Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Goat Creek & Sundance Canyon Bike Ride

We had a great time on our vacation in July with Emma, JobreƩ & Ryan, and Helen and David. I mean, how can you not have fun with such fabulous people?

However, it wasn't the vacation we had planned. We had planned to hike a bit, go out for dinner, lounge, and chill. So we're trying it again this week.

It didn't start the way we planned; we spent the first weekend in Calgary "working". I got to cook some brisket & pulled pork for my company BBQ (almost 18 lbs of each) which turned out great, and I had to go into the office on Sunday to work on a problem well we have. So Monday was our first day here, and we did very little. All I managed to accomplish was to get our bike chains cleaned & lubricated (thanks Dan! It worked great!). We went for dinner at Quarry on Main Street in Canmore, and that was very nice (the lamb shanks are to die for, the chicken less so).

Today we rode the 20 km downhill mountain bike run from Canmore to Banff townsite on the Goat Creek trail. While I appreciate mountain biking a bit, you really don't get much time to see the scenery or interact with flowers. The three places we stopped & got off the bike were nice; the crossing of Goat Creek itself...

...the crossing of the Spray River...

And where we picnicked on the banks of the river, looking down towards the Sulphur Mountain Gondola.

We had thought that the 19.3 km ride from Canmore to the Banff Springs wasn't going to take long; we were right, finishing it in just under 2 hrs. So we had planned to ride over to the Cave & Basin and ride the Sundance Canyon, too. This was a waste. Sundance Canyon is a boring little paved bike path that is next to a very well used horse trail full of used horse food. At the end it has a relentless slow climb to the start of the canyon where you really need to hike to see anything. We didn't do the hike; after 28 km of riding, we didn't feel like it, so Sundance wasn't worth it.

The only really interesting part of our day was seeing folks climbing Mt. Rundle. We saw at least 3 parties, and got a good perspective on the upper part of the route. It enters this photo from the right side in the trees right above the cliff band, crosses the angled gully in the middle, climbs straight up the forested knoll second from the left, then arcs up the ridge to the top.

I have climbed Cascade. One day I might climb Rundle.

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