Mollie Adams Diary of her Journey in the Canadian Rockies August 1, 1908


Matchstick Camp II.


(4½ hrs.) Saturday, Aug. 1.


               Started at 9 o’clock, and said a glad farewell to the “beautiful Su-Wapta” and its equally beautiful trails.  At first there was not much improvement, as we got stuck almost immediately in a think swamp, but after getting clear of that it grew more open, and we skirted the shores of two rather sloughy lakes in the midst of large moraine deposits at the junction of the Su-Wapta and the main Athabasca.  We should have had a fine view up the West Ath and Chaba valleys if they had not been largely obscured by showers.  After passing the lakes we went across and down a series of river terraces cut in drift to the main Athabasca, with only nne delay of ¾ hr., caused by following a well marked trail which led nowhere, and left us stranded among high willow brush, great fallen long – and bugs – while W. scoured the country and found the real trail.  It was quite pleasant to be in fairly open country again after the scrub of the last few days, although the “open country” was not much to write home about, and the young pine trees were often growing so thickly that they combed our hair well as we rode along the trail.  And where it was open, the ground was pretty well strewed with “matchstick timber” – small burnt pines lying scattered in all directions – or large burnt stuff.


               Camped at 1.30 by the Athabasca between Shirt Camp and the lowest place they cut to.  River very muddy.  An. 4200 ft. Heavy showers with lightening [sic] and thunder, continuing in the evening.  W. went out in the afternoon to investigate the trail question.  Came back announcing that we would have to stay here tomorrow as there is several hours’ cutting to do before we can get further.


Shirt Camp II.





Sunday, Aug. 2.





               The day started out to be a hot one.  Sun so warm at 7 A. M. that instead of making a fire in front of our tent, W. came and draped blankets over it to keep it cool.  They went off with their axes about 9, and M. fetched in Nibs and Bugler and we did the strawberrying act again – went back to the edge of the willow brush where we were stuck yesterday.  I never saw such fine ones or so many.  We almost filled a 2 qt. pail in a little over 2 hrs.  We rather expected to meet a bear at any moment, were pretty sure one had been that berry patch this morning.  There are plenty around here.  W. thinks Muggins met one yesterday while he was out trail hunting.  He said Muggins was off nosing around as usual, when all of a sudden he came tearing back to him with his tail between his legs, and nothing would induce the scared pup to leave his boss’s heals for a long time.  We saw cariboo [sic] tracks along the trail yesterday, and today while down the river cutting they saw perfectly fresh deer tracks.  An. 4100 ft.




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