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PostPosted: August 26th, 2006, 8:51 pm 
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During my canoe expedition this summer, I read “Fatal Passage: The untold story of John Rae, Arctic adventurer who discovered the fate of Franklin”, by Ken McGoogan, 2001.

This is the long awaited biography of Dr. John Rae, who was perhaps the greatest arctic and subarctic non-aboriginal traveler of all time. It was he who sleuthed out the fate of the final Franklin expedition, and he also discovered the final and key link of the northwest passage. He surveyed arctic coast and interior, and is known in history as perhaps the greatest traveler by snowshoes of all time. Unlike a British Royal Navy type, he was an HBC man who learned immediately to “go native” with skills and traveling style. He was a superb planner and implementer of expeditions. He went low budget, and did most of the hunting himself. He made clothing and boats along the way, and traded with the people on the land as he went. He paddled, sailed, lived in igloos in the winter, mushed dogsleds, walked and man-hauled sleds. He was as tough and skilled as they come and there will never be another man or era like that again.

Basically he is a Canadian legend (a Scotsman, but I think we can adopt as one of our own), that sadly we never got to learn about in school. Peter C. Newman covered him in his "Company of Adventurers" series, but McGoogan has filled out the story

It is a “must-read” and “must-have” for your library.


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PostPosted: August 27th, 2006, 7:08 pm 
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I loved Jack London and Farley Mowat as a kid - I need to re-read these. Many other books listed here I need to check out -

Recent reads I enjoyed:

Walking the Big Wild - Karsten Heuer - a man walks from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon in year 2000 to bring world attention to the need to preserve habitat for North America's largest mammels (Grizzly, Wolf etc). Karsten Heuer inspires us to take on the impossible and succeed.

Grizzly Heart - Charlie Russel, Maureen Ens - Their trip to Kamchatka Russia to study Grizzlies . Even if you don't like bears, people who have camped will appreciate the hardships they endured living in a remote frozen wilderness.


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PostPosted: September 15th, 2006, 10:26 pm 
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The Beaver People by Grey Owl is a book I ejoyed reading years ago.

http://www.islandnet.com/~see/living/ar ... reyowl.htm

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PostPosted: September 16th, 2006, 12:18 pm 
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Two of my favorites (not yet mentioned in this thread):

1. Arctic Dreams – Barry Lopez.
2. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek – Annie Dillard.

It was Lopez's description of the northern sun that first got me interested in canoeing arctic rivers. I've long been a fan of arctic exploration, reading many collections bundled up in our unheated porch as a kid in Minnesota. Lopez conveys the breathtaking surrealism of the northern landscape, and the physical challenges of living in a land with the stark realities of light and darkness, ice, animal migrations, and the history of exploration with its historical conception of the land as an adversary.

I have heard Annie Dillard read from her books several times, and she is an enigmatic figure. Compelling in her writing, but atypical in her public persona. My favorite short story of hers is "Living Like Weasels" in Teaching a Stone to Talk. She writes about a calling: to live in simple necessity and the natural instinct of reflection and spiritual longing. "I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you" (1988:16).


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PostPosted: September 17th, 2006, 11:23 am 
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Just finished "Heart so Hungry" by Randall Silvis a "dramatized" account of Mina Hubbard's Labrador expedition. Quite a spellbinding tale, but Mina comes across as a bit less than heroic, IMHO, depite the authors attempt to protray her that way. As I see it, much of the credit should go to George Elson and the other guides in much the same way as some of the credit for Edmund Hillary's Everest climb went (belatedly) to the Sherpa guide. Only much more so.
I REALLY don't want to turn this thread into a discussion of racism, but it seems that George Elson being at least part "Indian" (term used in the book) and the others Indian didn't seem to help garner credit for the role the guides played[/b]

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PostPosted: September 19th, 2006, 11:56 pm 
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Joined: April 16th, 2006, 7:37 pm
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Location: cambridge area
not really canoeing books but still good....

- the igloo dweller

- river thieves - michael crummey

- a life in the bush - roy macgregor

- green grass running water - thomas king

- paddling my own canoe - esther s keyser


just to name a few

dana


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PostPosted: September 20th, 2006, 11:44 am 
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HOOP_ wrote:
During my canoe expedition this summer, I read “Fatal Passage: The untold story of John Rae, Arctic adventurer who discovered the fate of Franklin”, by Ken McGoogan, 2001.

Basically he is a Canadian legend (a Scotsman, but I think we can adopt as one of our own), that sadly we never got to learn about in school.

It is a “must-read” and “must-have” for your library.


I couldn't agree more.


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PostPosted: September 20th, 2006, 4:46 pm 
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Location: San Antonio, Texas and Fairbanks, AK Dec 2011
idylwyld wrote:
Two of my favorites (not yet mentioned in this thread):

1. Arctic Dreams – Barry Lopez.
2. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek – Annie Dillard.

It was Lopez's description of the northern sun that first got me interested in canoeing arctic rivers. I've long been a fan of arctic exploration, reading many collections bundled up in our unheated porch as a kid in Minnesota. Lopez conveys the breathtaking surrealism of the northern landscape, and the physical challenges of living in a land with the stark realities of light and darkness, ice, animal migrations, and the history of exploration with its historical conception of the land as an adversary.

