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Rural Grande Prairie, Alberta (2nd day no riding)

A predicted rainy day, was a good excuse to extend our stay at friends, Jan and Joe. It is a perfect way to enjoy locals in their environment.

Thrir quarter section of wooded ground is located on bluffs overlooking the Wapiti River a few miles south of Grande Prairie. Yes, I biked there and will make the long climb out by bike, but it is so worth it.

While my wife, Patricia, enjoyed Jan’s indoor equine pole training with the local horse club,, Joe and I checked out their rustic cabin. As one would picture from the old days, it is not plumbed or wired. Heat comes from a pot-belly wood stove and the kitchen has the early 1900s white enamel wood cook stove. A table to eat and play cards a few chairs and beds allow children, grandchildren, and friends to experience a day, or several, living rustic as centuries past. Fortunately, I could go back to their house for an extended steam bath to loosen my legs muscles after three weeks of biking.

As I stepped outside the hidden cabin to view the Wapiti River below, I had to step around moose dropping. This place is an unexpected treat to relax and allow my legs to recuperate.

Woods in this area, and likely most of Alberta, are surrounded by wild prickly rose just coming into bloom. With brilliance of reds and pinks, no wonder the wild rose is the official emblem of Alberta.

The Wapiti River (named after the Cree word for elk, waapiti) originates in the mountains of British Columbia. While at their cabin, viewing through the poplar, pine, spruce, and tamarack, we could see the Wapiti was now carrying mountain runoff making it more difficult to navigate. Although we were unable to take their one-of-a-kind homemade boat into the River, it was so relaxing just viewing it several hundred feet below.

It is no wonder trappers and fur traders of centuries past spent summer and winter making a living in this area. Now oil and timber are the base industries, but a city of over 60,000, with airport and all services is a great place to enjoy summers and many retire here.