Year: 2012

Hiking Prairie Creek Trail near Elbow Falls.

Went for a pretty short hike near Elbow Falls the other day.  It wasn’t real cold but very windy and looked like a storm was coming in so we cut it a bit short.  Only walked a couple of kilometers in.  Most of that was nicely protected so the wind wasn’t so bad – as long as we were in the trees.  I took the video below where we turned around – it was much more exposed there.  Nice easy trail but if you are going to try it at this time of year you may want to take some cleats that you can put over your shoes or boots as the trail is quite slippery in parts. 

Prairie Creek Video

Posted by faffyrd007 in alberta, elbow falls, hiking, prairie creek trail, 0 comments

Hiking Larch Valley, Rockies, Alberta

Here is an absolutely beautiful hike that I’m sure is great all summer but spectacular in the Autumn!  It may be a bit late now but if you can get up to Moraine Lake when the colours are full, it is a wonderful hike. 

I suggest going during the week if at all possible.  From what I have heard the parking is next to impossible on the weekends.  Even so, we got there on a Tuesday afternoon about 1 – 1:30 and the parking lot was full.  It was emptying out though.  We were pretty close to the last people going up.  Take note though that there is a sign at the beginning of the trail warning you that you will be fined for groups less than four.  We were fortunate that there was another couple waiting for ‘us’ and as their pace was close enough to ours it made for a pleasant and safe hike. 

It is a pretty steady uphill hike – I think about 750 feet up from the Lake. The work was so worth it though.  We were not but if you have the time and energy, there is a trail up the gravel to Sentinel Pass. 

How you get there: Take whatever route you need for going to Lake Louise.  As you are going up the hill take the exit on the left for Moraine Lake.  It is a few kilometers along here.  Park.  Walk along the right of the lake and you will see the trail head.  Have fun.

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Hiking Rawson Lake Kananaskis

This past Tuesday we hiked up to Rawson Lake.  We had done the circuit around Upper Kananaskis Lake last year and had notice the trial up to Rawson Lake but it was a little late in the day and we had already done 10 miles or so.  We did not get up there and start until about 3:30 but the days being as long as they are right now it was no problem.  First of all, if you are going from Calgary go along Highway 1 to 40 and go south about 30 minutes.  Follow the signs to Upper Kananaskis Lake and go to the furthest parking lot – most southerly.  Walk in about a kilometer to get to the trailhead for Rawson Lake.  It is a fairly steep climb for the first 80%.  Levels off near the top.  It is well worth the climb however.  It is not that long – 2.7 KM from the turn off to the lake.  It is quite beautiful up there.  There was a cloud that just hung around the mountain near the top all soft and puffy like.  Even though there were pretty strong winds it did not move.  The green section at the top was mostly in sun so there was quite a dramatic difference depending on which way you were looking. 

We took the path to the far end of the lake through a few snow patches.  It was pretty windy and my hands were getting a little chilly by the end of it.  There are some paths to the top further around on the ‘green’ slope and we spoke to some that had gone up there.  They said they did not quite make it to the top as it was too steep.  We were at the top for about an hour and the whole hike start to finish from the car was only 3 hours.

Posted by faffyrd007 in gwen van kleef, hiking, kananaskis highway, rawson lake, 0 comments

DogPound Rodeo 18 July 2012, Alberta

Someone told me about this rodeo last week at the Stampede.  I had a couple of days off this week after working 10 hard days at the Calgary Stampede.  I did some searches but could not find any decent directions.  I guess most assumed that if you wanted to go there you already knew where it was.  Well, for those in future who don’t here you go:  If you are coming from the south it is about 3 miles past Township Road 284(also marked as route 574).  Make a left at Township Road 290A.  There is a big sign just before the turn.  You will be on a gravel road which curves a bit for about a kilometer and you will see signs for the entrance on your right.  This year the parking/entry was $15 pp for two days or $10 for one day.  It was worth it in a lot of different ways.

I was pretty happy with the pictures – I took several hundred and am posting only a few here.  Hope you enjoy.  If you see yourself in any of them contact me.  Enjoy.

Posted by faffyrd007 in alberta, alberta horses, calf roping, dog pound, Dogpound, gwen van kleef, rodeo, 0 comments

Kananaskis Village – Hiking at Ribbon Creek Day use area

Took a drive out to Kananaskis Village – looked like it would be as warm as anywhere today – and ended up going on an unplanned short, easy hike.  Near the Village is Ribbon Creek Day use area with a number of well kept walking/hiking trails nearby.  We hiked along the river and made the first convenient left on the trail and looped back making about a 7-8 kilometer hike: difficulty: easy.

This last picture was taken on the way back – Sibbald Flat.  (Our next hike.)

Posted by faffyrd007 in alberta, calgary, hiking, kananaskis village, Ribbon Creek Day Use Area, 0 comments

1410 Bierhaus on 17th Ave SW, Calgary

Recently, my son and a couple of friends drove up from Denver to visit.  All being under 21 and not being able to drink in the US of A, we took them for some fine food and exceptional beer at the 1410 Bierhaus.  We had not been there before and did not know what to expect.  We were all more than pleasantly surprised. The beer list is about 180 choices and mostly of types that I had not had before.  The waitresses know the beers but they also have a fellow, Cory, that cruises the floor and helps people with their choices.  He came by our table asked us each one or two questions and brought us each the exactly what we wanted.  Everyone different.  What was great about this also is that we were able to taste each other’s beer as well.  All were fantastic.

