I have met some great people so far on this trip. This morning I was greeted by one of the fishermen from yesterday who had returned with a friend and brought me a selection of fresh fruits to help me on my way - slices of melon, blueberries and some Werthers. Thank you so much, fresh fruit has certainly been missing from my diet over the past days. This day I was still in an urban setting and as I started to look for a suitable camping spot for the night I began to check out a number of islands in the river. The first ones were already occupied by other people so I continued on my way rather than disturbing their peace and privacy until I finally found an island of my own around seven o'clock. A little later than I would have liked but early enough to cook a proper meal rather than baked beans again. I have noticed a fair amount of beaver activity over the last day. They have definitely returned to the area after the era of the fur traders and David Thompson in the early eighteen hundreds.
Just one of the sights I passed by on my trip down the river. It is now known as the Edmonton Riverboat when it was purchased by new owners in 2016 but originally started life in 1996 as the Edmonton Queen. It was a tourist boat but in 2020 its hull was damaged in the spring thaw and needs work.
We're on the river again! Time to continue my journey but I was a little late starting as the night before had produced a heavy dew and so I needed to dry out my tent before I packed it away. I had planned to meet with the CBC reporter at Emily Murphy Park but when I arrived there it was unsuitable for bringing in the canoe so we had to change our plans and agreed to meet up at the Walterdale Bridge near the Kinsmen Centre. Being a weekend, the river was a lot busier than I had experienced previously with a number of canoes and kayaks and a few power boats which helped produce a few waves. Added to this there was also a wind which managed to change direction constantly and make my travel interesting. Having completed my interview and been filmed as I proceeded down the river I continued my journey to find a suitable spot to camp for the night. Travelling in the city limits is not easy as there really are no places to camp legally. In the end I came to Gold Bar Park where I encountered three fishermen who helped me secure my canoe and all my barrels, etc. This is where I spent my night.
I am going to add a few pictures so you can see a little of the surroundings of the river where I am travelling as I go between Devon and Edmonton. You will probably notice the cliffs and the lack of suitable terrain for camping. Notice also the layer of black gold on the one cliff.
On the river again, this time heading off towards Edmonton. The morning started with a meeting with Global tv and an interview with Sarah so she could prepare her story for the six o'clock news and they also included a zoom meeting with our daughter-in-law, Gillian Hatto, who lives in Calgary. By the time the canoe was packed and ready to leave Devon and the Lions Campground it was one o'clock and the film crew were on hand to take pictures of my departure. Today the weather was kind to me and though there was some wind, it actually enhanced my travel down the river for a change. Today was certainly one of my better days to canoe and so much more enjoyable. My goal was to reach Edmonton and be able to contact Lauren from CBC so they could arrange to interview me. I was able to find a bit of a backwater when I arrived near the Whitemud Bridge and found a space to camp along with some beavers. Very appropriate due to the fact that I was following the route of David Thompson and the fur trade. Unfortunately the beaver I had hoped to photograph did not cooperate so I cannot include his picture in the blog but I did hear quite a few tail slaps during the evening.
This was a day to rest again as the weather was anticipated to be bad again with more wind forecast. By taking an extra day I was able to help my back recover a little more and in fact I had the opportunity to go to a massage therapist which definitely improved things. Global TV was planning on coming to interview me later in the day but in the end this was postponed to the next morning when the film crew would be on hand to film my departure from Devon. No need to post my position for today as it is the same as yesterday.
This was a day that I took a break to recover from the previous days' canoeing. I guess this is where I have to admit to my age. I need to straighten my spine after sitting in the canoe the past days. Again the weather was pretty miserable so I wasn't sorry not to go out on the water and I was able to catch up a little on my sleep. This campsite was definitely better than my previous nights and it turns out that this is a dog walking path so I have been able to meet a lot of different people. These young ladies have been very interested in helping with Hazels Helper when they heard why I was embarking on this journey. I really appreciate their help.
Wow! I've been travelling on the river for seven days already. During that week I have certainly experienced a variety of weather from heat and sun to wind and rain and chilly temperatures. This is Alberta and you have to be prepared for just about everything. At least at this time I seem to have missed the snow experienced on the Icefield Parkway the other day. Today I reached the town of Devon and soon I will be surrounded by the city of Edmonton. I can't help thinking about my previous long river trip which was travelling down the River Thames in the UK. There I had the opportunity to stop at a pub for my lunch and supper refreshment nearly every day and chat to the locals. Travelling down the North Saskatchewan my meals mostly come from freeze dried packages and my chats are to the birds and the wildlife. Apart from available cell service along the river and being able to talk to my wife in the evening for a few minutes.
These sponsors helped to make my canoe trip possible.
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