Remembrance Day Roadie
Coffe Table Photography book out now!
999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
Mike and I had been planning something big since he got back, the long weekend was the perfect chance. We packed up the Jeep and headed out, not knowing entirely where we were going. We stopped at the Paint Pots to strech our legs, the whole time Mike was playing the guitar in the front seat. That doesn’t really work so well.
We quickly found ourselves at Fairmont Hot Springs for a soak – but of course not in the paying area. A very short walk up the hill from the “resort” has you at the source of the springs which has a few soak-worthy pools. We soaked for a good hour, enjoying the view and chatting to people passing through.
We had decided to camp at Buhl Creek Hot Springs that night, so set out as it was getting dark. Navigating the logging roads was easy seeings I had been there before. When we arrived, there was nobody around but the campfire on the bluff was still lit. A little strange, but we didn’t let it go to waste and camped right next to it. We also used the Jeep to transport some firewood.
It turns out the pools at Buhl Creek are very close to body temperature, so at this time of year they were not warm enough for a night time soak. We racked our brains for a way to heat it up and tried pretty much everything we could think of. In the end, we heated up about 10 rocks in the fire until they were red hot then cicked them down the hill into a nice pool. Success! the perfect temperature for an hour soak late at night.
In the morning Mike slept in while Dan had another good hour soak. We headed out to Cranbrook where we grabbed lunch and played 18 holes at the local disc golf course. A very rugged course, much like Canmore. In the end Mike won by one stroke – great game.
We wanted to spend some time wandering around Kimberley to assess the likelihood that Mike would live/work there for the winter. We started out with the mandatory beer in the pub before wandering the streets talking to everyone along the way. It’s a great little town with really friendly, down-to-earth people. It felt very warm and community minded from the minute we got there. As night fell we needed somewhere to camp – I suggested somewhere along the road to Superlative, so we headed out.
We’d been going about 20 minutes I suppose when we seriously thought about camping in the Superlative car park for the night and day-hiking in the next day. Mike had been with me when we first read about Superlative and we had talked together about it ever since. It had to be done. 20 minutes later we drove back into town, got gas and supplies, then drove back out to Superlative. The road again was very good and started getting quite snowy about 2/3 of the way up. By then end it was full snow, not a glimpse of a road. This actually made the going a little easier because the snow fills in the pot holes.
We camped that night at the parking lot which looked a lot different than last time I was there. Neither of us had ever camped in/on the snow before and we were both as happy as, well, two guys camping in the snow. It snowed a couple of centimeters overnight and we were pretty stoked to see snow on the tent!
We knew we had a long way to go the next day, so we got up and moving down the trail. I was a little worried it would be so snowed over we wouldn’t find our way – but it turned out to be fine. Based on the trail and my memory, we didn’t make a single wrong turn. At the start there was around 10cm of snow, towards the end it was more like 25cm. It snowed hard all day. The fact that winter was coming really hit us hard – we were working in shin deep perfect powder, why didn’t we bring our boards!
The difference in the campsite and Hot Springs was amazing, black and white, night and day. Just as beautiful, just totally different. We soaked for a good hour in the tub while it snowed very hard around us. This was probably the most relaxing soak of my life – by the side of a river in the middle of nowhere with no body else around in heavy snowfall. Unreal.
After what felt like forever we geared up and made the hike back to the Jeep. Driving down was fine, even with the ~30cm of snow on the road. There was one close call with an on-coming truck towing a horse trailer. It really didn’t look like he was going to stop and we must have stopped about a foot apart. Live and learn or something like that I think is appropriate.
Another huge, huge weekend full of Hot Springs, Disc Golf, Fun & Smiles.