Day 4 - Back To Elkwater - Before the Ice Age - CycleBlaze

September 16, 2020

Day 4 - Back To Elkwater

Straight Shot back to Elkwater and Then a Long Drive Home

Well rested after a chilled out day yesterday, we got off to an early, and chilly, start to make a single shot run back to Elkwater. We essentially retraced our route except for the last 20 km. Rather than ride the scenic, but more difficult, single track from Reesor lake to Elkwater, we took the main paved road back. Easier, quicker and we saw some different country as well.

Our riding conditions were almost perfect. Although chilly (5 C) when we started, it was clear with just a light breeze. Our start entailed a climb so the cool weather was a blessing and it warmed up throughout the day to low 20’s. Perfect.

Once again, I’ll let the pic’s speak. Suffice to say this was a really great ‘short tour’ through very unique country. It would certainly lend itself to a ‘hub & spoke’ type of ride for a few days if you centred yourself in Reesor or Elkwater. Gravel or full on MTB’s would be the ride of choice though.

Thanks to Larry, Brian and Marc for sharing this ride and very unique area with us.  Hopefully we don’t wait another 60 yeas to make it back here.

Largely retraced our steps from Monday, except the last 20 km was on pavement rather than single track
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Setting off in the cool morning sunshine!
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Even though it’s the same road we were on 2 days ago, it feels like a new ride going the other way!
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Descending down into ‘the Gap’ from the east this time
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Need some speed for the cattle gate Larry!
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Those trees on the ridge on the horizon are the next mid-point goal!
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Yep, We’re back again!
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Did i mention that this was ‘big sky’ country?
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... about to ‘reel them in’
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...almost have them ... thanks to my telephoto!
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Finished with ‘the Gap’ and now back into forest and coulee’s again. Nice!
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Soon enough the open rangeland gave way to forests and streams
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.... and then the lakes. back at Reesor lake ... and onto pavement
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The last 20 km was luxury touring on pavement. No traffic, a 200 m climb onto the high plateau, and then a 200 m descent into Elkwater. nice way to end a really great trip
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The fishing must be good if Pelican’s are hanging out here! maybe bring a rod next time we’re in the ‘hood
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Today's ride: 76 km (47 miles)
Total: 174 km (108 miles)

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Jacquie GaudetThanks for posting this, Lyle. I saw this route on bikepacking.com and was intrigued. Now I want to go for sure! I'll have to get some fatter tires for my adventure bike!
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7 months ago
Lyle McLeodTo Jacquie GaudetHi Jacquie,
The first section from Elkwater to Reesor is about 50% single track, with about half of that being pretty rooty. That's the only place where I would have wanted a bit bigger tire. Not sure what you have on your adventure bike, Kirsten and I were on 2" Schwalble Marathon Extremes (26") and Brian and Larry were on WTB 700 x 47's. Outside of this first section, that's all the tire you would need. If I had one, I would have taken a hardtail mtb though. Front suspension would have been nice on the cobbles. Our Tout's were good enough though, if I took the fenders off I could have run 2.5" tires at lower pressure for some extra suspension.... but that's a lot of phaffing about for a 3 day ride!
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7 months ago
Glenna JefferiesI sailed my Laser on the lake at Elkwater way back in 1980. We camped nearby and did some 4x4'ing. Super area for sure.
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7 months ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Lyle McLeodMy bike choices don't include a hardtail; just a full-sus mtb on which I can't carry anything except on my back and my new Naked gravel/adventure bike/light touring bike. I just put 40mm gravel tires on that, although it could take wider. Why bother when my riding partner, Al, can't fit wider than 35mm tires on his gravel bike until he changes the drivetrain? The tires on both are tubeless so low pressure is possible.

Who knows? We may end up coming out that way next year.
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7 months ago
Lyle McLeodTo Jacquie GaudetIf you both bought hardtails, which would be the tool of choice for this endeavour, I think you’d move into first place is the Anderson ‘bike per person’ sweepstakes.

Just ponder on that for a while. 😎
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7 months ago
Jacquie GaudetI think we might already be on top of that ranking. If we include the “retired” bikes that are hanging around, Al has 5 and I have 6. I’m going to have to sell one...

We have discussed Lauf forks for our gravel bikes but we are waiting for them to have a model with suspension and mounts. Then we’ll see.
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7 months ago