2016 Canoe Trip – Red Deer River

School is wrapping up and I could just sense that my boy needed to have a change of scenery. At least this big boy did. Quinn was fired up to go so as a family we decided that the June 24-26th would work out perfectly. The weather looked really odd, we were going to get a real mixed bag from sun to thundershowers. It was going to be an average temperature of 21 degrees, so much different than the 32 degrees from the year previous.

After a little research online I decided to try the Red Deer River again but to put in north of last year at the Content bridge and pull out at the Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park. I can say that it ishard to believe that these two sections are the same river. More trees on this run, almost felt that I was in BC. The river flows are a little low, I don’t know if that was the main factor making the paddle more challenging. We hit a few rocks and almost dumped the canoe one from a large rock (that one from my carelessness). Quinn and myself had to have our eyes out to avoid obstacles. We had to get out of the canoe due to shallow sections 20-30 times throughout the trip. There was one unpassable section. We had to walk the canoes downstream down the east side of the rapids. It appeared to be a fresh wash out area there. Tier II if not higher. With Quinn and myself working as a team we were making good time though.

We decided on this trip to cut the in canoe time down. We were still going to float 35 km of river. I hoped to do some fishing and we wanted to spend more camping time. This was nice, we got 2 nice campsites, the second and last one being very lovely.The fishing was lousy, not that the fish weren’t biting but there were pieces of fluffy algae going downstream that would clog up the hooks. Must be a seasonal thing.

The trip was fun and in-spite of the weather it was a great time. Quinn enjoyed himself as was a real trooper. The water temperature was warm but we didn’t do any swimming due to rain and higher winds. It was a very windy trip but the winds were behind us most of the the way.

After every trip I analyse our gear that we bring, I always find things NOT to bring. I want to get a more compact campstove, I don’t mind propane ones but a 2 burner stove is more than 2 people need. I don’t mind our 14 foot canoe but I will keep my eye open for a larger one that can carry a bit more cargo. The yoke in our canoe limits where and how we haul cargo. I will look through the small amount of gear we haul and think of how I could minimise it. Of course some gear are things that only would be used in an emergency, but there are always items that we can do without and wouldn’t effect the experience.

I really enjoyed the Katadyn water filter. I will do a product review on this item in the next few weeks. Our new canoe seats that strap onto the existing ones worked great. Best $30 spent. One cool thing is I realised that Google Maps worked on my phone with incredibly high accuracy even though there was absolutely NO cel coverage. Very handy, made me think why i would even buy a GPS unit.

I hope to do another trip on this river in July. I think I will do the trip down from Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial park to Drumhellor area. A report from last years float of this section can be found here.Red Deer River Canoe Trip 2015

Here’s the movie from this year’s canoe trip. Enjoy!




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