Day 8: The final leg
“Today’s alarm clock: Catbird meowing, Red-winged blackbird trilling and a Spotted towhee buzzing, all in the bush hardly a meter away from the tent. I could hear every crystal clear note of each of the birds’ calls. I suspect it was 4:30 AM.
We arose at 6:30 to partially cloudy conditions, with low cloud and mist on the hills just to the north.
Once on the river, it was an hour paddle to our takeout on very quiet, flat water. Rain fell for much of our paddle, but had stopped by the time we pulled out at Sandy Point.
We drove one hour to Medicine Hat, where we met with Uncle Stu and Doris for lunch before we began our drive back to Calgary.
Kilometres today: 7”
7 mammal species sighted: 46 Mule deer, 10 White-tailed deer, 1 elk, 5 coyotes, 5 beavers, 1 raccoon, 2 Nuttall’s cottontail rabbits
65 species of birds: including 4 confirmed nests of Prairie falcon. One nest had 5 nearly grown chicks, another had 2 downy “bobble heads”. 2 Bald eagles, 6 Golden eagles (one with a goose kill), 12 Pelicans.
1 Wandering garter snake, 1 scorpion.
166 Km total, took 30 hours of canoeing, so we averaged 5.5 Km/hr. (of interest: normal summer flows from 150 cms to 600 cms should provide good paddling. River speed varies from 2 km/hr at 100 cms to 6 km/hr at 2,000 cms. June daily mean = 600cms, July = 330 cms and Aug = 157 cms…….info from “Marks Guide for Alberta Paddlers”).