In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton

The plan for my first full day in Hinton – Day 48 of the trip, Tuesday, June 12th – was to find the Brule Sand Dunes and to re-visit Ogre Canyon, which my son had taken Cathy and I to a few years ago. Things didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, but it was a very interesting day 🙂

The day started off cloudy and dreary, and that was the forecast. By 08:00, though, clear skies were moving in from the southwest and I got ready for a big adventure, with lots of dog-friendly walking available.

Clear skies approaching Hinton
My first stop was at the visitor information centre. When I asked about the Brule Sand Dunes and Ogre Canyon and said that I had a good 4×4, the two women on duty gave me rough directions to the Brule Sand Dunes, and a handout about Ogre Canyon.

The view from downtown Hinton
At 09:25, I turned north off Highway 16 about 20 minutes west of Hinton. With signs pointing the way, this should be easy. Right? 🙂

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
Just off the highway, a kiosk held a large Public Land Use map that might be decipherable if you spent long enough with it. I couldn’t find any useful information on it, though.

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
As beautiful as this was, Bella doesn’t like bumpy roads. Sorry about your luck, sweety, Tucker and I do 🙂

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
Is this Canada’s most scenic sewage lagoon? I have no idea where the sewage came from – there are no buildings anywhere near it.

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
The gravel road suddenly turned ugly. This looked like at ATV track to me, but I’d go for a look. Maybe it would get better. Sure, that could happen 🙂

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
About 4 km in, I quit and turned around at the first possible opportunity. By then I was driving in a ditch so narrow and deep that the only way I could have gotten out of the Tracker would have been by climbing out a window.

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
Heading back out, here’s a look at the track I’d come in on. Yes, that’s stupid. Even when I was 25 years old, that would have been just looking for trouble.

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
I decided to do some exploring in the general area, and took the road leading to the Wildhorse Lake Recreation Area.

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
If nothing else, the kids could use a play, and Bella some water time, so Wildhorse Lake sounded like a good option.

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton

Wildhorse Lake, Hinton
There was only one other person at Wildhorse Lake and he was fishing a few hundred meters away, so it was a good place to chill for a while.

Wildhorse Lake, Hinton
On the way out, I made a short detour to see Kinky Lake and campground. The campground fee is $23 per night, including firewood. The sites are small and bare.

Fishing at Wildhorse Lake, Hinton
The road had forked on the way to Wildhorse Lake, ad I decided that the other road had potential to reach the Brule Sand Dunes. It started off well.

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
I came to an information kiosk, and the map on it made this look like a very good route to an even better part of the dune system, which runs along much of the south shore of the lake.

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
Alas, the gravel road soon turned into another sandy ATV trail. This is where I decided to turn around – the trail ahead turned and dropped sharply, and a wide spot was not far behind me.

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
When I tried to turn around, I got high-centered. I must be getting out of practise. So here I was, stuck a few miles from anywhere, alone except for Bella and Tucker, with no equipment for doing any 4×4 travel (like a shovel).

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
As I was digging myself out with a tire wrench and my hands, I heard the little angel on my shoulder laughing: “You haven’t screwed up badly in a long time, so I’m going to let you get away with this one. But I am going to make you think and work hard enough that you won’t forget the lesson.”

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton
I got the hill dug away, and in half an hour or so was pointed back in the right direction. My inReach satellite communicator had been on the job just in case, though 🙂

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton

I was sort of adventured-out, so that was it for the day – I’d find Ogre Canyon the next day.



Comments

In search of the Brule Sand Dunes at Hinton — 3 Comments

  1. it is amazing how the little angel rarely talks to us before getting into trouble (-:

    • My angel is actually pretty good at keeping me out of trouble and leading me to special places. So I don’t mind when she laughs at me 🙂

  2. Pretty spectacular country though for a “little ‘adventure!” Just the mountains behind the one shot of the fisherman got my attention.