Sunday, November 8, 2009

Spotted! In the Wild!

The last few weekends I've been trying to get in some late season mountain bike rides. Last weekend Neil, Trish and I hit up Kanata Lakes following the 'cross race. Lots of bumpy fun. This weekend Trish and I decided to take a little spin around the Camp Fortune area. On Saturday the park was surprisingly covered with snow! Things were in full melting mode by Saturday evening but classic ski tracks were evident in the grass beside the Parkway. Crazy.

The melting made for sloppy conditions on the trails. We were freezing and decided to stick to the wide gravel trails and headed up Ridge Road toward Champlain lookout. We were getting really wet and muddy and our motivation was falling fast. Then we came over a rise on Ridge Road near the turnoff for Trail Four and rode right into the path of a gigantic moose!

Please excuse the cell-phone picture, but this is a pretty rare occurrence and we were glad when another muddy rider pulled up with a BlackBerry. I've never seen a moose in the park. Deer, bears, coyotes, foxes, beavers, turtles and all sorts of birds are pretty common but moose? Not so much. She was absolutely enormous and looked in fine form with a shiny black coat. When we first came upon her she was standing on the trail about 10 metres in front of us and then walked into the woods and stood eating leaves about 20 metres from us. She didn't seem scared at all and did not run away. We eventually left and continued our ride. When we passed by about 20 minutes later she was still standing there munching away. Awesome -- in the strictest sense of the word.


madmountainmike said...

Awesome ! Seem many moose back in 'Toba but not here. I saw a coyote in the field just south of gamelin last week, and a bear cub on the trail just north of gamelin about a month ago......Into the wild !!!

Don Peterkin said...

Crazy! Hi it's me Don from Golden BC again, I also went for a late season ride on the weekend, up to Kicking Horse Resort on my Mountain Bike. I was surprised that I could make it all the way up the 10 km paved road from Golden at 800m elevation (2600') to the Resort ski hill base at 1250m (4100') as this is an elevation gain of 450m(1500') and I knew there was early season snow at the Village and I thought I would be turned back by snow or ice on the roads before I got there. However the sun had dried the road all the way so it turned into a quite enjoyable ride, even though the temperature was just above freezing.

Once at the ski hill base I then decided to just see if I could cycle a little up the snow-covered maintenance / access trail that winds up the ski hill from the Village. I was now shocked I could continue to cycle, however the snowy trail had been snow-packed by 4X4 trucks and quads working on the Mountain. So I just kept going and going on the snowy trail, and made it all the way to the top of a Chairlift, a further 370m elevation gain(1200') up the 5 km distance (much steeper !)

So, on the way down I stopped to put on a few more layers (brrrr!), and I was right near a Grizzly Bear Refuge on the mountain, I thought for sure the bear would be hibernating, but nope I looked up and there maybe a 100' from me was this HONKING HUGE bear. I am glad to say there was a fence between us. I later on met the bear refuge biologist and she said the bear (named Boo) was the heaviest and healthiest she has ever seen him, she said they had just weighed Boo at 792 pounds! I am glad he was not too hungry as that fence would not hold back a 792 lb bear I have no doubt.

Thats my story and I am sticking to it.

have a great day y'all.