Saturday, June 30, 2018

WESTIVA X... two weeks to go

Fourteen days from now Festivas and other econoboxes will be making their way to Wedge Pond in Alberta's Kananaskis Country. Why, you may ask? Well let me tell you... Westiva X is the reason.

And if you're heading to the venue from Calgary may I suggest a scenic alternative to the Trans Canada Highway? It takes a little longer but its well worth it. Bow Valley Trail (or highway 1A) begins at the western edge of the City of Calgary as the extension of Crowchild Trail. This first stretch is four lane divided highway until you reach the top of the hill above Cochrane AB where it drops to one lane going down the hill. 

Looking westward to the Rocky Mountains over Cochrane AB

Stay on Bow Valley Trail all the way through Cochrane and across Highway 22 (about 15 minutes from Calgary city limits).
It's after this that the drive gets really nice as is basically follows the Bow River upstream.

Bow Valley Trail heading west from Cochrane. Photo by Banff and Beyond. Link in properties

As you continue westward the road changes to a two lane ribbon heading towards the Rocky Mountains. About 18 km (11 mi) from the Highway 22 intersection Ghost Lake will appear on your left. This is a reservoir behind a power generating dam that is usually teeming with watercraft, mostly sailboats.
Ghost Lake. Photo from Cottage Club Blog. Link in properties
Enjoy the drive westward for another 32 km (20 mi) until you reach the turnoff for Highway 1X. At 4.5 km (2.8 mi) in length, it is one of Alberta's shortest provincial highways Make the turn for the short run southward to the Trans-Canada Highway, Highway 1. Here you'll head back east for about 4 km (2½ mi) to Highway 40. Turn south and you're only 30 km (20 mi) from Wedge Pond! 

This route takes about an hour and twenty minutes from Calgary's western city limits whereas the more direct route via the Trans-Canada Highway takes only an hour. If you have the time and the inclination the extra twenty minutes is well worth it.

See you at Westiva X!

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