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It happens every year. My birthday. We decide to disappear into Northern Alberta along the banks of the Little Smoky and Smoky Rivers. The weather was not warm, but at least it was not snowing like it was during this same weekend in southern Alberta. Mornings started out about -4C and warmed to +6C by the time we were trudging home with our packs full of treasures. Baculites and Scaphites were our targetted fossils, although clams were not ignored. It never seems to get any easier. The first day on the Little Smoky was the easiest on our bodies, but the mud bog for about 500 yards going in was at test on the Rav4 we'd elected to use as our mode of transportation. The driver, not totally familiar with wilderness/oil lease roads made his own decision to push through so we just urged him on (by yelling "give 'er, give 'er, don't stop!") until we came out at the top of the hill. Coming back through it at the end of the day was better as it was more downhill and we (2 passengers) elected to walk along the road and dodge the mud slinging out from under the Rav4. Okay, Day 1 - check. Day 2 was a drop down into a gorge on the Smoky River, below a friend's cattle ranch. We hadn't been there for a couple years and the dead fall and thorns were a wonderful treat to awaken our senses. A few scaphites depressus were found and a couple baculite stacks. Oh, and a wonderful negative that I photographed and another I brought back. There was also a river otter that wasn't too happy with me being in his area. The climb back up the gorge to the ranch was not any easier despite having placed surveyor flagging on a few trees. Day 2 - check. Day 3 brought us down to the Smoky River further downstream from the previous day. Lots of walking, lots of bear scat but very little evidence of fossils. We did find a few clams. We need a good slump to expose more of the fossil layer so won't head back to this area for a couple years.