View topic - Assiniboine River, Canada Day Weekend 2012

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PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 6:20 pm 
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This trip was planned for last summer but had to be canceled due to very high water levels. As it was, water levels had risen by over a meter in the previous two weeks which made for a good flow and probably made some areas of bank more accessible over the dreaded mud!

We started at Stockton Ferry and paddled down to Hwy 34 over the three days, about a 100km.

Scenery was pretty awesome.

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The high sand cliffs were spectacular and the optional side hike up to the Devil's Punchbowl made for an interesting diversion.

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We camped on a sandbar on the Saturday night then opted for the isolated "Equestrian Campground" at the Eastern edge of Spruce Woods Provincial Park on Sunday.

This second site was considerably easier for me. I had opted for a tarp and bug net instead of a tent and had to improvise some poles with driftwood on the sandbar, but the campground had plenty of trees and the added benefit of much needed shade.

As the only solo I was paddling a little slower than the two tandems of Nancy & Dave and Margret & Gary though Sharon and grandson Noah were happy to take it a bit easier and keep me company.

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Having been assured that there were no bears along the river here we spotted this fella watching us on Monday morning, probably waiting for us to vacate the campground so that he/she could have a sniff around. He didn't cross the river and soon disappeared into the woods.

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Only downside of this trip was the need to carry water, though we were pleased to find that the campground did have a well. Everyone mentioned how good it would have been for a cool swim at the end of a hot day but no one fancied a dip in the muddy water!

Thanks to Paddle Manitoba and Sharon and Gary for organizing the trip. I had a great time and hope to paddle some more sections of the Assiniboine soon.

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PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 8:24 pm 
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I grew up in Manitoba but this was the 1st time I have heard of the Stockton Ferry.

I'm still not sure exactly where it is but I found this:
Quote:
The Stockton Ferry is the last remaining river ferry in Manitoba. It carries vehicles across the Assiniboine River. The Rural Municipality of South Cypress opened this ferry on the Assiniboine River in 1887, a year after the Manitoba South Western Colonization Railway reached Glenboro. The ferry consisted of a wooden scow attached to a movable cable which was angled across the river, allowing the current to pull the scow across. From mid-April to mid-November it provided everyday transport for local residents and enabled grain to be hauled to the railway. An ice bridge replaced the ferry during the winter. A focal point of community activity, the crossing was a place where neighbors met to exchange local news and where dances and parties were held during the summer. The Stockton ferry, one of 150 that once operated in Manitoba, exemplifies the importance of ferries and river travel to communities distant from bridges or railway branch lines.


The Assiniboine is somewhat curvacious isn't it?
Much current when you went?

Great pictures. Thanks for posting!


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PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 5:04 pm 
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There is a sign for the ferry off Hwy 2 west of Glenboro but it won't do you any good if you want to cross the river! The cable has been out of action since last year's flood and the boat now sits on the shore waiting for someone to find the cash to repair things. It's main use in recent years was to allow farmers to access land on both sides of the river so it is probably not a high priority given all the other damage to roads and bridges in the flood.

The current was good though boiley as it flowed over the bed below. The levels are still rising this week so many of the places we stopped could be under water!

Chris

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PostPosted: July 10th, 2012, 10:33 pm 
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We were at Beaudry Park to try out our rebuilt Huron earlier in June and the current was very tough to paddle against. I made almost no headway at all against it with a kayak paddle. Going with the current was pretty nice though.

A small correction about the Stockton ferry being the last river ferry. Not quite. Norway House still runs a cable ferry across the Nelson. I have used it many times, it being the only way into the community other than the ice road in winter. I have driven the ice while the ferry was running 100 yards to the east in open water. Kind of neat.

If I am not mistaken there is also one that runs to Matheson Island.

...Christy


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PostPosted: February 17th, 2013, 6:09 pm 
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Question on your trip.

was the three days you spent paddling hard work to get 100 kms? or did you guys take it pretty easy? How fast do you think you could paddle that section if you were not in a group?

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PostPosted: February 24th, 2013, 4:11 pm 
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You can mover along pretty quick for sure and if you were tandem you would definitley fly along. I did Baudry park to Assiniboine park in 2.5 hours solo mid july. The only caveat is that early in the season with spring runoff the water is extremely fast and if you happen to run into issues it can be rather dangerous. You don't want to end up swimming and get caught on a snag or deadfall in fast water. So plan accordingly.

I went to a paddle manitoba meeting and spoke with some of the folks on that trip and they apparently had a blast. It would be worth repeating. You would be surprised how nice the river bank scenery is on the 'Boine.

... Christy


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PostPosted: February 24th, 2013, 7:08 pm 
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So much depends on the flow. The river was above normal summer levels so the current was probably faster than normal but it was so very hot that we had to stop more frequently and couldn't just drift while resting.

If you had four wheel drive you could take out at the campground where we spent our second night but to be honest it is certainly an achievable distance for a tandem canoe. By paying attention to the current you can make the most of the flow by keeping in the fast water though sometimes it is easy to get caught in the slower water on the inside of the bend.

This trip is on the list again this year along with the Turtle Mtn loop.

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