-The Spray River bridge at 9K. Apparently a grizzly bear was in the area.-
When we arrived at the Goat Creek parking lot at 11:45 a.m, it was sunny and already +24ºC.
The first thing we noticed was a dog running around, dragging a leash. Nobody at the trailhead claimed him. Nobody could get close enough to grab the leash until my nephew Chris coaxed him near enough and we latched on to him.
We gave him a drink of water and some other kind people gave him a bit of food. His tag indicated he lived in Kapuskasing, Ontario.
Cheryl was driving back down to Canmore(and later to Banff to pick us up), so she took the dog to a vet clinic in Canmore where, as we later discovered, the owners claimed him later in the day. Apparently he got lost at Grassi lakes which is not too far away from Goat creek.
I had pleasant company on the trip today, my nephew Chris who I hadn’t seen for 20 years, and also joining the fun were his kids Mattias and Lauryn. Living in Brandon, MB, they haven’t had too many opportunities to bike in the mountains so I was looking forward to showing them the trail.
The trail is in great shape with all muddy spots easily avoided. We were stopping a lot to take photos and admire the spectacular views on this clear and sunny day. The kids enjoyed splashing cold mountain water on their faces when we crossed one of the many little creeks flowing down from Rundle mountain.
Soon after crossing the Goat Creek bridge at 7k, and up the other side, we encountered a whole family of grouse. I imagine it was a hen and her chicks, but the chicks are fully grown. Everyone was amazed at how tame they were.
At 9k we crossed the scenic Spray River bridge where more pictures were taken.
Unbeknownst to us, there was a grizzly bear lurking about. I later read on Canmore hiking/ biking/ skiing’s Facebook page that an earlier biker had spotted the grizzly on around 10:45 a.m. approximately at the 9.5K mark. I’ve twice seen bears on Goat Creek/Spray River west, one of the occasions was about two weeks ago.
We were having a delightful time rocketing the long downhill to the Spray west/east junction at 13.4K, when two hundred metres from the junction Chris got a flat tire. He walked the bike to the shelter at the junction where we fixed the flat and were back on the trail in 16 minutes!
The remainder of the ride to Banff was uneventful and we all arrived with big appetites for lunch. Our total time was two hours and forty minutes but the actual time that we were moving, according to my GPS, was only an hour and 29 minutes.
From the same bridge, from about 100M away, we also saw a Grizzly crossing the Spray from west to east around 8PM Sunday evening. It disappeared before I could get the monocular out, but it looked like it may have been #136, an adult male often referred to as ‘split lip’. (Tag in left ear is male, in right ear is female).