Friday, August 9, 2013

Up Sh%&% Creek

Well actually it was the Sheep River and we took our horses along with us. Down west of Turner Valley here in Alberta there is an Equestrian Campground called Sandy McNabb. Over the years we have spent a few great days there and for some years early in the Millenium we would be there for Thanksgiving. It is paved all the way out so we can take the Motorhome and the bumper pull. Since we were there last they have rebuilt the stable/tie stalls and run power to every site. As well as a new dump station just across the road.
Site #18 a favorite of ours

because unlike most of the sites you can actually see the tie stalls from #18.
The Sheep River was one of the Alberta rivers that was wreaking havoc on the downstream residents during the June floods and there was evidence of it's exuberance even up here in the hills.

A lot of rubble and trees moved around and left high and dry above the river
 The weather for the most part was pretty cooperative except for one day when it was showering off and on all day. I took the horses for a short ride that day.

The first day we took a spin up the Death Valley trail until it connected with the Windy Point trail and we took that back down to the Sheep River and followed it back into camp.

Some meadows along the Death Valley trail
And these fellows were up above us on the Windy Point trail. Not sure whether that is their shepherd or what on the skyline
And here is an overlook right where the Windy Point and Sheep trails intersect.

A view from a ledge along the Sheep River. Lots of flowers out there.
 Another day we headed back out on the Foran Grade trail which climbs a ridge that has pretty nice views of the front range of the Rockies on most days, but on this day they were obscured by clouds hanging on the peaks.

That grassy slope is where we spotted the Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep on an earlier day

The mountains with cloud covered peaks
As well as mountains you get a pretty good view of the Calgary downtown skyline from here although it is probably at least 35 miles away the way the raven fly's. Actually raven's kinda wander their way across the landscape. Rumour has it that bees fly in a straight line but that would be a little long to haul a big load of honey making ingredients across the countryside, so let's just say Google calls it 34 miles.

Calgary skyline from the Foran Grade trail
Another benefit, well maybe a benefit, is that from up here you can check your phone messages and Brenda was able to update her Facebook Fans

It's always nice to let folks see what we are seeing.
Once we got down off the Grade we headed down to cross the Sheep River and the rain from the day before had muddied it up a little so it was nice to see another group crossing to give us an idea that all was well on the regular crossing. Many of the traditional crossings were changed, for the worse, by the floods this year.

Wink and Brenda crossing here
The crossing here was pretty good but the crossing where we came back over to the north side of the river was a little deeper. Water was kind of halfway up Wink's body on that crossing, so maybe our friend Bill, and Fred from down there at Benson would be getting a little wet, and because we were not so sure about that crossing I was paying attention to business and not gawking around taking pictures.

This ride was a test of sorts for Willow also, she has been on light duty since she hurt herself last November on the Beaver Creek ride in Arizona so I was interested to see if she could take the rough country. She seemed fine so she has probably earned herself a spot in the trailer heading south in the fall.

That said Wink threw a hissy fit on our last day there and while we were saddling up she kicked the stuffing out of Willow and got in a couple of solid hits that left Willow a little sore so rather than leave them in a tie stall overnight we loaded up and headed for Dogpound North where she would be able to move around and keep any swelling at bay. Now a week or so later she seems fine and the cuts and scrapes are all healing.

On another front the home reno's here at Dogpound North are getting close to being done, just a little work on the grout and some painting and all will be well again. Oh yeah, two bathrooms later we also got the gas range installed that started all this renovation stuff. Seems like it sure would have been cheaper just to use a Coleman stove than all this but Brenda will be happy.

We have passed the halfway mark on our time here in Alberta and I am working on a project so that we are able to monitor what is happening back here at Dogpound North while we are enjoying the company of our friends in the desert this winter. I call that fair warning Arizona, we are coming back!


  1. The picture of the riding group crossing the river, could be framed in a larger size...

  2. I bet it was nice to get the Class 'A' back on the road...accompanied by the ponies too. That area sure looked appealing.

    I hope Willow will mend well...and soon!

    Installing a few cameras at Dogpound North, are we?

  3. Good idea keeping Brenda happy with your renovations. ;c)

  4. What a grand way to enjoy the mountains.

  5. Beautiful photos, JB - what a great spot to camp with those amazing views.

    Sounds like Brenda's got herself a bit of feisty little horse there!

  6. Beautiful spot, Alberta is so amazing you couldnt pick a more beautiful spot to live. Hope Willow is still gonna make the trip to AZ. That guy above the sheep was a puzzle!