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PostPosted: May 27th, 2017, 5:57 pm 
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Joined: February 20th, 2017, 12:34 am
Posts: 18
What a great paddle! I left Saskatoon Last Friday around noon, picked up my coiusin in North Battleford around 1:30 and got to Fort Saskatchewan around 6:00 where I Put my Kayak in at the West park river access in Fort Saskatchewan. I waved goodbye to my ride after I slid down the boat launch and paddled across the river where I set up my tent on the grassy bank and went to bed.

The next 4 days were awesome - Sunny with no wind. I paddled about 300 km in those 4 days, as I witnessed tons of animals including 5 black bears(3 sightings), 2 moose, 2 gartner snakes, a pack of coyotes and numberous deer and beaver. Of the 3 bear sightings, one was a mother with 2 cubs, the other was a lone bear standing on the shoreline and the other was a fairly large bear that tried crossing the river towards me and only turned around after I shouted at it from 20 feet away. This happened around 9:00pm, just as I was looking for a place to set up on the second night! After it turned around, I kept going and paddled for another 10 minutes before finding a spot.

The river was fairly high and I was moving quite quickly. Wednesday morning that all changed though. I got up Wednesday morning and paddled for about 6 hours in a moderate wind before being forced off the river by an approaching thunderstorm. The storm came in about 2 minutes after I had my tent set up and everything that I needed inside. The storm lasted about 10 minutes and dumped about 50 mm of rain. But right after the storm hit the rain continued, as did the wind. Both the rain and wind were pretty consistant and neither let up for the next 24 hours. At one point the wind with rain was hitting my tent at around 60-80 kmh! By Thursday around noon, I was going on no sleep and all the clothes and blankets I had were soaked, as were the clothes I had on me, plus my tent was slightly damaged. Seeing as I wasn't going to make it to North battleford at a respectable time and everything I had was soaked, I decided to call it in. I paddled another 30 km to the Highway 3 bridge(near Frrenchman Butte) and phoned my cousin to come get me and that's where it ended.

Overall it was a great trip and I wish I could've gone an extra day or two, but looking back i'm really glad I did it. Thanks again to everyone who gave me little bits of advice. The highlight of my trip was a toss up between The Metis Crossing and all the large animals I saw along the way. I meant to also visit the Victoria settlement right after I explored the metis crossing, but just missed the turn to paddle into it by about 10-15 feet and didn't feel like backtracking. Fort Island was also kinda neat with the history behind it.


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PostPosted: May 27th, 2017, 8:03 pm 
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Joined: April 26th, 2012, 2:42 pm
Posts: 55
How were the Ticks while you were camping? Haven't been south yet, but hearing they are real bad this year...always nice when you can appreciate the history of an area you are paddling through!


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PostPosted: May 27th, 2017, 9:06 pm 
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Joined: February 20th, 2017, 12:34 am
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There were a few ticks, but not many. The mosquitios were the real problem , especially really bad an hour before sunset every night but died down a little once the sun went down. Most mornings at sun up they were gone completely.


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PostPosted: May 27th, 2017, 9:40 pm 
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Joined: April 26th, 2012, 2:42 pm
Posts: 55
Thanks for the info, glad you had a good trip!


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PostPosted: May 28th, 2017, 11:16 am 
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Joined: June 9th, 2005, 2:27 pm
Posts: 1640
Location: Saskatoon
Thanks for the report!

We were farther downriver last weekend - paddled Wingard to PA with the kids. We didn't cover nearly as much ground per day as you! We also had to go to shore and set up to wait out a 10 minute storm that never really came. We only had a few drops of rain.

What was the river flow like after the rain for your last day?

We saw a ton of bird life - I suspect that the time of year is perfect for really active bird activity. But we didn't see much non-bird wildlife (though I did startle a moose from behind the tent one night, but I didn't see it).

As for ticks, we found a couple but they weren't bad for us.

Glad you had a good trip despite the challenges. On my to do list for today is to finish washing the North Saskatchewan River mud out of my canoe and tandem kayak.

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PostPosted: May 28th, 2017, 3:49 pm 
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Joined: February 20th, 2017, 12:34 am
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The river flow and water level stayed about the same right after the 24 hour hurricane. It might have increased a few days later, but its hard to say. I took my kayak out the day after, around 3pm, about 24 hours after the first raindrop hit my tent. Had I kept going it might have been interesting with the high water that was about to follow. Like yours, my kayak is also very muddy. As well as the 2 moose and 5 bears, I also saw tons of geese, pelicans, hawks and even a few falcons, as well as a few cranes. There was definitely a lot of waterfowl on the river.


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