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Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association

Trip Report
Trip Date:
Trail hike
Trip name:
Mesa Butte - Curley Sand loop + bonus hill

Nice to have a warm summer day in April, we started off up a generally dry Curley Sands trail. On reaching the top of the ridge it was fairly windy, but a warm wind.The offtrail descent was quite dry too, a little surprising considering that it is shady and faces north. The next ridge was similar but its north end descent was icy and a bit of a luge run in places which caused some to don their traction devices. Then it was up to the summit where there were great views of the snowy mountains to the west:

Enjoying the sun & view

Since our arrival coincided with noon we were able to take advantage of the picnic table and other seats that are in a sheltered spot from the wind for our lunchtime dining:

Sheltered from the wind for a leisurely lunch

After lunch we continued along through the butte-top forest and down the northeast cutline which had intermittent patches of snow and ice:

Still some snowy spots in the forest

Descending the cutline: Brenda & Barb

It was at the top of the cutline that we heard a large cracking and thudding sound and some witnessed three trees come crashing down; in this case of a tree falling in the forest there was someone in the forest to hear the sound. Following the road south we detoured up the east hill and had an extended lazy break in the meadow at the top to enjoy the sunny weather. When we finally got going the wind picked up quite strongly (enough to blow any Covid exhalations to Saskatchewan) but once in the forest it was quite sheltered. As we followed the pipeline right-of-way we came into an area where there had been some efforts to clear out the trees blocking the view:

Crossing the area where Spray Lakes Logging had done a little tree thinning

Fortunately our extended period of dry weather made for a firm surface but if it had been wet it looked like there will be the makings of a fine, boot-sucking mud bog.

Thanks for a very enjoyable outing with lots of good conversation goes to participants: Barbara, Ursula, Brenda, David, Ginger, Sonja, Lenard, Marianne. Ron C/S/P

Flora: a few crocuses. Fauna: a moose spotted on the edge of a cutblock, a whitetail deer bouncing through the woods, a possible sharpshin hawk, and one heard and one seen drumming grouse:

The Little Drummer Boy (Dendragapus obscurus) a.k.a. dusky grouse