Trees, Tiller Trouble and Tornadoes – 1910 Expedition Re-enactment Crew Set Off

Those plucky adventurers attempting to re-create the 1910 Barnum Brown expedition travelling along the Red Deer River in Alberta by scow (flat bottomed, river craft) have encountered some tricky situations already on their epic voyage.

The Peter C. Kaisen (the name of the scow, it being the name of a palaeontology technician at the American Museum of Natural History, one of the assistants to Barnum  Brown), was loaded onto a flat bed trailer on Monday in readiness for its journey later that day to the launch site on the Red Deer River.

The scow was launched and this exciting expedition was finally underway after many years of planning and a great deal of hard work and preparation.  Unfortunately, things did not run quite as smoothly as planned.

Here is an update from the Dinosaur Hunting by Boat web log:

“Not good news I’m afraid.  We got away OK at 3:15 yesterday, but only a couple kilometres downstream hit a bridge piling side on.  Some smashed drinking glasses and ceramic mixing bowls were the only minor damage in the kitchen.  One of the tiller support blocks was smashed but usable, I [Darren Tanke – the expedition’s leader], was able to nail it back together.  After that a leaning tree tried to swipe the tent off the scow.  A collision with the bank shattered the tiller block again, and snapped a tiller clean in two. We then had a rough landing and endured a nasty thunderstorm and we heard of a tornado in the area.  We camped on some flat land right above where we stopped.  We only made 12 kilometres yesterday.  Perry is on his way to do some repairs.  Travelling by scow is very challenging as we are discovering this the hard way.  In places it is swift (10 km/hr.) with shallow rapids, but placid for the most part so far.  We hope to continue on again later today (10 am on the 30th as I write this)”.

With every expedition there are always some “teething” problems to be encountered and overcome, the resilience of the 2010 crew is to be admired and of course, it is only by re-enacting the voyage of the 1910 expedition that  a full appreciation of the difficulties of exploring and mapping the Red Deer River area can be had.

Best of luck to everyone involved – keep going.

To read more about the scow expedition: Spirit of Adventure Lives On with Epic Voyage Along Red Deer River

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