Milk River

Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 10:49:57 -0600
From: Jeffrey Larson
Subject: Milk River Update (July 14)

Good day,

I don't know about you guys, but I'm really excited about this trip. We're gonna have fun!

There are a few changes to update you with.

First Lonnie and Valerie Unger have decided not to come. However, Kris Ellens and canoeing partner are now coming, so the total number of paddlers is still 10.

So our list of paddler's:
  1. Christopher Theissen
  2. KariLynn Theissen
  3. Dan Kronstal
  4. Dawn-Marie Ram
  5. Kris Ellens
  6. Lisa Priebe
  7. Nira Snyder
  8. Wyckley Snyder
  9. Sarah Larson
  10. Jeffrey Larson

We will now be using Nira's parents SUV (Ford Expedition) to tow the canoe trailer down on Friday (instead of Lonnie's truck). So we will have 5 boats, all rentals.

I have rented 1 dry bag per boat that is of size 114L (or 75L barrel). They are waterproof, and you'll want to put stuff that CANNOT get wet in them. If you need more than that, you'll need to arrange that. Last year, Sarah and I had a cooler (food), a rubbermade container (camping/cooking stuff), and some garbage bags that we used to supplement the dry bags... it's really whatever you prefer. Everything in the boat will need to be tied down with rope, regardless of whether it is waterproofed or waterresistant.

Some of you have been asking what exactly you should be bringing for gear, and I think the best way to answer that would be to tell you what Sarah and I are bringing, so you can get the idea, and take a suggestion.
Rain gear, rain jacket, hat, pants that can get wet, shoes that can get wet; Sunscreen (lots), bug dope, sunglasses, big floppy hat (big floppyness optional, but works better for getting the sun off), a couple (read at least 2) changes of dry clothes (for leaving at the take out, as well as bringing in the boat for the poverty rock camp), light dry clothing for hot weather, camping stove, stove fuel, pan, pot, bowls, eating utensils, cups, water bottles/jugs (enough to drink all weekend), drinks, hot dogs, trail mix, dried fruit, pepperoni sticks, apples, granola bars, beans/chilli in a can, sleeping bags, thermarests (sleeping mats), tent, tarp, rope (for equipment tie down and camping tarp), canoe (rented), PFDs (rented), throw bag (rented), paddles (rented), dry bag (rented), bailer, cooler for storing food, closable rubbermaid container (for pot/pans, stove, etc), first aid kit, money (1st night camping fee, extra food or supplies, fuel if needed), matches, firewood (and newspaper), camera (batteries), blanket, sandles, supersoaker, shorts, cell phone (in a drybag/waterproof) for emergency, wool socks,
Basically, clothes for any weather (including wet/cold), food for the weekend, a means for preparing that food, camping gear, and other such stuff. Be prepared! Have a look at the "Canoeing Checklist" link I sent you before (

Each person renting will need to pay me $50 when they can, sooner is better.

Paddling Lengths:
Day 1: July 22, paddle from Gold Springs park to Poverty Rock & canoe camp overnight - 34km
Day 2: July 23, paddle from Poverty Rock to Writing on Stone Provincial Park - 35km
2 Day Total: 69km.

Lame Disclaimer:
I just wanted to restate that I am not, nor is my wife, a expert canoer. I am co-ordinating the trip but I'm not the leader or professional guide of any type and act only to provide basic logistical arrangements for initiating and running the trip. The route, itinerary and all other aspects of this trip are only suggested and, as responsible tourists, each participant is expected to research everything prior to the trip to whatever extent he/she feels is necessary to determine that all is safe and suitable. Each participant is expected to possess any skills, equipment, fitness, common sense, etiquette, knowledge of applicable legislations, etc., to enjoyably and safely be involved in this activity. I am willing to answer any questions you have. My point is that with any activity like this there is risk, and I just want you all to accept it, and make sure you are being responsible.
My personal recommendation is that the stern paddler has paddled before if the bow paddler has less experience. Although, I did rent the canoes, you'll have to take responsibility for it when you are canoeing.

River data:

The river is currently hovering around 18m3/s for flow which is about average for summer, and is just above the level it stays at until is dropped off in the fall. The level is right about 90cm for level at Milk River, which is typical for this time of year.

This email got really long somehow. Sorry about that. The weather forecast is below.

Your Fellow Paddler,



Lethbridge Forecast (7 days away still):
Friday, Jul 21
Lethbridge, AB Weather Rather cloudy. Winds from the W at 3 kph. High: 22° C RealFeel: 22° C
Lethbridge, AB Weather Friday Night: Mostly cloudy. Winds from the NNW at 3 kph. Low: 6° C RealFeel: 8° C
Saturday, Jul 22
Lethbridge, AB Weather Mainly cloudy. Winds from the SW at 11 kph. High: 23° C RealFeel: 21° C
Lethbridge, AB Weather Saturday Night: Partly cloudy. Winds from the WSW at 11 kph. Low: 7° C RealFeel: 11° C
Sunday, Jul 23
Lethbridge, AB Weather Sunshine. Winds from the N at 17 kph. High: 28° C RealFeel: 26° C
Lethbridge, AB Weather Sunday Night: Becoming cloudy. Winds from the NNE at 11 kph. Low: 11° C RealFeel: 15° C

Date: Fri, 07 Jul 2006 17:05:54 -0600
From: Jeffrey Larson
Subject: New Milk River Website

Howdy! (...I had to, it being the first day of Stampede and all!)

