Last weekend (while flying back from New Brunswick) I looked out the airplane window to see that we were following the South Saskatchewan River east of Diefenbaker Lake. I watched intently and sure enough just as dusk was beginning to settle in, I got a good look at the confluence where the river is joined by the Red Deer. I could see the islands where the two rivers join and the "Cottonwood Bends" where the last portion of the Red Deer winds back and forth many times. I could see the abandoned oxbows and hills of native grassland around the two rivers. I felt privileged to be able to view this special place from such a lofty vantage point.
|The fledgling Red Deer River flows from its source at Oyster Lake|
So much has happened in the ten years since I made my journey along the length of the Red Deer River - both along the river and in my life as result of my experience. In 2005 the river flooded, effecting many residents in the "West Country" and around the Drumheller area. I used some of the video footage that I got of the flooding, along with some archival photos that I got from the Glenbow Museum to do a segment about John Ware's struggles with the river.
|Bev French at Skoki Lodge|
|Bev French and Larry Lait at Oyster Lake|
|RDRNers near the forks with guide Ted Douglas|
|RDRN President, Tony Blake introduces me at premiere|
Courtesy Myrna Pearman
It hasn't always been an easy journey, but it is one that I have never regretted making. In many ways it has been a strange ride. Going from the solitary experience of traveling along a river and producing the film to presenting my experiences to the public has been challenging transition and I am just now becoming more comfortable speaking in public. It has all been good "character building" though.So here I am. I have used my blog to draw a line ten years from the beginning of my "Red Deer River Journey". In my mid-fifties I am poised at the end of one journey and the beginning of another.