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The Beginning of David Thompsons down river.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

This is a collection of pictures of my first leg of my "Voyager Route" from Rocky Mt House to my home town in Evart, Michigan. All by canoe. This first picture is our 3rd day of paddling cause the first two were wet and cold and digital cameras do not like the rain. We started out from RMH and due to the late start and high water conditions we only went down the river 3 KM and set up camp. We had a drunk trucker almost run over us cause he was in the river mudding around for the beer (oops fun) of it. Fortunately he got stuck in the bog behind us and stayed there until his buddies pulled him out. No we did not offer to help. That was the last contact with humanity for 7 days.

This message was edited Oct 11, 2006 7:26 AM

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

We welcomed the warm sun and stripped off every wet thing and got it dried out as we stopped to smell the roses along the river. I watched beaver constructon of winter homes and saw the granduer of moose, coyote, wolf, and deer along the way. All of these were surprise encounters in walk abouts on isolated islands and low banks of the North Sask.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Lots of color in the Aspen and fir, limber pine, and cottonwoods. Our special times were in the 1hour of sunrise and set to capture the joy of peace on a silent river. Evening were long rambles through the woods, hikes along the river gravel to learn the geology of the glaciers who formed this remarkable world.

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KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Looks like a painting.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I stand in awe of a day of odors, views, surprises, questions, fear, peace and joy. Each day was long and pleasant and rich in the smell of woodlands in the arboreal forests.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

My source of travel on one of our cold mornings. It was hard to leave the warm cocoon of our bags to enter the frozen tarps over the exit. But what a flavor that that first cup of coffee brought to both of us. This kevlar piece was perfect in the attempts of evading, crossing, inspecting, running, resting, and touching the surface of rock smoothed by thousands of years of polished stone.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Sunsets were spectacular reflected in the aspen and cottonwoods. This particular night was the most wolf activity in the trip they were singing to all of us because it was 2 days before the full moon. We sang back and they continued to converse with us.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

The mornings were spectacular with the fog, sun, geese, and hope of warmth. No need this time of year to get up early and start. Canoeing, at least with me, is a 7 to 8 hour paddle interrupted with 2 or more stops on the banks of some geologic or animal event of exploration.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I spent most of my days hoping to find a T Rex sticking out of the Jurassic layer that we paddled through this trip. I did find one fossilized carnivore jaw bone in a coal area that I was digging out for fire to stay warm all night. Lots of conglomerate stones along the trip.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

One thing about a flock of geese passing through is you are never surprised. This wedge came out of the fog just in time to get on Daves Garden. Honk honk honk......

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I piled this group of rocks to show my DW that I was thinking of her and her rock collection. I feel that the picture is much lighter than the real thing.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Getting dry is fun getting wet is not.

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Benton, KS(Zone 6a)

I've always enjoyed canoing and these pics make me wish I could go again! I have to admit that I like the river canoing more then the lake type....but any are great. Thx for sharing the pics and look forward to seeing more of your excursioins Soferdig

Peoria, IL

great pics. I am taking deep breaths trying to inhale as much of that clean air as I can...

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Early darkness provides the need to rest and reflect the experiences of the day. Reading by a dim fire light is getting harder and harder as I age but the memories of many a campfire warm my moments even more. This night was a full moon climaxed with a moon set in the early am to make it special.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

this is a untripoded hold my breath time exposure. I passed out twice trying to get this photo. Not really but it is fun to play with time exposures to achieve the desired effect.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

It is always a moment of regret when the paddler leaves the water he has lived in for the time of the paddle. But I kind of was in a hurry cause I had the beautiful city of Edmonton to explore and enjoy. The Museum of Natural History, Strathcome area, my hosts most wonderful resturant, and to explore the cities expansive park system. I love this town. I told my DW that I was going to club her over the head and drag her north to a world of Hockey and Shopping Malls. Thanks Canada for a wonderful experience. I can't wait till next June to continue the N. Sask down to Lake Winnipeg.

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Orangeville, ON(Zone 4b)

Sofer, beautiful pics and it is good of you to share your adventures. You sure know how to revel in each moment. So how do you keep up the nutrition factor when your on extended canoeing trips? Surely, coffee & beer can't provide enough sustenance alone,lol

One of these days, you're just gonna have bite the bullet and move to Canada!

