Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fourth Annual Christmas Tree Hunt

Trip Date: December 2015

Although we got a bit of a later start this year (we didn't head out until the second week in December) our annual Christmas Tree hunt was another successful one. Previously we had always gone to the Ghost Area for our trees, but this year we wanted to stay a little closer to home so we headed to the Elbow River Area, which is still in the South Saskatchewan Region for provincial tree cutting permits. You can read all about last year's successful hunt right here.

It was a beautiful blue-sky morning as we drove west from Calgary along the Trans-Canada Highway.  We were heading for Highway 40 in Kananaskis Country so we could work our way back towards Calgary along Highway 68 (Sibbald Lake Trail).  This stretch of secondary highway is roughly the northern border of the Elbow River tree-cutting area, so we were hoping to find the perfect trees along this section of gravel road.  It didn't take long before we found a decent stand of evergreens, so we parked along the road, geared up, and began walking.  

Rome loves this day just as much as we do!
There were five families participating in this year's hunt and all of us were able to find great trees relatively close together.  I even got to try out my new chainsaw, which made quick work of the tree trunk!  

Pretty excited to try my new toy!
Selfie in front of this year's tree
Cutting through that tree trunk like butter!
Success! Now it's time to carry it back to the truck.
After the trees were all loaded we made our way to Sibbald Lake Recreation Area where we had a bon fire in the day-use area.  Almost as soon as we brought out the food the Whiskey Jacks started showing up.  There were four or five of them flying around from tree to tree, hoping to steal something when one of us had our back turned.  

Gray Jay aka Whiskey Jack
Casually watching our table for unguarded food!
Whiskey Jack
We couldn't have asked for better weather again this year.  I'm really happy that this is something we plan weeks in advance to ensure that everyone is able to attend (thanks Ashley for your role in this!!).  After our bellies were full we piled into the vehicles and headed back to the city to drop off the trees.  Once again Ryan and Ashley played host in the evening for dinner, drinks, and way too many baked goodies.  Thanks again to everyone that took part in a wonderful day outside.  I'm already looking forward to next year!

Group photo at Sibbald Lake
The Christmas Tree in our living room
If you're looking for more details on how to cut down your own Christmas Tree next winter, please refer to this story I wrote for the Calgary Guardian titled, The Search For The Perfect Tree.  

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