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Glimpses of a Canoe Trip (1936)

Discussion in 'Books, Videos, and the Like' started by Fitz, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    This video has been going around Facebook. I have not seen it, but thought I would share. Looks like it could help with Cabin Fever.


    mccloud and Benson Gray like this.
  2. mccloud

    mccloud "Tiger Rag" back on the tidal Potomac In Memoriam

    Interesting to watch. Have to guess it is the Gatineau River, PQ. Color film was rare and expensive in 1936, and sorry to say the colors have not remained fast. If one clicks in the circle on the top right you are redirected to Canadian Archives. I went there looking for more information, but could not find anything, including this film. TM..
  3. Pook

    Pook Chestnut Canoe fan

    Thanks for that link Fitz, i hadn't seen that before.

    Interestingly that film is by Budge Crawley, documenting one of his early canoe trips on the Gatineau River north of Ottawa.
    Why interesting? Well Bill Mason leeft Winnipeg to work with Budge Crawley in the late 50's-early 60's, before working for the National Film Board. Crawley films- with Bill Mason- did the "Wizard of Oz" cartoon series that was Saturday Morning fare for me growing up.
    I didn't realize that Budge shared Bills love of canoeing.

  4. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    What a hoot.
  5. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    A quick glimpse of the Canadian or North Woods paddling stroke at about 10:51.
  6. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Fitz, thanks for that! helped on this snowy day, always love stuff with old Chestnuts. That pointer boat was way kool. at least now i know why the tips are always banged up lol
  7. Shari Gnolek

    Shari Gnolek Have dog, will paddle

    At the risk of feeding a stereotype, one of the things that struck me about this was the clothing: White (pressed?) shirts, the fancy shoes, socks tucked into pants, the watches and jewelry.

    How did they stay so clean and dry wearing cotton? Where are all the bugs? Did they always use branches for tent poles? When did the idea of carrying gear using your head and neck (thankfully!) stop? They packed poker chips? What kind of savage eats jelly straight from a (glass) jar? Fresh eggs on a canoe trip???

    This video brings up more questions than it answers! It also provides a glimpse at more than canoeing. ;)
  8. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Shari --

    The use of a tumpline is not a lost art -- Dave Edgerly demonstrated for me its use in portaging a canoe at the 2019 Assembly:

    sm IMG_0769.JPG sm IMG_0766.JPG sm IMG_0767.JPG sm IMG_0768.JPG

    And on a trip on the Allagash,one of our guides ((Jason Pardilla, a descendant of Joe Polis, one of the Penobscott guides of H.D. Thoreau) used a tumpline to get the heavy


    Attached Files:

  9. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast


    the heavy wanigan carrying food and cooking gear for our party of six canoes:

    ss IMG_1138g.JPG ssm IMG_0727g.JPG ssm IMG_0728g.JPG ssm IMG_0729g.JPG ssmIMG_0730g.JPG

    It is an ancient and very effective way of carrying heavy, awkward loads.

    I don't consider a watch and watch band jewelry -- I always wear a watch when camping and canoing. And in 1936, cotton and/or wool were the fabrics of choice -- nylon and polyester fabrics were not in general use, and leather shoes were generally the shoes of choice -- sneakers had not taken over the world and specialized hiking boots were virtually unknown -- the closest things were caulked-soled work boots -- not really good canoe wear. And one of the advantages of canoe camping is that you can bring a few luxuries such as poker chips -- not everything has to fit into a bck-pack, and not everything has to be super light-weight. As to fresh eggs -- yes, eggs keep without refrigeration for a few days. and one is not limited to freeze drid foods -- frozen steaks and chops keep nicely for a few days, fresh bread, biscuits, and cakes are possible with a reflector oven (which is often part of the gear in the "kitchen" wanigan), and it is not unheard of to bring a bottle or three of an adult beverage. On week-long trips on the Allagash and on the West Branch of the Penobscot River, we ate very well with real food. And really, what's wrong with eatin jelly from a jar -- what's the point of wilderness canoeing/camping if you can't be a bit of a savage?
  10. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

  11. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    That looks like a state road job, one guy working and eight folks watching.
    From my experience folks doing the short trip from Telos tend to carry more gear and folks doing the run from the Greenville direction tend towards lighter loads. The NE Carry is not fun and especially not with a box loaded with heavy gear and food (unless someone else carries it for you). I've only once run into a person with a wanigan on Mud Pond Carry. He was so worn out on the other side that we ended up helping him carry some of his gear.
    I'd be nervous about using a guide associated with recollection is that he ended up lost for two days between Umbazooksus and Chamberlain.:eek:
  12. Gary

    Gary Canoe Grampa

    Thank you Fitz, I enjoyed watching the video. My Dad was friends with Budge Crawley and Bill Mason and I myself have paddled most of where this trip was, but in reverse. In the late 70's I paddled north from Lac Pemichangan up 31 mile lake then across to the Gatineau River at Gracefield PQ, and back down the river. In those days the logging companies had booms accross the river in areas to catch the logs for the pulp and paper mill. If you paddled the river and came across one of these obstructions they were obligated to pick you and your canoe up and transport you down or upstream back to open water.
    MGC likes this.
  13. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Mike -- A few photos can be misleading. Everyone on that trip pitched in with loading and unloading the canoes and making and breaking camp. There were no significant portages on the trip, but all he campsites were a bit away from the river, usually up a small bluff, so there were enough tasks for all with getting the canoes and all the gear up away from the river. Jason was by far the strongest of us, and he chose to deal with the kitchen wanigan using a tump line. There were no serious portages on that trip -- the longest (not long) was the one around Allagash falls -- carrying that wanigan on the Mud Pond carry would have been another matter.

    My wife and I made a video of that trip for Mahoosuc Guide Service which can be seen on YouYube -- < > Among the other things it shows is the many kinds of food that can be enjoyed on a canoe trip.

    Watching the old film was enjoyable -- seeing that canoe camping is not that different today -- good times enjoyed on a wilderness river with good companions.
  14. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    That looks like it was a great trip. The weather was about as good as it gets. Foul weather can turn some of those lakes into real beasts.
    It looks like you were also quite fortunate with camp sites. There are not too many sites that are well suited for large groups.
    A guide service can simplify the challenges of planning and logistics and a good meal is always appreciated
    It's been 49 years but I can still remember enjoying a piece of fresh blueberry pie at the loggers camp at Chase Dam.
    Much has changed since then.

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