View topic - The journal of Moffatt-party participant Ed Lanouette

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2019, 7:28 pm 
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Moffatt note left on Dubawnt Lake/Outlet Bay:

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2019, 7:41 pm 
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Other notes left at Dubawnt Lake Outlet Bay:

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2019, 9:50 pm 
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location of Moffatt note (@ the 29)

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PostPosted: January 2nd, 2019, 7:26 am 
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Excerpt from Mr. Jacob's post: "An email message just received from Ed Lanouette, Moffatt's bowperson."

FTA: "As to our eight -mile portage over the Marjorie hills to lake Aberdeen, we decided we would save time and miles of river travel, especially now that much of our food was gone.I made three back -and -forth trips between Marjorie and Aberdeen -some 24 miles- and others may have as well. The land was relatively smooth and dry. This was no walk in the park, but without rocks and brush, we made good time over the mossy surface.
I don't know if this clarifies anything, Allan, but I hope it puts to rest some of David Demello's online questions."

There remains some tensions between accounts that could use a word of clarification. In this instance the contrasting the correspondence between Mr Lanouette's note to Mr Jacobs and Mr. Jacobs excerpt starting from pg 134 of Mr Pessl's book. I addressed my problem with the 24 mile total reached by Mr. Lanouette elsewhere.

encapsulating the contrast: "The land was relatively smooth and dry." versus "We tried to stick to the firm ridges, but....Wet feet cracking ice plunging into cold water..."


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PostPosted: January 3rd, 2019, 3:40 pm 
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Thanks for posting copies of those notes! I hope that the originals will be preserved.

The post of Mr Demello.
Excerpt from Mr. Jacob's post. "An email message just received from Ed Lanouette, Moffatt's bowperson.[/i]
"As to our eight -mile portage over the Marjorie hills to lake Aberdeen, we decided we would save time and miles of river travel, especially now that much of our food was gone. I made three back -and -forth trips between Marjorie and Aberdeen -some 24 miles- and others may have as well. The land was relatively smooth and dry. This was no walk in the park, but without rocks and brush, we made good time over the mossy surface.
I don't know if this clarifies anything, Allan, but I hope it puts to rest some of David Demello's online questions."

There remains some tensions between accounts that could use a word of clarification. In this instance the contrasting the correspondence between Mr Lanouette's note to Mr Jacobs and Mr. Jacobs excerpt starting from pg 134 of Mr Pessl's book. I addressed my problem with the 24 mile total reached by Mr. Lanouette elsewhere.

encapsulating the contrast: "The land was relatively smooth and dry." versus "We tried to stick to the firm ridges, but....Wet feet cracking ice plunging into cold water..."

Response 1.
The tension between the evidence provided by Lanouette and Pessl. Perhaps they recorded different aspects of the portage. Who is to say that they didn't? And who is to say at that they took identical routes? As best I can tell, they did not portage as a group.

Response 2.
(a) I documented previously that Toporama gives the shortest distance between Marjorie Lake and Aberdeen Lake as 11.2 km or 7 miles. But I assumed here that the bay at the north end of Marjorie Lake is fully navigable.
(b) No evidence is available regarding the portage route actually taken by the party; it may well have had to detour from the shortest path.
(c) Both Lanouette and Pessl give the length of the portage as 8 miles, but this distance was determined from the government-issue maps of the day; given that the scale of those maps is 8 miles to the inch, a difference of 1 mile seems not to merit much attention.

If I may, I suggest that, in the above passage, Lanouette was referring to aspects of DeMello's posts other than the length of the portage.

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A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)



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PostPosted: January 3rd, 2019, 6:26 pm 
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Lanouette: "The land was relatively smooth and dry." versus Pessl: "We tried to stick to the firm ridges, but....Wet feet cracking ice plunging into cold water..."

And the seeds of doubt!? Parsing the possible? Maybe implies maybe not with the distillate being??

To this: " Both Lanouette and Pessl give the length of the portage as 8 miles, but this distance was determined from the government-issue maps of the day; given that the scale of those maps is 8 miles to the inch, a difference of 1 mile seems not to merit much attention. "

I believe I argued elsewhere that it was in itself of minor import. But then come to the conclusion that 3 trips to and fro could be summed as 24 miles challenges credulity. Even if the way was " smooth and dry", their feet traveled 40 miles, not 24 miles.
Are we now to dismiss Psell as an eyewitness? Or is he narrative dependent? Unless it is successfully argued that Lanouette's 24 miles was the distance he traveled and my tally of 40 is a fiction, I am inclined to believe memory changes over time and that the eyewitness is notoriously inaccurate. If Lanouette had continued with his journal and wrote about the portage at the time, I would give more credence, but he did not.