I have heard Annie Dillard read from her books several times, and she is an enigmatic figure. Compelling in her writing, but atypical in her public persona. My favorite short story of hers is "Living Like Weasels" in Teaching a Stone to Talk. She writes about a calling: to live in simple necessity and the natural instinct of reflection and spiritual longing. "I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you" (1988:16).


Hello Idylwyld,

Well I now see that there are a couple of us from Chicago and near Chicago too, nice to read you.

It was even nicer to check your www and to see the free video download of your NWT experience this summer.

Coincidentally I recognized the book cover that you had during your rain delay day...I read it this summer after picking it up at the St. Vincent DePaul resale shop on Belden. Anyhow, I agree with the quote you chose to share in your video. Very nice job of narration as well, you "brought" us along with you.

Time for me to butt out of the thread because I don't have any suggestions to add to the wilderness reading.

Gen


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PostPosted: September 20th, 2006, 6:58 pm 
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Location: Woodstock, New Brunswick Canada
Although not canoeing related, I am halfway through "Between a Rock and a Hard Place", by Aron Ralston. He is the guy who cut his own arm off when he got pinned while canyoning in Utah.
Book is laced with stories about mountaineering and extreme camping. Easy Read.


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PostPosted: September 24th, 2006, 2:51 pm 
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Location: Boise, ID
Gennaver wrote:
Hello Idylwyld,

Well I now see that there are a couple of us from Chicago and near Chicago too, nice to read you.

It was even nicer to check your www and to see the free video download of your NWT experience this summer.

Coincidentally I recognized the book cover that you had during your rain delay day...I read it this summer after picking it up at the St. Vincent DePaul resale shop on Belden. Anyhow, I agree with the quote you chose to share in your video.

Thank you for the compliments. The book was titled "The Feast of Love: A Novel" by Charles Baxter ... and my journal contains several quotes from the book. "the unexpected is always upon us" is indeed a good thing to keep in mind.

I also took along another book that I highly recommend.

- '"The Orders of the Dreamed': George Nelson on Cree and Northern Ojibwa Religion and Myth, 1823". Jennifer S.H. Brown and Robert Brightman (eds.).

It's a compilation of George Nelson's fur trade journals from his time at Lac La Ronge in 1823. Nelson was an astute observer of Cree social life and religious practice, and his journal is a compelling first hand account (particularly of the dream life and mythology of the Cree). From the Introduction: his text provides "a sampling of his confrontations with the interpretive dilemmas in his own mind (a mingling of voices: ethnographer, primitivist, christian), and more broadly, those of the period in which he lived." Brightman (one of the editors) has several other books on a similar theme of Cree religious thought and practice, and I also recommend Richard Preston's "Cree Narrative: Expressing the Personal Meaning of Events." To some extent, they all rely on Nelson for his careful and perceptive account. They are also a joy to read on a trip in the boreal forest (or the barrens).


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PostPosted: September 24th, 2006, 4:13 pm 
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Location: San Antonio, Texas and Fairbanks, AK Dec 2011
[quote="idylwyld]

...
I also took along another book that I highly recommend.

- '"The Orders of the Dreamed': George Nelson on Cree and Northern Ojibwa Religion and Myth, 1823". Jennifer S.H. Brown and Robert Brightman (eds.).

It's a compilation of George Nelson's fur trade journals from his time at Lac La Ronge in 1823. Nelson was an astute observer of Cree social life and religious practice, and his journal is a compelling first hand account (particularly of the dream life and mythology of the Cree). From the Introduction: his text provides "a sampling of his confrontations with the interpretive dilemmas in his own mind (a mingling of voices: ethnographer, primitivist, christian), and more broadly, those of the period in which he lived." Brightman (one of the editors) has several other books on a similar theme of Cree religious thought and practice, and I also recommend Richard Preston's "Cree Narrative: Expressing the Personal Meaning of Events." To some extent, they all rely on Nelson for his careful and perceptive account. They are also a joy to read on a trip in the boreal forest (or the barrens).[/quote]

Ed,

G'Chi Miigwetch for the suggestions, much.

Gen


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PostPosted: September 24th, 2006, 7:21 pm 
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This was my read from last summer and though it was a larger paperback than I would normally haul along, I was glad to have it with me. When I finished, my partner, Czar, borrowed it and it is still making the rounds.

Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen

-Jester

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PostPosted: October 19th, 2006, 8:28 am 
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Location: The Gateway to Woodland Caribou
Time to resurect this thread. Mainly becasue Rob managed to read another book. :D

The Cabin by Hap Wilson

It is almost an autobiographical story of Hap from him as a baby norrowly escaping death when he wasa baby in a pram on the families back porch in Toronto to his days as a Ranger in Temagami and beyond. The book revolves around the cabins he has built and lived in. From the elaborate fort Hap and his buddy built in the woods of Stouffville to the secret cabin he built high up on a ridge in Temagami on Lake Wapahoo.

It tells of a fire started by two guys from Elk Lake in an effort to destroy Haps Cabin and the forest of Lady Evelyn Park becasue of the mill closing some 50 km nortth of the park.

For those of you that met Hap this past fall at Lake Obabika or for those that have ever thought about walking away from it all and build your own private cabin in the woods away from the traps of modern society you should really give this a read. What a fascinating life this guy has led.

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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2006, 11:42 am 
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Doesn't have to be fiction, does it?

Kevin Callan's books. All of 'em.

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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2006, 1:06 pm 
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Naw, part fiction like Kevin's books is OK too. :)

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