After my first ride of the season, I got the itch to head-out again. If you enjoy riding as much as I do, you can relate. But this time, I wanted to share the experience with my stunning Wife. She agreed & plans were set in motion. Glued to weather forecasts, found the window of opportunity on Friday. Got a call into Eaglerider – Calgary: the bike booked & the destination set, ‘Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump’ near Claresholm, Alberta.
The simplicity of the registration process is world-class. Once you sign-up with your request you’ll receive a return email confirming your rental & a YouTube link to your bike orientation video...a must see. Benjamin Young is the regional manager who will walk you thru the deets on the bike you’ll be taking out plus & a few safety reminders while on the road, which never hurts: these guys think of everything!
As for the trip, from Calgary, there is only one way to get to this destination...the scenic route! In this case, Hwy 22: The Cowboy Trail.
Connect with the 201 West
This turns into the 22X
South at Hwy 22 (Cowboy Trail)...and you’re gone!
You’ll pass thru Millarville, Black Diamond, Longview
Keep heading south till you intersect with the #3 Crowsnest Pass, East
Join-up with the #2, North
#795 West...16 KM in and you’re there
When you’re not shifting gears, keep an eye out for the brilliant terrain along the Cowboy Trail: Grasslands, Rock Formations, Snow-capped Rocky Mountains to the west, and Valley’s as far as the eye can see. Take your time thru Black Diamond & Millarville as well. Chatted with a local resident, Ross, who pointed out a few places to explore, swapped out a few stories with a Cranbrook, B.C. couple who were just passin’ thru, and made a coffee run for my babe on the back.
Don’t be in a rush! Plan to see the Old Man Dam, keep your eyes open for the Windmill Farms along the #3, expect quirky sightings like the fence with hats, the giant Cowboy by the Bar U Ranch, & wildlife a-plenty: Deer, Coyotes, Hawks. Best plan for a couple hours ride, one way.
What can be said about Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump? First of all, what a cool name...and the name says it all! From the moment we arrived, Quinton Crowshoe & his staff graciously welcomed us in (PS Thanks Angel). This stunning structure & beautifully laid-out interpretive displays capture your imagination as to what life was like 5,000 years ago: take your time & visit the gift-shop afterwards for hand-crafted mementos. Remember, this is also a great place to stretch your legs, grab lunch, snap a few pics, & if you’re adventurous enough, go for a hike...but watch the ledge, ha!
Can I just say how smooth the ride was? Bill at Eaglerider – Calgary set me up with the Harley Davidson, Electra Glide. In the descriptor, the engine promises a crisp throttle response & a pure soul-satisfying rumble. Yep, that it has, plus the saddle-bags were pretty cool too! Threw in a jacket, just in case, plus a couple snacks for along the way. My back-pack fit perfectly on the side. If you’re going to enjoy the ride, put the backpack in the saddle-bags...just sayin’. PS The seating & the ‘boom-box’ made the trip.
Consider booking a bike for a couple days. On this ride we both felt a bit rushed. Consider an overnight stay in Pincher Creek. This way you’re in no rush to return & you’ve opened up your world to connecting with the Crowsnest Pass or Waterton Lakes National Park (PS I took my wife to Waterton on our first date...so perfect)
Be safe. Dress accordingly & leave your worries at home.