Thursday, July 8, 2010

Scow trip, July 6, 2010.

While Darren was recovering from his medical incident of July 4th, the scow was moved from Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park to near the Morrin Bridge- a distance of some 39 km. It stopped for the night less than a kilometer upstream from where the American Museum of Natural History scow "Mary Jane" (used 1910-1912) was beached and abandoned after the 1912 field season.

Phil Currie and Eva Koppelhus submitted these comments for today's trip:

On Tuesday, July 6, 2010, the scow easily slid off the mud into the current of the Red Deer at 9:15 AM. Eva, Tom and Phil were still on board, but had been joined by Allan Rasmuson (Dinosaur Research Institute) and Bill Spencer (DRI as well) both from Calgary, and Tom's daughter Tess Owen from Edmonton. The wind cooperated, pushing steadily from behind, as the scow covered more than 40 kilometres at a blistering average speed of 4.2 km per hour. For a change, the great blue herons outnumbered the pelicans, and a mature bald eagle crossed our bow late in the afternoon. All would have been fine if Tom and Phil had not commented independently that the trip had been so smooth that nobody had got wet and muddy. Sure enough, shortly after, the scow ground to a halt on a gravel bar that spanned the river and connected two islands with each other and both banks. Lightened by the weight of three of the men, it was a relatively easy task to push the multi-ton vessel across the crest of the bar and back into the current. As planned, the expedition arrived more or less on time at 7 PM at the Morrin Bridge campground to meet Darren and Patty for Bar-B-Qued steaks and as assortment of side dishes. Eva and Phil enjoyed a quiet night on the scow (interrupted only by a short rain shower and the periodic slapping of beaver tails on the river) as the others slept in the tents in the campground.

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