The Urban Oarsman Rows Gwragedd Annwn up the Alouette, off the chart, to Bordertown

The Urban Oarsman Explores the Alouette RiverI row 20.75 kilometers up the Alouette, North Alouette, and Blaney Creek to the movie set “Bordertown”.

The Urban Oarsman Rows up the Alouette River to BordertownI spend almost 6 hours at the thwart, averaging a little over 3.5 km/hr.

Border Town Row The water level at the ramp looks high, should be a good row.


Border Town Row Gwragedd Annwn awaits me at the dock.  The dock is wet as we “slip” away.


Border Town Row The moon is still visible to the West.


Border Town Row There is fog ahead indicating that the air is still.


Border Town Row The water is quite high on the dike doors.


Border Town Row Moon and Trees.


Border Town Row I have seen a photo of “Old Red” afloat, I think it was taken in 2003.


Border Town Row I have seen a photo on the web of this boat still afloat, tied up next to “Old Red”.  I think the picture was taken in June of 2010.


Border Town Row Blue Heron fishing.


Border Town Row Still waters beckon Gwragedd Annwn and I up river.


Border Town Row The North Alouette enters from the Port side.  The Alouette River gauge is to the Starboard.


Border Town Row A small side channel on the North Alouette, just past the River gauge.  This is the East side dike. The water level is high enough to explore it a bit.


Border Town Row A beaver dam keeps the water high when the tide goes out.  I slide Gwragedd Annwn over.


Border Town Row Looking South down the channel.  The dike is to the left.


Border Town Row Looking North along the channel. The dike is to the right.


Border Town Row I row down the channel.  It does not go very far.  It is fairly deep, I cannot make out the bottom.


Border Town Row I turn around and head out the way I came in.


The Urban Oarsman Border Town RowAs I am rowing up the North Alouette, I hear snorting noises just past the bend again.

This time I really see the River Otters, and for quite a while.

Border Town RowThere are three of them.  They go onto the South shore and then swim towards me.


Border Town Row I watch them for maybe five minutes and take a movie of them with my camera. The Utube link is:

Three River Otters in the North Alouette River.

The two River Otters start on the North Shore of the river and swim out to the third one.


Border Town Row I feel very lucky to have seen them.


Border Town RowPassing under the Neaves Road Bridge over Blaney Creek.


Border Town RowColourful graffiti on the North End of the bridge.


Border Town RowBlaney Creek stretches far into the distance.  Ahead lies Codd Island.


Border Town RowI pass by the float again.  I still wonder what it is for.


Border Town RowStill a bit of fog as I pass by Codd Island.


Border Town RowGoing around the bend, rowing up the channel between Codd Island and the North dike.


Border Town RowThe channel continues ahead.


Border Town RowAs you pass Codd Island, the channel widens and the water clears.  I can see the bottom and the water is over 24″ deep.


Border Town RowMcKenzie Creek to the Port along the North dike and Blaney Creek continues to the Starboard.


Border Town RowThe side channel to Bordertown branches off beside the bridge to Codd Island.


Border Town RowIt is a tight fit rowing down the channel.  It is between 15 and 20 feet wide.  Quite often I am rowing on reeds.


Border Town RowLooking back towards Codd Island an Blaney Creek.


Border Town RowThe channel continues on towards Bordertown.  According to Google Earth, there is a small pond next to Bordertown that I should be able to row into.


Border Town RowI spot the first few Bordertown buildings.


Border Town RowI have to start “poling” Gwragedd Annwn down the channel.


Border Town RowI do not know what this stream is called, but, it is the end of the row for Gwragedd Annwn.  Google Earth had lead me to believe that a pond would be just a little further ahead.  If there is one, the water level is just not high enough to reach it.


Border Town RowAs close to Bordertown as I can get.  Need more water!


Border Town RowPoling my way back to Blaney Creek.


Border Town RowLast close-up picture of Bordertown.


Border Town RowThe channel is widening enough to row.


Border Town RowI stuck my nose into a channel that should go to some ponds in front of Bordertown.  Water not deep enough.

Bordertown set


Close up of Bordertown from Google Earth.


Border Town RowZoom picture of Bordertown from Blaney Creek.


Border Town RowThe orange snow fence blocks the Codd Island Bridge.


Border Town RowCodd Island Bridge.


Border Town RowThis channel runs East/West along the road to Codd Island.


Border Town RowA fallen tree almost blocks the way.


Border Town RowThe channel ends where the trees begin on Codd Island.


Border Town RowLooking East, back towards Blaney Creek.


Border Town RowLeaving Codd Island and the fallen tree behind.  The channel was quite wide, usually more than 30 feet wide.


Border Town RowThe Trespassers will be prosecuted sign at the junction of Blaney creek and the West/East channel to the North Alouette.


Border Town RowClose-up of the sign.  Could use a little touching-up. 


Border Town RowAt this point, Blaney Creek Runs East towards 224th Street.  Last Row I went upstream.  This time I am going to go West, the maps say that this channel will connect with The North Alouette.


Border Town RowThis channel runs West towards the North Alouette.  There is a slight current going West.


Border Town RowA big pipe, too high to go over and too low to go under, blocks the way.


Border Town RowWhen I rowed Still Creek in Burnaby, I squeezed under a walkbridge to continue upstream.  No such luck here.  I need another six to ten inches of clearance to squeeze by.


Border Town RowThe channel is a long one, just over 500 meters.


Border Town RowAbout 250 meters to Blaney Creek.


Border Town RowBack on Blaney Creek with the Codd Island bridge ahead (I am rowing backwards just for a change).


Border Town RowBack on the North Alouette, heading downriver towards the Marina.  Again I am rowing backwards.  I do this sometimes to see where I am going better or to give my rowing muscles a break by rowing with different ones.  A change can be as good as a rest.


Border Town RowThe dead boat again.  The water level has dropped during the Row.


Border Town RowThe water level has dropped.  There is more of the door visible.  I should have measured the distance but did not think to.  Next time.


Border Town RowGwragedd Annwn at the dock, waiting for me to get her trailer.

According to the Alouette River Level Guage, I had the second highest water level on this trip.  I am told that the highest water levels are in June, when the Fraser is running high.  I will have to try again then.

Alouette River Levels at the gauge.

Alouette River Levels at the gauge.

Row stats:  Length: 20.75 kilometers, rowing time: 5 hours 50 minutes, average speed, 3.5 km/hr.

The Urban OarsmanThe Alouette River and her tributaries.  A good place to Row and Explore.

Happy Rowing,



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