Trip Report: GDT Redux Day 4 – Random camping on Howse Floodplain to Mistaya Canyon

Mileage: 15.8km

It was a slightly chilly morning and Toothless wanted to walk right away, so we all set off in our puffy jackets to accommodate his pace. He really seems to love floodplains – last year he was also a big fan of the Moose River – and it is truly gratifying to watch him hike in this section.

Eventually, though, he needs a break and we stop for a snack and diaper change and once he is up in the carrier, he falls asleep for an early nap. While we are trying to take advantage of his nap and make some miles, we bump into a pair of section hikers getting a very late start on the day. They are planning to do the Amiskwi rather than the Kiwetinok alternate, so we try to encourage them to stick to the river for a bit after the southernmost ford and avoid the worst section of the overgrown “trail”. Hopefully, our descriptions were actually helpful (and not unnecessarily intimidating like the solo hiker was to us yesterday).

We fairly quickly make it off the floodplain, back to the singletrack trail, and then enjoy a beautiful lunch on the little hill overlooking the floodplain.

And just like that, we are back at the trailhead, once again feeling like hikertrash as the squeaky clean visitors in the parking lot look curiously at our dirty toddler eating crackers off the ground. We dump all our trash in the bins and try to find some clean clothes in the car.

As seems par for the course on these trips, we have a “fun” surprise waiting for us at the car – somehow a critter got in and ate its way into a bag of chips. Thankfully no drained battery, so I guess it is a bit of an improvement compared to other surprises we’ve had at the end of trips.

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