The restaurant’s claim to fame is the beer, obviously but we have been back a couple of times since for the food.

I could recommend it alone for the service, which was wonderful.  The place was packed and although the waitress had a lot to do she never made us feel that she did not have time for us or had to rush away. The place does get busy and noisy so if you want a quiet piano bar, this is not the place.  On busy nights it may be wise to book a table ahead of time.
1410 Bierhaus

Posted by faffyrd007 in 1410 bierhause, alberta, beer, calgary, 0 comments

More Good Days at Enoteca Wine Store, Calgary

Well, there are good days and their are better days.  Today was a bit of both.  I was running errands and happened to be near the Enoteca Wine store.  Gary is always a treat to visit and always recommends excellent wines.  And, as happens from time to time, there was a wine representative with Gary and I was able to taste some of their wine.  Meeting the lovely Chareen, the  rep, took the day from good a good one to ‘better’. 

Today Chereen was showing a couple of wines from Cathedral Cellar in South Africa.  A Pinotage and a Chardonnay.  The Pinotage had a nice smokey start and was well integrated.  I generally prefer my whites light and don’t like oaky Chardonnays. This wine however was not and was quite drinkable.  The warmer climate in South Africa brings out more fruitiness but it is not overwhelming.  If you have not tried a Pinotage, they are generally very reasonably priced for the value.

Gary and Chareen also gave me some great tips on how to properly characterize wine.  I enjoy wine in all of its variations but didn’t know always how to describe various aromas and tastes.  More on that when I’ve explored. 

Make your way over to McLeod Trail just south of Glenmore Trail and drop in to Enoteca and see Gary, he has never steered me wrong with any of his recommendations.

Posted by faffyrd007, 0 comments

Wine Ink, Calgary

I found another great wine shop.  Hmmm, lots of wonderful places to taste and purchase wine in Calgary. 

A few weeks ago I was in Brandon, Manitoba.  I was working at the Royal Winter Fair.  Across from me was a gentleman promoting Canadian Cheese.  We managed to find the time to talk wine and cheese during our breaks and he told me that his son had a wine store on 17th Ave in Calgary. 

We finally made it in the other day.  As we approached the counter, Tim, the proprietor was pouring a couple of glasses of white.  I did like the fact that he did not ask us but just poured. I really don’t know if he does this for everyone or just took a good read on me.  Either way my thinking was that ‘of course’ if someone walks into a wine shop, odds are they would like to taste some of the wares.  I did end up purchasing what we tasted; though I limited my total purchase leaving an excuse to go back and try more next week. 

One can check out the website here: Wine Ink but really, go have a look at this beautiful old brick building that houses his beautiful selection of wine.  And have a sip.

Posted by faffyrd007 in alberta, calgary, wine inc, wine ink, wine tasting, 0 comments

Drumheller – Heartwood Inn and Spa

Earlier this week the weather was pretty nice and we had a few extra days off. I had not been to Drumheller and wanted to see it in some decent weather and hopefully before the mosquitoes set in.  I don’t really like mosquitoes.  Besides I like hiking when it is a bit cooler and we wanted to check out some of the canyons in the area. 

Our stay at the Inn was marvelous.  The owners, Zeke and Patrice were both friendly and helpful.  I travel some and wanted something that was not just another hotel room and this certainly fit the bill.  The room we had was very comfortable and quiet.  Big beautiful jacuzzi tub with a huge frosted window.  Allowed us to glimpse the night sky. 

You can see more and contact them here: Heartwood Inn and Spa
If you are going in the summer or on busy weekends book early – I can see no way that this gem of a place is not booked solid through the summer season. 

We didn’t have time to do everything and as the weather was good were more interested in hiking than inside pursuits such as the museum.  We drove up to Horse Thief Canyon.  Great hike – was really windy that first day – it seemed the wind found us no matter what side of the ‘hill’ we were on. Wednesday on the way back we stopped at Horseshoe Canyon.  About 10-15 miles outside of Drumheller on the way back to Calgary.  The hike there down into the canyon took us out of the wind and with the sun it was plenty warm enough.  In the summer I’m sure it can get bloody hot down there – I would advise bringing lots of water.  The initial bit of climbing into and out of is a little steep but once you are down inside it is pretty easy walking. 

Posted by faffyrd007 in alberta, badlands, calgary, drumheller, heartwood inn and spa, hiking, 3 comments

Calgary’s Dowtown Skate Park

Last Saturday it was amazingly warm (+10C or more) so I took a walk around the Shaw Milennium Skatepark in Calgary.  I haven’t seen that many skate parks but from what I have seen this is pretty impressive.  Even with quite a bit of snow and ice still around there were at least a couple of hundred ‘kids’ using the park.  Bikes, skateboards and one or two with rollerblades.  Looks to me like 99% a male activity.  There were some serious athletes there. You know those people that make something pretty spectacular look easy.  The park is set up with areas of “Beginner”, “Intermediate” and “Advanced” so there is something for everyone.

Posted by faffyrd007 in #bike, alberta, bicycle, calgary, roller blades, Shaw Milennium Skatepark, skate board, 0 comments