on a 5 or 10 minute get-away response time.
There were a couple helicopters there on standby.

We've camped a lot along Abraham Lake, which is actually a reservoir on the North Saskatchewan River.  But in the past we've had to stick close to the eastern end to remain in decent cell coverage.  But with the new Starlink along for the ride, it opened up possibilities all down the lake.

The government now collects a $30/person/year fee to camp in the foothills area.  But they have been doing a lot of work improving some random camping areas and constructing brand new trail head parking lots and facilities.

Previous trails that risked scratching the sides of your truck can now be traveled easily with even the largest rig.  The sites are not developed, so they retain their original rustic (and often rough) terrain.

This camping area used to be just rough bush trails.

It now has new outhouses, food storage lockers, and some garbage bins.

I had the Starlink on the roof for the first while. but it got windy, so I put it back on the ground as a precaution.

Across the lake, on top of yonder mountain is a fire lookout that I worked at briefly in 2017.

Friend Don, of Driving Miss Donna fame showed up, so we solved a few world problems for the next few days.


Some good hikes in the area.

Original, unimproved access to camp spots by the river.

To be continued - westbound, back to B.C. ...