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PostPosted: July 3rd, 2012, 1:32 pm 
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Joined: August 8th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Swan Hills, AB
Paddled this 100km section from June 29 - July 1. River was flowing around the 50m3/s mark according to the charts. Our average speed for the trip was 6.7km/hr which did include the stops for lunch. With modest paddling we were usually cruising around 7 or 8 km/hr.

Put in
We were able to drive right down to the river by the bridge on hwy 47. Due to this being a fairly popular site to camp with a lot of people we asked a couple if they could keep an eye on the vehicles if we parked them close to their campsite. They agreed and seemed a little surprised we were going to spend the weekend on the river!!! LOL

Camping
Around the first half of this trip flows through crown land on both sides. There are many camp spots along this stretch to choose from. We planned on doing the trip in three days so we split each day into approx 30 or kms a day. this left us at the willmore park on the first day. We found the backcountry camp that was suggested to us and made camp there for the night. The outhouse was a nice treat and it looked like the park had piled a bunch of fire wood there for people to use in the fire pits. :thumbup: The only downside to this spot was the amount of bugs!! The bugs ate well that night!!!! The second night we stayed at the wolf creek confluence. There was a nice beach right at the mouth of the creek. If you are a light sleeper I suggest either staying on the island before or you can paddle another 1/2 hour and there is another creek inlet on the left side of the river with a picnic table there. The train passes right across wolf creek about 200yrds from the McLeod.

The Trip
This section of river was a very nice river for my first river trip. There was a nice mix of small ripples and low class rapids to run. There was also quite a few boulders out in the middle of the river to practice eddy turns on in fairly calm water. The first 60kms of this run was filled with small rapid sections after rapid sections. These were fairly simple to get through especially at the water level we had. There were however boulders every so often that were just under the water that you would scrape had you went over them. Moose creek rapids were the most challenging out of the whole trip. We took the left side of the island, at the time it looked like the lesser of the two evils. There were quite a few ledges and rocks just under the water. With some navigation we were able to get though this section without any major troubles. The rest of the river was pretty mellow. Not many ripples and quite a bit more paddling than we had on the first part of the river. That being said we could float around 5km/hr or so according to the GPS.

Wildlife
We saw many bald eagles on the trip and one golden eagle. (I need a bigger zoom lens!!!) There were numerous deer that we floated right by at 10 yrds!!! That was about it. We did see many elk tracks and a few wolf tracks but did not get to see the owners.

Logistics
As mentioned before we parked a set of vehicles at the hwy 47 put in point. We also left a vehicle at the take out on hwy 32 in order to get back to the out in point to get our other vehicles. Again at the take out there seemed to be quite a few long weekend campers parked on the gravel bar. They also were friendly and more than willing to watch our vehicle and male sure no funny business happened to it.

I would do this trip again in a heart beat. The next time I would make it a 3 night and 3 day trip, leaving in the evening on the first day and staying at a nice site just an hour paddle up river. Large pool on a bend in the river with a large cliff on the far side. and then do the rest of the trip the same way staying at a couple new camp sites we found afterwards. This would leave a little more time to fish and do some gold panning!

Start of Day one
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First nice pool.
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Sundance Creek confulence (big eddy). Nice beach on the opposite side. Looks like another good fishing spot!
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Break Time
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Camp Day one
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Start of Day two
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Packing the boats
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The captain and I. Dant have many dry moments with a lab on a river trip!!!! :rofl:
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Calm before the moose creek rapids!
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Looking for the other boat in the rapids
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Rapids from the rocks
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Camp day two
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Nothing like a good cigar on the river!
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Enjoying the sun
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Cooling off durring lunch. So much for the dry day!!!!!
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The birds nests
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Last edited by Simmered on July 5th, 2012, 1:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: July 5th, 2012, 12:23 am 
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Joined: July 22nd, 2003, 6:52 pm
Posts: 194
Location: Edmonton Alberta
First river trip, eh......wow.
You have lots of new things to see then.
The birds nesting "in the holes" are bank swallows.
On the rivers you'll see cliff and trees swallows often, too.

...and lots and lots of undamed, no portaging required, rivers out here in Alberta.
Cheers to your new adventures.

Later Laura

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PostPosted: July 5th, 2012, 1:45 pm 
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Joined: August 8th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Swan Hills, AB
Thanks Laura,
Yep I sure am hooked now! That is my new favorite way to go camping!!! Just highlighted the route off in my paddle alberta book and have started planning the next one..... I have a lot of highlighting to do!!!!

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PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 11:20 am 
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Joined: June 13th, 2011, 8:38 pm
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Location: Rutland, Massachusetts
Nice trip and nice pics. You must teach the dog how to paddle.

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"A dead thing can go with the stream. But only a living thing can go against it." G.K. Chesterton



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PostPosted: July 28th, 2013, 10:53 pm 
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Joined: May 20th, 2013, 1:29 pm
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Just finished this section today. Was 2nd time paddling this section as we did it last August. Lots of rain(and hail) Friday night brought Mcleod River up to about 65-70cm3. It was rainy and not very warm, but the paddling was great.


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PostPosted: July 31st, 2013, 6:28 pm 
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Joined: December 20th, 2003, 9:27 am
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Glad you guys had a great trip. The McLeod is a nice little river.
Great pictures, too. Thanks!
Ralph


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