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PostPosted: January 3rd, 2019, 8:29 pm 
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Having spent four summers on Kasba/Ennadai and another four on Dubawnt, the last of which was 12 years ago...I have been following this thread with interest. Having visited the cairn/ old tobacco tin that contained those letters several times I too hope they are well preserved?


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2019, 4:41 am 
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This is the shortest distance possible between Majorie Lake and Aberbeen Lake that I could manage. Now the only thing we need to do is show is that "The land was relatively smooth and dry. This was no walk in the park, but without rocks and brush, we made good time over the mossy surface." or that ""We tried to stick to the firm ridges, but....Wet feet cracking ice plunging into cold water..." It should be noted that there is enough variation of color to indicate something other than the texture "relatively smooth and dry" and "mossy surface". Perhaps while we are at it a satisfactory argument could be generated that the sum total of the portage was 24 miles, without employing teleportation.

Questions abound with the different route theory (Alan's "As best I can tell, they did not portage as a group.") If there was light, then why would one take the ridges/cold wet feet route and not the relatively smooth mossy surface? I have been on many unmarked portages and never found it enticing to make the portage anything other than as short and dry and level as possible. That shortest route was never a straight line. If it was done in poor/bad lighting then is it reasonable that the path best traveled by was available to sight? And do it in a straight line?

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PostPosted: January 4th, 2019, 7:45 am 
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My next post in this thread will be made no earlier than Friday 11 January.

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A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)



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PostPosted: January 4th, 2019, 10:24 am 
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My next post in this thread will be made no earlier than Friday 11 January.

My next post in this thread will be later than Friday 11 January.


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PostPosted: January 11th, 2019, 2:13 am 
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
Ding Ding!


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PostPosted: January 11th, 2019, 8:41 am 
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Post 1. 16 June to 1 July.

Thursday June 16, 1955.

(Art did not have this box, weighing about 50 lbs., shipped through as its contents were too valuable to take any chances with—two Leicas, a Bell & Howell 16mm movie camera, 6,000 feet of colored films, and black & white).

Wednesday, September 14 – Camp #51 (2 miles south of Lady Marjorie Lake).

Packs floating all around—I was surprised that they floated. Even Art’s 86-pound camera box was afloat.

How does one explain this 72% weight gain?

Surely this a hyperbolic exaggeration immersed in the moment.


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PostPosted: January 11th, 2019, 4:02 pm 
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Monday, August 1. Camp #23. Middle of Boyd Lake.
"We stopped on a sandy little island, part of an esker which is being washed away, for lunch. We discovered, much to our annoyance, that 3 of the 12 jars of peanut butter in our canoe were broken and moldy. We now have about 10 jars left, as we were able to salvage some of the peanut butter that had not been affected by either mold or broken glass."

reminiscent of my Grinnell post??: ""..... More difficult was the decision whether to leave behind our last two jars of peanut butter.
During a portage around a fearsome falls, these two jars of peanut butter had fallen out of a wanigan and smashed into myriad pieces on the bedrock of the river bank. Peter had gone back to scrape the peanut off the rocks and had repacked it in two two previously emptied peanut butter jars. Unfortunately night had fallen by that time, and he had not been able to see well, so the rescued peanut butter was shot through with slivers of broken glass.
We stood around trying to decide whether to discard them and, after much discussion, voted to abandon them. No sooner had we come to this decision than everyone said, "Well, if no one else wants them, I'll take them." We all laughed and gobbled down the peanut butter as fast as we could get our fingers into the jars, our teeth crunching on the larger chunks of glass, the salty taste of blood mingling with the nourishing taste of peanuts as the thinner slivers punctured our tongues and cheeks....."

The only conclusions I wish to draw is that 5 out of 12 glass jars of peanut butter (41.67%) were broken, but these stalwarts managed to salvage the contents for consumption. How could any one know all the glass has been removed? Trial and error? In the middle of nowhere!? Remarkable leap of faith.


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2019, 12:41 am 
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picking up oddities: Why 3 rifles on a expedition that was supposed to be sufficient in food which also carried an assortment of fishing equipment

a 22, a 30/30 and a 30.06.

one, the 30.06, I understand. For protection. Begs the question about inventory control.


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2019, 9:45 am 
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Alan Jacobs "Perhaps you should read the evidence before expressing an opinion of a dead man."

If Moffatt had survived, his journey would have been seen through that lens. Because Moffatt died his journey will be seen through another lens. Similar to Scott's effort to reach the South Pole. If Scott had succeeded he would have been seen through that lens, But since he failed, he is seen through another lens. A form of astigmatism? But then comes the myth-making and the emergence of interpretive reality and perhaps reality is what one makes it, the conjuring of a prejudiced mind. Below is something found below the falls on the Kazan River. Never found out who owned it, thus nobody owns it and its story will dissolve into the past with no story line.

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