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Athabasca River - last paddle of 2018?
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Author:  Ralph [ November 18th, 2018, 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Athabasca River - last paddle of 2018?

I thought I'd post a short report about what is likely to be my last paddle of 2018. The trip took place Tuesday, November 13 then we got snow and our ski trails are packed and tracks have been set and I've been skiing. The changing of the seasons.

A friend had been up in Jasper National Park on the weekend (Nov. 10 and 11) and saw that the Athabasca River was open. He suggested we go for a paddle down the Athabasca River from Old Fort Point to the 12 Mile Bridge so we went on Tuesday, November 13. With the promise of a shuttle available from a friend in the town of Jasper we were able to drive only one vehicle up to the put in at Old Fort Point. We got to the put in at about 11:30 and were ready to launch about 11:45. We put the canoe on the ice along the shore, loaded it and then dragged it across the ice to where we decided to start.
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We lined the canoe up so that it was perpendicular to the edge of the ice, pushed it as far forward as we could, my buddy got in the bow and we moved the canoe further into the water then I got in the stern and we wiggled and pushed our way into the water and got underway.
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The water level was low but there was enough water so that we only touched in a couple of places and those were mainly due to poor decisions by the pilot. We saw 2 American Dippers, many, many ravens, several mergansers, a bald eagle, a golden eagle and 6 bull elk. We stopped for lunch in a sheltered spot that was out of the wind yet in the sun. We stopped later to have a look at the group use area near the Jasper Airport. There is a picnic shelter, water supply, wood supply, 2 large wood-fired barbeques, picnic tables, a number of benches and an area that looks like it was built for wedding services. Very interesting.
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The river was quite low and, in places there were extensive sand/mud/gravel flats.
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After our stop at the group site, the wind really started to blow and, surprise, surprise, it was a tail wind. We arrived at the take out at the bridge early and were able to hide from the wind in the shelter of a bank and some trees and relax. While waiting for our shuttle ride to arrive we also went for a walk and were amazed at the amount of dust that rose from the grass and low bushes as we walked along. Our ride arrived, we loaded ourselves into her vehicle, drove back to Old Fort Point, retrieved my van and went home. All in all, a very good day. Look at this view with Mount Edith Cavell in the background!
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Wish you could have joined us.

Author:  jmc [ November 19th, 2018, 5:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Athabasca River - last paddle of 2018?

Nice post Ralph - may see you on those ski trails some day.

-jmc

Author:  GRS Riverrider [ November 21st, 2018, 11:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Athabasca River - last paddle of 2018?

Is that a voyageur toque? Looks like a nice scenic end to a canoeing season.

Author:  Ralph [ November 22nd, 2018, 1:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Athabasca River - last paddle of 2018?

Yes it is a voyageur toque. I believe he got it from North Woods Canoe Company in Cochrane, Alberta
http://www.northwoodscanoe.com/ but I don't see the tuques on their website. If you're interested, it might be worthwhile phoning them. They do have some other types of traditional clothing.

If you have to stop paddling for the season, that run is a nice way to finish the year.

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