Saturday morning, October 20th, saw bright skies and cool temperatures, about -1C when we left the parking lot. Six (6) brave members ventured out to what would become a fun and beautiful road trip.
We started the day with a stop in Bragg Creek. We were on the lookout for an old building and possibly a Great Grey Owl, but had not been given the correct directions. However, all was not lost as we ended up at the West Bragg Creek Trails parking lot. What an amazing spot and pleasant surprise for most of us. We spent some time exploring the area and taking pictures, but could not venture too far up the trails as they were still very icy. There are 150 km of trails for bikes, hiking, horses, skiing and snowshoeing. No motorized vehicles and 4 washrooms. All are well marked and are various lengths with one going all the way up to Moose Mountain. From the parking lot alone there were two bridges we crossed and of course, lots of pictures were taken. There were people on the trails with big tire bikes and it was obvious they had been there before as they just bounded up the hills, ice and all. Everyone agreed this is a place we should go back to in spring and fall as photo opportunities are many. Maybe a snowshoe hike in the winter?
Once we were all frozen, sure glad I had put my toque in my bag, it was back into the cars to head to the Leighton Art Gallery. As it was still early in the day traffic was light driving down Hwy 22 to our turnoff to the Gallery. Now it is only about 4 km from Hwy 22 to the turnoff to the gallery, but being the excitable photographers that we are, several stops had to be made, taking advantage of the brightly lit mountain ranges, and not busy road to take many interesting pictures. Most had never been to the Gallery before and said they will definitely be going back. It is such a beautiful, peaceful place. One where you could go, just sit and enjoy the view for hours. Of course, the short trails are there to be explored and photographed. The Gallery, inside the old Tudor Style house, is well laid out with a very diverse collection for sale. They will be having a Christmas In The Country Art Sale with over 1,000 pieces of fine craft and unframed artworks by over 100 local artists. November 3rd, 4th, 10th and 11th from 10 am – 4 pm. Free parking, free admission, and complementary festive treats. And don’t forget the VIEWS!
Upon leaving the Leighton Art Center we went back to Bragg Creek, via Millarville, completing a full loop. Although we did not make any stops on the way back, the scenery was equally eye-catching. Our timing back to Bragg Creek for lunch couldn’t have been timed better. We picked a spot that we were able to sit outside and continue to enjoy the glorious October day. Had we been any later we may not have been so lucky. When we walked back through the restaurant it was almost full, as was the parking lot. It had been taken over by all sorts of road bikes, Harley’s, dirt bikes as well as classic cars. There were some amazing bikes and lots of characters riding them.
All in all, another successful outing.