Quirk Creek Topo Map

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The valley of Quirk Creek has a pastoral openness that is attractive. Wide and flat throughout, there's hardly any height gain throughout its entire length. You'll have noticed something downright peculiar about Quirk Creek. Half of it is missing! That's because the headwater has been pirated by Threepoint Creek cutting ever deeper and farther back. Cattle have thronged the valley floor since the 1920s. Naturally, predators found the yearlings easy pickings so there was a 10-year break in the 1940s while the bears and the cougars were culled. Bear-hunter Curly Sand, brought in by the North Sheep Stock Association, is recorded as having killed in less than one year 11 grizzlies and numerous black bear. I'm not sure how many grizzlies there are now, but the cougars are back and according to researchers a wolf pack started denning in the valley in '96. Interestingly, this valley used to be called "The Muskeg" or Pterathto Waptan "Oval-shaped marsh creek". The name Quirk was previously applied to Threepoint Creek that ran past John Quirk's ranch. Exploration roads make easy but boring walking, so consider taking a bike now that driving is out of the question. The great deterrent is the crossing of the Elbow River right at the start. Bridges come and go with the oil wells. It was thought the latest series of bridges were here to stay, not having been dismantled after the latest foray by the oil companies and I, for one, was dreaming of car trips to the fascinating east side of Forgetmenot Ridge when all the bridges washed out in the spring floods of 1990. Consequently, schedule a trip up Quirk Creek from midsummer on.
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