Trip Coordinator: Donna M.

Sorry no pictures of this trip.

We met Friday night at the Tail Creek Campground, it is on the NE side of where highway 21 crosses the Red Deer River (Content Bridge) near Delburne. Karyn and Denise went down a day early and paddled from Content Bridge to Trenville Park. But the rest of us arrived Friday night. We were 10 in 7 boats, most of the Faulkner family in one canoe, their eldest son in his own kayak, and Donna, Denise, Karyn, Theresa, and Julia in their own kayaks. After much googling and map consulting, we decided to head east on highway 21 and stick with the south side of the river, and try to find a river access.

We got as close as we could (RR243) and were met by a very lovely lady named Jody. She told us about the public river access on the edge of her property, and showed us where it is, and also told us Red Deer County is not allowing her to mow the access, as they want it forgotten about so they can put in a gravel pit. We have informed Paddle Alberta about this potential loss of public access, as this turned out to be a spectacular day and a beautiful run on the river. The distance is about 30 km, and it was perfect. Mark Lund’s book does not list any access points in through this stretch at all, and merely states that it is 50 km between Joffre Bridge and Content Bridge.

Jody allowed us to use her river access as the public one has not been maintained for 3 years, and helped carry our gear down, and offered to watch our vehicles for the day. What a wonderful lady! And she and her family are kayakers! We stopped twice during the paddle to stretch our legs and eat lunch and have a snack. We paddled under the huge wooden trestle bridge as a train went overhead! We saw lots of golden eagles and pelicans, one deer and 3 llamas (or possibly alpacas). They were a bit of a surprise as they were on a rather small island mid-river. And lots of cows. We got to the campground around 4 pm and enjoyed our suppers and a lovely fire. And we watched the storms swirl around us. We found out the next day that the black wall to the north of us dropped golf ball sized hail on Ponoka. And I’m not sure what all got hit with the massive lightning strikes towards Stettler. It continued to storm during the night, levitating us all off our sleeping mats around 3 am and 7 am with huge claps of thunder. It was gray and overcast and threatening rain on Sunday, so all opted out of paddling “The Canyon”. There is no place along its middle stretch to hide from a storm, nor is it easy to get off the water through there. So, we opted for safety and headed home around noon Sunday. But Saturday was perfect!

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