August Long Weekend is usually spent camping out west of Sundre and riding in the Sundre Fire Department ATV Poker Rally. This year we went “out west” again, except we decided against attempting the poker rally. Our bikes are dual sport, so they are capable of doing off-road trails, but the poker rally can be quite intense, so we opted out. Instead, we asked my sister if she would watch Gunnar so that we could go on a longer ride. She graciously agreed, but only if we went on Saturday so she wouldn’t miss the poker rally. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. We always get a bit sad knowing Gunnar may get upset that we are going on the bikes without him, but this time was different. The rest of camp went on a trail ride, so we put Gunnar’s car seat in my sister’s side by side and he went along with them!
We waited until they were off on their ride to leave just in case Gunnar saw us. We headed North up the Forestry Trunk Road toward Nordegg. There was some beautiful scenery, steep climbs, and a couple of rain showers. There was also a bit of loose gravel where I kind of took a Mr. Toad’s wild ride into the ditch, but luckily I was able to ride it out and get back onto the road. After we laughed at my near miss, we continued on.
Our next stop was Ram Falls Provincial Park. We used this stop to put our rain gear on just in case we hit anymore storms. There is a small campground, day use area, and boardwalk path down to view the Falls. We look for easier “hikes” to do while out adventure biking as we have our bike gear and boots on, which can make for hot and difficult walking.
Continuing on to Nordegg, we hit another rain storm. It was quite the deluge and the rain drops hitting your face could be quite painful. We stopped at a friend’s cafe for lunch. Unfortunately she wasn’t there, but The Miners’ Cafe and Coliseum Gift Shop was worthy the stop. We were cold and a bit tired, but the coffee was hot and the sandwiches delicious. Dessert was a monster cookie (for Derek) and a slice of blueberry mango pie for me. Unfortunately due to parental responsibilities, we had to leave before the town’s annual pie eating contest. With our bellies full, we headed back to camp.
The ride back was just as nice, and there was no rain at all. We even saw a group of wild horses wallowing in the mud. I wish I had stopped to take a picture. While we were away, Gunnar had a bit too much fun playing in the mud puddles. Maybe he had a bit of encouragement, but my sister cleaned him up before we got back. He must have had a great time because he had no trouble at all getting to sleep that evening.
The next day Derek headed out for a ride with a group of guys, so Gunnar and I went to see my parents. When we got back, everyone was still out for the poker rally so we just chilled out until everyone got back. It was a nice and hot afternoon so we headed down to the river to cool off. Gunnar had a blast throwing rocks in the river and even waded into the water a bit. My niece and some of the other kids also built a very nice inuksuk.
It is always so hard to pack up and leave at the end of the weekend. We have been so lucky to be able to do these outings as a family, and I am very grateful for it. As we were leaving, we came across some more wild horses, and this time I was able to get a photo, not the greatest as we were moving, but I will take it!
We have one more long weekend left this summer, and hopefully we can get out and enjoy one last camping trip. Gunnar loves camping so much, he plays so hard, and is always tuckered out by the end. I wouldn’t change my life for anything!