Run to the Hills 2012 – Day 2 (July 20, 2012)

20 July 2012 – I woke up when I woke – no alarm clock. I had a pretty good sleep, but as usual the little travel pillow I’ve been using is barely adequate – even when bulked up with my fleece jacket. So I’m looking into a new one for the big trip in August.

After a breakfast of PopTarts, instant oatmeal, and a couple of cups of coffee, I was ready to ride – somewhere – although the weather looked a little dicey with clouds all about and the forecast calling for some rain later. The rest of the group was kinda slow in getting ready as well, but eventually there was some consensus – we’d go for a ride around Waterton, up to Cameron Lake, and then to Red Rock Canyon.

By this time there was 9 bikes all lined up and folks getting ready to roll …

The first stop of the day was at the only gas station in Waterton, since a good number of the folks who arrived later in the day yesterday didn’t stop for gas before coming to the campsite, including me – the last time I filled up was at Pincher Creek, 45 minutes away to the north.

From the townsite, we headed up the Cameron Lake road which ends at the north end of the lake. The south end of the lake is actually in the US, just across the border. We hung around the lakeside and some of us took pictures. Being a somewhat dull day with heavy overcast, the view wasn’t as spectacular as it could have been, but it was still awesome scenery.

We took up a fair bit of the parking lot with the bikes …

Eventually we pulled out of the parking lot and headed back to the main road, but first we stopped at a wide part of the road for a staged group picture …

Blood or oil? What's your call?

Blood or oil? What’s your call?

As we all started to pull out, I noticed some red stuff below “Smurph’s” (Scott’s) bike. It looked like blood, so called out to “Smurph” to see if he was bleeding. He stopped and checked himself out and no, he wasn’t. Next thought was oil seeping out of the rear shock, so “Smurph” stopped his bike and a few folks started checking out the underside of the bike. There were a few more red drips found, but it was still unclear what it was. BigDan checked out the first drip more closely and figured it was in fact blood. There was a rabbit roadkill further back the way we had come, and “Smurph” figured he might have added insult to injury and hit the dead rabbit again, splashing some blood onto a fender or the skid-plate. But checking out the underside of the turned out to be a possible lifesaver – the bolt holding the center-stand onto the bike was loose and was ready to let go! If that happened at speed, it could have caused a catastrophic crash. So I believe that I saved his life.

With Scott’s bike fixed up and with no other apparent issues, we gathered up and continued the journey back down the road to main park road. Back at the main road, we went up the road to the Red Rock Parkway for a fast zip up to the Red Rock Canyon parking lot. That road is a lot of fun on a bike, but it really sucks when you get stuck behind some road whales (RVs). We made it to the parking lot and agreed to head right back to town. When we got back to the main Waterton road, BigDan (who was in the lead) decided to go to the Prince of Wales Inn for some more photo opps.

Prince of Wales Hotel, Waterton, AB looking roughly NW

A few of us decided to get some lunch while we were here. This young fellow …
Bar Manager at Prince of Wales was the Bar Manager and graciously allowed a large of number of adventure bikers to crash his swanky bar. At first we were in a small anteroom off the main bar area …
… but we became too many to fit as more and more of our group wandered in. So we took up about half of the available chairs! The meal itself wasn’t all that great – not bad – just forgettable. But the views down the lake were very easy to look at.

After lunch we pretty much all headed back to the campsite. A few of the guys zoomed off to Pincher Creek to get some junk food, while the rest of us stayed to keep the entire site from blowing away in the storm that rolled in! Later we all ate junk food and BBQ hamburgers, drank some and went to sleep.

Hopefully the weather next day would be better …

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