Erynne :o)

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I think that if you believe beer is nutritional it will be. My german (brewmaster) grandfather said so. Any I primarily eat pemmican and supplement it with venison roasts and my favorite beaver tail. You see if I can convince myself that I am David I will have the assurance that I can go all the way down. I did it many times, Right? I hope so.

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Grand Forks, BC(Zone 5b)

What an adventure! Wonderful photos. Glad you enjoyed the experience. Thanks for sharing with us.

Don

Moose Jaw, SK(Zone 3b)

Sofer I congratulate you on surviving the first leg of your arctic (tongue somewhat in cheek here) expedition. ;) That water had to be cooooooooooooooooold!!!

I'm sure you, your travelling buddy and jagonjune had a blast (as well as a feast ;). Thank you so much for sharing a part of the Saskatchewan I've never seen.

Blyth, ON(Zone 5b)

Beautiful pictures Sofer. Thanks for showing us how lovely our Country can be.

--Ginny

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

The next leg is towards you Pam but haven't decided what time of June I'm starting. I will need high water to get through. Starting my research.

Madison, WI

Thank you for sharing both the pictures and the notes.
Such beauty, piece and grandeur!

Chandler, AZ(Zone 9b)

wow! thanks soferdig for sharing your travels and pictures. sounds like you had a great adventure. DH would have loved to photograph all the wonderful fall colors you saw. glad you had a good time.

Lombard, IL(Zone 5b)

Nice pictures Sofer, except for that underwear one which is just plain wrong :) Glad you had a good trip. It is probably better now vs June-July since there isn't any mosquitoes. That moon reflection would have cost you 100 bites mid-summer.

A couple of questions Sofer. How many miles do you usually get on a river like that a day? Do you actually eat beaver tail or is that a term for jerky? Why don't you bring more good food since you don't have to carry it on your back? Where did you pull out this time (I wanted to see your trip's progress on a map) and did you arrange for a long shuttle or do a 2 car deal? Do you like movies about Gladiators? :)

Thanks for the pics and stories

Bill

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Sorry about the underwear cause it was just frozen until blown up. We averaged about 50 to 70 miles in a 6 to 7 hour day. The currents were about 5 to 8 knots. We often stopped to explore so I think on this river we could do 80 miles if pushed. I plan on that for the lower stretch next June with my sailing canoe. Probably more. I will be alone so things should go faster. I am diabetic so I do not like to wait long to eat and freezed dried is fine with me. I get out of the water and start the fire and get warm and fed then I don't have concerns about hypoglycemia. Kind of a problem when pushing boats in water. Beaver tail is what David Thompson, Lewis and Clark and all the French Voyagers ate as a treat. I have never had it because I do not kill any beaver. I was making jest of my desire to be like David T in my paddle. Yes I eat jerk and lots of Cliff bars = Pemmican.
You need to get a map of Alberta and look below Jasper National Park for Rocky Mountain House. That is the Put In cause that is where the main upstream trade house was that D. T. founded. We then paddled down the N. Sask through Draton Valley and down to Devon and out of the river in Edmonton. We left the car up in RMH and I took DGer Jagonjune's car back (4hrs) to the car and drove back to Edmonton. I will put in there in June with my sailing Oldtown canvas canoe this coming June when flows are up so the trip (through somewhat boring farmland) will go faster. The prevailing westerlies will carry me rather rapidly down stream. 8knots water speed + 10 to 15 knot winds = Fast and easy. I will haul out in the river crossing above Saskatoon where my DW will pick me up on her return trip from her family in Michigan. Then back to my car and home.

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Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

the pics are even better on the forum than they were on your laptob steve
glad to see you are you old self again
the only beaver he killed was the 'fever' and not soon enuff
DON'T BRUSH YOUR TEETH IN RIVER WATER ALL YOU PADDLERS
will be lookin forward to your visit next year and maybe we will find a companion paddler for u by then cause u shouldn't paddle alone

Moose Jaw, SK(Zone 3b)

Oh (((((Steve))))))).......now the Beaver Man handle makes sense. The only Lakes that I know of that are relatively safe from Beaver Fever up here are the ones that are surrounded by Pine Forests (the flat tailed rodents/deer/etc, etc, really don't like them ;).....like the ones that DS canoed: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/519711/

This message was edited Oct 14, 2006 10:37 PM

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