It was Family Day weekend and there were free trail permits to be had. Usually you have to purchase a permit to ride the groomed trails in this area and, because we are cheap and don't get out on our machine as often as we would like, we have never purchased one. But the lure of a bright sunny cold day and a free trail ride beckoned so I printed out a free pass and off we went. We went with Ron and Mary who know the trails well so we were in no danger of getting lost. We woke up to see a temperature of -25!!! But since the sun was shining we went anyway. Left at 10am and were on our way to Iron Bridge and back. I have never been on a groomed trail and once we got on one it was nice. But it was a bumpy ride to get to one. I was riding on the back of ours. It was beautiful - the snow was deep and untouched except for the tracks of creatures heading everywhere. We started getting into some big tracks and before we knew it, a huge bull elk was on the side of the trail - no more than 20 feet away!! It wasn`t exactly startled but it did move fast to the trail and up into the bush where he stood and looked at us for a moment or two. My camera was inside Rejean`s snow suit to keep it warm but we were so in awe of what we were seeing, I didn`t even think about it until he started to walk up the hill. What a majestic creature!! Ron said it must have weighed about 1000 pounds - it was the biggest one he has ever seen. It was the biggest animal that I have been 20 feet away from - and the rack!! About as big as the one in the picture. And it didn`t have a collar on so it wasn`t tagged yet. Hard to believe. After it had wandered away, we continued our journey. Closer to Iron Bridge we encountered lots of deer. One in the trail ahead of us put on quite a show jumping and flicking it`s white tail. We got home about 4:30 tired but happy with our outing.
We may buy a pass next year (we get it half price because our machine is so old) and put it to good use.