Journey America Part 3

Chungo Creek Outfitters

At Chungo Creek Outfitters we were welcomed like family. 

“Filipe, if there’s anything you need feel free to ask… We are here to help,” said the owner Corey Kristoff. 

Chungo Creek Outfitters has been operating in the Nordegg, Alberta area for over 17 years. In addition to horseback adventures, they also provide various guiding services like jet boat tours, fishing trips and drop camps, and they have rustic cabins available for rent year round.

My dad used to farm in southern Alberta and one day saw an ad for this place at a diner. The next thing we knew the farm was sold and we were learning how to guide pack trips into the mountains, Corey told me while we watched Mac and Smokey munch on their hay.

The first night we were there, alongside Corey’s mom and dad and several friends from Alberta, we enjoyed a delicious BBQ. With Covid-19 restrictions being lifted in Canada, this was the first outdoor get-together we had been to in a long time. 

It felt weird being around the 10 people who were present, but it also felt like things were finally going back to normal, slowly but surely. 

Over succulent chicken and fresh salad, Corey told me about the adventures he has lived in this gorgeous part of the world. From thunderstorms to raging rivers to grizzlies to freezing temperatures… out in these mountains there’s never an easy day. But like me, Corey wouldn’t change his life for anything in this world.

“I love it you know… the freedom to be out in those mountains with my horses, doing what I love, immersed in nature, it’s priceless,” said Corey.

The next day, Corey’s father Greg took us for a ride in his side-by-side deep into a stunning valley. We marveled at the views around us while we tried to stay dry and warm. A terrible rain left us soaked.

“Sorry, I forgot there was no roof in the back,” the elderly gentleman said while we laughed. 

Greg told us some of the wildest stories I have ever heard in my life! Like the time a big male grizzly nearly ate a child who had fallen from his steed, right in front of him only to be saved by his son Corey. 

“The kid had wide eyes for weeks,” said Greg remembering the close call.

I can’t thank Corey and his family enough for their love and hospitality. Mac and Smokey had the best rest ever and Clara and I made friends for life. Inside the intricate log cabin that Cory built with the help of a team of horses and his brother, we ate breakfast and lunch everyday. Then we marveled at his wood heated hot tub, or the view of the river under his home or his beautiful horses grazing nearby. We even got to celebrate Greg’s birthday while we were there. 

It was the greatest stopover ever!