Family time at Cochrane and Airdrie

We arrived at the Bow Riversedge Campground in Cochrane on Day 34 of our RV trip – Tuesday, 29th. I had reserved 6 nights there, but things got so busy with family time and then some other things, that I added one more night, then added another two.

After having wonderful weather for almost the entire trip so far, Mother Nature sent cold and wet to southern Alberta. This was the view on Highway 1A as we drove to Airdrie for the first of a series of events related to the high school graduation of my twin granddaughters, Kylie and Kaitlyn.

Highway 1A near Cochrane in the rain
The formal start of the commencement ceremony (a.k.a. “graduation”) at W.H. Croxford High School in Airdrie.

Graduation ceremony at W.H. Croxford High School in Airdrie
The presentation/congratulations for Kaitlyn and Kylie. A couple of years ago, I did a tour of the school and talked to some of the girls’ teachers – the quality of the facilities and the teachers at W.H. Croxford High School really is amazing to me (as are the courses offered).

Graduation ceremony at W.H. Croxford High School in Airdrie
Proud grandparents with the girls.

Driving home that night. The girls had a photo session in a park set for the next day (Friday), and we were praying that this would blow over!

A rainy evening on an Alberta secondary highway
The girls had picked Nose Creek Regional Park for the shoot, and Mother Nature cooperated! The next photo shows Kylie and Kaitlyn with their proud Mom, Andrea. Seeing the girls in those gorgeous dresses was shocking the first time – where has the time gone???

Grad photo shoot
All grown up, but… 🙂

Ever-patient Miss Bella got some love.

I can’t say enough about how wonderful the Cochrane leash-free park adjacent to the RV park is. Bella and Tucker love it, and we go there 3-4 times a day for walks and plays of varying lengths. The next photo was shot after we got back from the photo shoot on Friday.

Cochrane leash-free dog park
And the next photo was shot on Saturday morning.

On Saturday morning, Cathy and I went to the Cochrane Farmers’ Market at the beautiful Historic Cochrane Ranche Site on the opposite side of town. With over 50 vendors, it was excellent, and we spent quite a bit of money on jam, jelly, coconut butter tarts (from Pearson’s Berry Farm, the stand in the next photo), liqueur, buffalo sausage, and I don’t know what all else.

Cochrane Farmers' Market
My son Steve and grandson Brock brought their trailer to the campground for the weekend, and got the site right in front of us. Their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Gracie, is getting old (14?) but played hard at the dog park. To help make the weekend perfect, Andrea and the twins came out for a barbecue Saturday evening. RVs and campgrounds are great for making special family memories.

Cochrane leash-free dog park
Ball time is Tucker’s favourite. Bella used to enjoy it as well, but Tucker is far too quick now and just leaves her in the dust, so she’s given up on that part of the play.

Ball time is Tucker's favourite
Tucker is generally my blogging buddy in the mornings, curled up beside me. In recent days, though, Molly has often taken his spot. She loves the RV life as much as the canine members of her family.

My morning blogging buddy in the RV, Molly the cat
I’ve looked at renting a motorcycle in Calgary a few times, and when Steve said that he and a buddy were going to ride to Radium Hot Springs on Tuesday, I asked if I could join them. Getting a positive response, I called All Season Rental Adventures, and on Monday afternoon, picked up this 2015 Triumph Tiger 800. It’s a bit spendy at $195 per day plus 25 cents per kilometer over 400 (and there’s a $4,000 damage deposit), but I had high hopes for a great day. Downtown Calgary at rush hour on a new bike was a bit outside my comfort zone, but by 5:00 pm I was back in Cochrane with it.

Murray with a 2015 Triumph Tiger 800
Tuesday got off to an early, chilly start. The temperature was -2°C (28°F), and I wiped a thick layer of frost off the bike before taking the kids for a long play in the park.

Cochrane leash-free dog park
I met Steve and Larry along the road in Cochrane, but then had to come back to the campground to pick up my Parks Canada pass and my swimsuit. I had been thinking “bike day!!” and not about the big picture stuff like national parks and hot springs. As always, click on the map below to open an interactive version of our route in a new window.

The day was simply incredible. Normally I’d have a hundred photos and could make this a separate post, but the day was about riding, not photography. We had a great lunch in Radium, soaked for a while at spectacular Radium Hot Springs, and put a lot of miles on winding roads through the Rocky Mountains.

Motorcyclists at Radium Hot Springs

Motorcyclists in Kootenay National Park
We stopped at the Ghost Lake dam for a break and to say our good-byes, as we’d take different routes a few miles east. I was hugely impressed with the Triumph Tiger 800 I’d rented. It has great power and is very nimble and responsive. I also sent about half an hour on Steve’s Triumph Tiger 1200, and Larry’s BMW 1600 cruiser, and if I was going to buy a second bike it would be the little Tiger – it fit me perfectly. Even the licence plate was perfect (JST42) because that’s how I felt – just42, not almost68 🙂

Motorcyclists at the Ghost Lake dam

Today, Wednesday, May 6th, I’m going to go into Airdrie to see Steve and Larry doing some charity work, back to Cochrane for a look around and to have dinner with a couple of former Yukoners. Early tomorrow, I’m moving to Airdrie to get some work down on the Tracker, then we’ll be heading north.


Family time at Cochrane and Airdrie — 3 Comments

  1. Good deal on the bikes, I see you had a great time, glad you got the opportunity. (and planned for it too?)

    We’ve conversed on your pages in the past about riding in the great north… the ADV bikes give a great comfy ride, good storage and wind protection and have those great pseudo off road tires for exploring at sane speeds some gravel, dirt or true off road paths…

    I bet one of those would fit on that RV hydraulic hitch thing better than the old cruiser would…!

    • The opportunity arose while I was there and I grabbed it. That little Tiger may fit better on the Hydralift,but the odds of me spending that sort of money on a second bike are pretty much zero.