http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: Pouce Coupe To Hinton To Bragg Creek To Pincher Creek

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pouce Coupe To Hinton To Bragg Creek To Pincher Creek

Wow, it’s amazing how much we all depend on the internet these days.  I did an informal poll with just two participants, Smile, Geri and myself—Geri would rather have a phone which works, I would rather have internet.  What’s your vote??

We traveled over 300 miles from Pouce Coupe to just west of Hinton, gateway to Jasper and Banff National Parks of Canada.  We stayed at Swan Lake Provincial Park—nice and quiet—a little pricey for what you get but that seems to be the nature of the beast these days. 

Our plan was to travel through Jasper and Banff National Parks on Labor Day arriving at John and Brenda’s Dogpound North for a couple nights.  Well—we made a difficult decision—as you all know Geri had been feeling under the weather and of course Larry managed to come down with the same symptoms living in the rig the size of a dog house—I think they both had the flu.  Geri is basically over her illness but Larry has been struggling, in fact, he has been downright miserable.  We elected to bypass John and Brenda’s in order not to expose them to whatever this is we are packing around.  Michael and I so far have managed to stay well—when we eat together Larry has a rule to follow—”no touchy!!”  Meaning we serve everything to him, he can’t touch the utensils, the salt shaker, etc.—he tells us he is getting to like this being waited upon!!  Geri then gives him “the look!”

Labor Day we made a mistake not to be repeated—we were all thinking some alien creature had snatched us up and transplanted us onto a Los Angeles freeway!  Note to self, avoid national parks on any holiday!

IMG_1312This is what TransCanada HWY 1 looked like as we traveled through Banff yesterday afternoon, bumper to bumper traffic, all trying to get somewhere in a hurry.  Highway 93 which travels through Jasper National Park was insane, a two lane highway with people trying to pass on double yellow lines all day.  We did manage a couple stops—one a favorite of ours since John and Brenda introduced us to it a few years ago—Peyto Lake.  It was misting rain, windy and chilly when we hiked up the hill to the viewpoint.


IMG_1273And Athabasca Falls.IMG_1275IMG_1309

We attempted to make a stop in Banff but that alas, was not to be.  The entire provinces of Alberta and British Columbia were in the town of Banff yesterday! 

IMG_1325Parking spots were non-existent—we drove in and right back out again, slowly to say the least!

Onward we traveled with all the other masses until we exited Highway 1 onto Highway 22 and headed for Bragg Creek—one of the little Alberta communities which sustained heavy flooding in 2013.  Unbeknownst to us, there is a huge OHV (off highway vehicle as in ATV or dirt bike) riding area here.  Plus there was a provincial park with electric hookups and dump stations—YEA!!  We dined outside on leftover lasagna and called it a night.

Today we decided to start the day with NO schedule not departing our campground until after 9:30am.  We drove only as far as the Bar U Ranch before stopping for one of the best experiences the cowboy and I have had on this trip.  What an awesome place—the Bar U Ranch was one of the first and most enduring of the large corporate ranches established in the 1880’s.  At its largest the ranch encompassed almost seven townships of deeded and leased land—that translates into a mind boggling 158,000 acres with 10,000 head of cattle and 832 horses!!!  Today many of the ranch buildings are totally accessible to the public with no ropes or barriers to prevent you from walking where the cook might have been or where the cowboy bedded down in their traveling “trailers.” 



IMG_1386This stove was warm when we walked into the kitchen—we soon found out why from the lady interpretive guide—she was the cook and had baked cinnamon buns for us!!  Tasty!IMG_1389And this was her small room off the kitchen.


The cowboy and I both had to get a little silly—here’s the cowboy showing us how big a Percheron draft horse foot is:

IMG_1356And do you recognize this cow milk-er in the dairy barn??


IMG_1405One of the owners over the years of the Bar U Ranch, George Lane, decided to provide draft horses for the increasing numbers of farmers moving into the area.  Lane kept increasing his numbers until he had the largest herd of purebred Percherons in the world.  And, I think I remember this part of the story correctly—huge number of Percherons were lost in World War 1.  After the war breeders came to Alberta to purchase mares and studs from the Bar U Ranch in order to build back their horse herds. 

It was a delightful place to visit and we wandered around the grounds and into the buildings for a couple hours ending up in their fabulous café dining on steak sandwiches and hamburgers.  Brenda—I experienced gravy on my french fries for the first time ever! 

IMG_1329On our way to the Bar U Ranch today we drove about two miles seeing these hats on every fence post.  IMG_1331They do have beautiful flowers in Alberta!

We are parked for the night in a municipal park in Pincher Creek which by some fluke has workable wifi!!  Tomorrow Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada. 


  1. The ranch sounds like a fantastic place to spend the day. (I could easily give up Ma Bell for the internet)

  2. I'm totally with you on the internet! Love those blue lakes, but could miss the crowds with no issues.
    Nina (wheelingit)

  3. I like to have internet fairly often but usually could care less about the phone. John

  4. I'll take the internet any day. With that I can make a phone call anyway.

    Gotta love the Bar U. My college roommate was George Lanes grandson, they still ranch just south of there.

    Some of our riding friends head down there to plow and seed the crops every spring. It is really still a horse drawn affair.

  5. Count me in for internet being top priority. Cell phone...what's that, did I miss something??

  6. internet..and by the the way not all of British Columbia was in Banff..we were home on the west coast :)

  7. We took a "mis-step" on the holiday weekend as well, and paid for it with noisy crowds and horrible traffic - even in a lovely location it sucks! Maybe worth getting to Peyto Lake though....your photos are beautiful! Love the ranch - that stove is a work of art (as I'm sure the cinnamon rolls were too). Bummer about missing the lay-over at John and Brenda's, I imagine you're ready to be out of your little doghouse for awhile :-)



  9. Great photos of Athabasca Falls and Peyto Lake. Banff Park in the summertime is always a madhouse - what a money machine.

    I'll take an internet connection any day over a phone as I can email or phone with the Internet anyway.

  10. What a very neat ranch! Great find:)

    They do have beautiful flowers here in Alberta, even the trails are covered with wildflowers.

    Enjoy Waterton!!! Too bad our timing was a little off:(


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