This isn't great writing so much as a teaser TR.
Over 3 days from May 18th to 20th, two boats and three people ran the 70km of the upper Red Deer from Bighorn Creek (where there is free camping right next to the river) to Coal Camp.
This is a lower volume slightly technical run characterized by a narrow braided channel for the first 20+km (we had to line our boats once for a downed log nearly blocking the channel), and then is really a river of ledges for the rest of the trip.
At the lower flows we ran (around 25 cms = about 900 cfs) the ledges were pretty simple but still fun, whereas a day trip at high water in the past over the biggest ledge was a big pour over with a recirc we didn't escape without dumping all the passengers. So such action this time!
We set the boats up in a snow storm and were surprised when we passed by ice right to the river banks... I would have brought the makings of cocktails if I was expecting that!
A spicy drive on very muddy roads, Cool temps and head winds on this trip, but not another person on the river that weekend, abundant great camping on the river with endless supplies of free Firewood and no regulations added to the fun rapids for a great long weekend.