We headed off to Fairmont Hot Springs on the weekend. George and Ruth have a timeshare there so we joined them for a couple of days of 'Grandma and Grandpa' time. The weather was fantastic the entire weekend which made for lots of outdoor time. Driving from Calgary to Fairmont takes you through some magnificent mountain scenery, the image above is from a stop along the way so the boys could stretch their legs and look for fish in the river (which they saw).
Upon arriving at Fairmont we spent the rest of the day playing frisbee, throwing balsa wood planes and goofing with the boys. Ruth had me on BBQ duty, which I'm always glad to do, generally we all sat around and did some catching up.
Saturday morning Doreen went out for a road ride and once she got back I headed out for a mtb ride with no other plan than to ride for approx 5hrs in a southerly direction.
Most of the time I had no idea where I was, or where I should go. I started off by riding down a gravel road and then I just followed old goat trails and/or dead end trails finishing at cliff faces or lake, eventually I did find some superb singletrack by following my nose up and down elevation profiles and for the next few hours I rode wherever the trail took me.
The terrain/trail structure changed significantly throughout my ride which made for a refreshing ride. Doing this with a buddy would have been fun, but I had my iPod for company and fresh legs so it was all good.
Riding without a map or an understanding of what you are going to be facing for the next few hours is always fun. While I was out there I saw fresh bear and cougar tracks in the trail dust which is a bit sobering, all the more reason to remain alert on the trail and consider my high-speed out's. The images below (and above) are off my iPhone, apologies for the quality.
Along the way I bumped into this small herd of Rocky Mountain Sheep, they weren't too bothered by me so I hung out and watched them for a few minutes, then continued on my way.
I captured the ride using a free app on my iPhone, it seems to work reasonably well, check it out if you want to map your ride/run, the app is called 'Runkeeper'. Here's a screen shot of my Saturday ride using Runkeeper, you can see my route as a red trail going around Columbia Lake. Saturday's ride was good for approx 45 miles, 4000' vert gain and at least 100 grins.
Sunday I got in another 2000' vert gain in a 90min effort up into the mountains, I followed an old horse trail that eventually had me turning back around to go find some swoopy rocks and roots trails. I found them and didn't want to leave but I reluctantly turned back towards Fairmont and out of the saddled it back.
Hanging out in Fairmont we had to hit the Hot Springs with the boys. Currently they are enjoying practicing their swimming technique, which they got a chance to play with in the Hot Springs, more correctly instead of practicing swimming they enjoyed holding their breath and going under water to try and do handstands. I wish I had got some video of that.
All in all a great weekend.
Yesterday I convinced the boys they needed to check out the singletrack just behind the house. Evan was keen, Keegan was more hesitant which is understandable, I'm sure those hills looked pretty steep to a four year old. Here's a couple of (not iPhone) images from the discussion of "Boys, it's not that steep, you'll have fun if you give it a try".
And here's the random thought part... I just finished this grilled zuchinni and pears off and now I think it's time to go hit that singletrack behind the house again, maybe Evan will try and catch some air this time. Random fun. ;-)
Sep 16, 2009