Today at lunch I put together a trip website for you. It's got a sweet map, links to information and driving directions. You should go look at it and read what you need to.

Our campsites reservation for July 21 at Gold Springs has been confirmed, and it will be $10 per tent for the night.

That's all for now,


Date: Tue, 04 Jul 2006 11:24:13 -0600
From: Jeffrey Larson
Subject: To those that are IN : Milk River Canoe Trip

To the Milk River Crew,

The trip weekend of July 21 - 23, 2006 is getting closer... and you should be getting excited. It's on your calendar!

10 people have confirmed that they are coming on the canoe trip, and 8 of us will be renting equipment. <snip> have their own equipment that they will bring.

I have reserved 4 canoes (comes with throw bag), 8 PFDs, 9 paddles (1 per person + 1 extra), a trailer to tow all the canoes, and 4 large dry bags (114 litres). Luckily there was availability at the outdoor centre at the Univerisity (since MEC didn't have enough canoes left). The trailer makes the cost a bit more but buys the convenience of everyone not needing to strap a canoe to their car. We'll be using <snip>'s truck to pull the trailer.

For those who are renting, the total rental costs turned out to be $100/boat for the weekend ($50/person).

Other things to think about:
Equipment: we'll all need to bring our own camping gear, etc. I've attached a document with some things to think about bringing. If you have questions or need to borrow something, let us know.
First Aid: <snip>, can you bring a first aid kit?
Food: it is easiest to just bring your own, so unless we plan otherwise, that's what we'll be doing. So you'll need Friday: dinner, Saturday: breakfast lunch dinner, Sunday breakfast lunch.
Drinking Water: Bring lots of drinking water, because boiling the river water isn't a good option.

Schedule: (tentative)
Sarah and I plan to pick the trailer/canoes up on Friday after lunch some time. We won't need to take 10 cars down, so can each of you figure out a car pool arrangement? Let's not let anyone drive down there solo.
We are camping at Gold Springs Park Campground on Friday night. The website says it's $10/night for a tent site... I wouldn't expect to pay more than $15.
Does anyone have firewood they can bring? We will need to drop a vehicle at the take out (Writing-On-Stone Park) sometime that evening as well.
We'll get up and do breakfast at the campground, and then put in the Milk River (it's right at the campground). The campground manager's don't have a problem with us leaving our vehicles there (obviously not right at a campsite) for the rest of the time. We'll paddle for a few hours, stop for lunch along the river, and then head to our rest area for the night, Poverty Rock. We'll set up camp there and relax.
Breakfast at Poverty rock and then we'll hit the water again, paddling through to Writing-On-Stone Park (can stop for lunch too, depending on how long we're taking). We'll have a vehicle there, so we can drive back and grab the other vehicles/trailer, to load up the canoes. Also, depending on the time, you may want to have a walk around the park. We'll head back to Calgary that afternoon, probably make it back by early evening.

I think that is all I will put in to this email. More info later.
Questions? ASK!


Jeffothy's Milk River Links:
Google Map:

Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 14:18:28 -0600
From: Jeffrey Larson
Subject: Milk River Canoeing Weekend


We are going on a canoe trip on Milk River. The trip will take place on July 21 - 23, 2006. That's just over three weeks away!

The Milk River is a fairly gentle paddle which provides a little entertainment for beginner paddlers and awesome scenery for everyone. If you are interested in joining us, let me know and I will make sure you are on the list to receive more info. Please let me know if you are In or Out ASAP so I can start coordinating and we can get canoes and trailers rented while there is still availability.

There will be a minimum of 3 canoes going on this trip and depending on how many of you are interested, there may be a few more. We will be leaving as early as we can on Friday afternoon (3-4pm) to drive to Milk River which is just south of Lethbridge. If you haven't been down there, it's worth checking out; the rock formations alone make it worthwhile. It's two days of gentle white-water and some pretty cool landscapes. The camp site costs about $15 on the first night, but is free the second night. Last year Sarah and I rented a canoe from MEC with everything included for less than $70, but it may be more effective to get a trailer of canoes from the University this time. I will provide more of these details to those who are interested, but this is a beginner white water river.

Please respond as soon as you can, by letting me know if you are In. If I don't here from you within the next few days I will assume you are Out.

Hope you're having a great week,


PS- Know someone else who would be interested? Get them to send me an email!

Jeffothy's Milk River Links:
Google Map: