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PostPosted: August 14th, 2009, 8:53 am 
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Joined: October 24th, 2007, 1:52 pm
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Location: Beaumont, AB
Well, we (myself and my 13, 15, and 17 yr old sons) paddled the 6-Portages route at beginning of August. Following are a few comments from the perspective of a paddler experienced with paddling river trips in the foothills and prairies of Alberta.

- Lake paddling is a lot of work! Especially for boys who enjoy drifting along in the river current and chatting.
- Portaging sucks! My boys found out early in the trip that their shoulders were not padded well enough to portage a canoe for more than a very short distance. I ended up portaging both canoes on almost all portages. The boys did make up for not carrying the boats by being pack mules with the rest of the gear. There was only 1 portage at the beginning of the trip where we did a triple carry. By the end of the trip, we were able to do the entire load in less than 2 carries.
- Campsites are a lot more difficult to find in northern Saskatchewan than on the North Saskatchewan River! A couple of times, we regretted being choosy and turning down a garbage strewn spot in hopes of finding something better a short distance away. Paid for that by carving a spot out of the bush one night, and camping on a postage stamp sized portage trail another. We did find a couple of awesome spots later that made up for those 2 nights.
- Churchill River water levels were exceptionally high. The water along the lakes and rivers was up into the trees. This made scouting rapids nearly impossible in many cases. We ended up portaging rapids that we originally had planned on running (just because there was no way to scout them).
- Fishing was great! We are not a fishing family and my boys could count on fingers of one hand the number of times they had previously fished. We lost a lot of hooks, but the boys all caught fish.
- Before we left, I was sure that I had so much food that we would likely bring back half of it. Never underestimate the eating capacity of three teenaged boys! Although we had about 1-2 meals left in the food barrel at the end of the trip. When I asked the boys on the drive home what their favourite part of the trip was, they said the meals and catching fish!

Although this trip was hard work and a bit of an eye opener for us (lakes and portages :( ), the best part was being able to spend a week out camping with my boys. That is time that was very well spent.

Edit: Thanks to Barbara for moving this post into the Sask trip reports forum. Looking at what I have written, it is a little thin for a trip report. In the near future, I will try to writeup a more complete trip report for you, complete with a few photos. thanks. dave

cheers
dave

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Dave W
"Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing" - Henry David Thoreau


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PostPosted: August 16th, 2009, 11:12 pm 
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Joined: June 9th, 2005, 2:27 pm
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Location: Saskatoon
Thanks for posting your report Dave!
Cheers,
Bryan

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