With mixed weather and home maintenance projects keeping us in Calgary most of the week, we were glad for blue skies on Thursday the 28th. With the GeoKids waiting to board their school bus, Mr. and Mrs. GeoK headed west to Bragg Creek, determined, at last, to put their new waders to the test.
We had three geocaches in mind, all on the far side of the Elbow River from the Elbow Falls day use area. We pulled into the empty parking lot just before 9 o’clock and starting walking upstream, looking for a good place to ford the river. There was no need to walk far, as the river widens out and turns a lazy corner just a few hundred meters from the parking area. We donned our waders and, with the aid of our trekking poles, safely crossed…
We had no problem finding the geocaches hidden along the 4×4 trails that lay just out of sight from Elbow Falls. We really enjoyed studying the falls from the far shore before walking a short ways back upstream to cross back to the parking area.
After stowing our waders in the back of the cache-mobile we drove a little further along highway 66, stopping at an unmarked parking area to head off through the forest in search of a couple of BVPETE caches. We enjoyed the short climb up the hill to the rocky outcropping which was the hiding area for the final stage of his two-part multi-cache and a good spot for an early lunch. After packing away the remains of our sandwiches, homegrown carrots and homemade cookies we decided to emulate Sleepy_hollow and take the direct route back to the vehicle. During our steep descent we confirmed the existence of the large inukshuk that Mr. GeoK thought he’d spotted from the parking area.
Our next stop was BVPETE’s A Rainy Pass Puzzle, which Mrs. GeoK managed to solve earlier this month (with the help of hint and some gentle encouragement from BVPETE). We had to bushwhack a little to this one, but managed to avoid coming face to face with any of the big ol’ cows grazing in the area!
At this point we debated heading back to Calgary, but it was only a little past noon so we decided to push on the the Forgetmenot Pond area and hike the Ford Knoll Loop, which we last trekked four years ago. This is a fairly short, fairly flat loop and we made it to the far end in less than 45 minutes, spotting BVPETE’s geocache a couple of minutes after that.
After a quick trot back to the car we headed up the gravel Powderface Trail a short distance to hunt for one last geocache, a HUGE plastic jar hidden by Snow walker. Nihahi Ridge looks particularly intimidating from this location!
We added 8 more caches to our "found it" tally and arrived back at home by 2:30. Total distance hiked was just under 10 km with a total elevation gain of about 400 meters.