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More Isolation Reading

Discussion in 'Books, Videos, and the Like' started by Dan Miller, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Just finished Canoe and Canvas: Life at the Encampments of the American Canoe Association, 1880-1910. A good read, especially as I have long studied the canoes of the ACA, but not so much the ACA encampments themselves.
  2. Shari Gnolek

    Shari Gnolek Have dog, will paddle

    This may be a paddling-related stretch but I am reading "Eager: the Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter" by Ben Goldfarb.

    It won numerous non-fiction writing awards and I would highly recommend it. It's well-researched, easy to read, and humorous at times. It's been interesting to learn about the love/hate relationship humans have with beavers, and how profoundly they changed the North American landscape.

    As a paddler, I have benefited from the handiwork of beavers and enjoy watching them swim along as I paddle so it has been interesting to learn more about them. That said, I will still curse them when dragging my canoe over their dams!

    If you end up reading it, let me know what you think!
    Rob Stevens likes this.
  3. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I just finished it too. This book evolved from a PhD in history. It is very critically analytical re morality, race, gender, etc. I sent the author some info on Assembly so she can compare this historic event to our contemporary one.
  4. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    The beavers in my area don't build dams unless the water level in the river is pretty low, so what they're doing is creating a pool-drop-pool-drop sequence, out of some long, muddy "canoe hikes." It works for me!

    The exceptions to this are some spots where they've put dams across places where flood plains drain into the river, thus keeping the flood waters at bay a bit longer. Two of these locations are great spots to go looking for migrating waterfowl, and are only accessible by canoe, or I suppose kayak.

    Not quite a canoe book, but a good river running read, is "A Canyon Voyage," by Frederick Dellenbaugh. The author was a crew member for John Wesley Powell's 2nd descent of the Green and Colorado Rivers, through the Canyon Country. Their boats look more like ADK Guideboats, and were rowed, not paddled, but they were all wood. The multiple descriptions of lining down hard rapids haven't gotten too redundant yet, and I'm about halfway through it. There's a lot of descriptions of survey-type work they were doing, as well. Pine pitch was collected on the way, and used for repairs...
    Shari Gnolek likes this.
  5. Shari Gnolek

    Shari Gnolek Have dog, will paddle

    I'll have to check it out! I recently purchased (but haven't yet read) "The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Grand Canyon" by Kevin Fedarko. It describes a 1983 Dory ride down the flood-level waters of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. It will be interesting to read both books and compare the ~100-year apart adventures. :)

    They talk about exactly this in "Eager" and how protecting communities from flooding and some at-risk waterfowl, frogs, etc. often comes down to protecting and promoting beavers.
  6. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Well, now I gotta read "Eager..."!
  7. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    "Eager" arrived Thursday, and I'm about 60% of the way through it. Fun read! I asked a couple of academic (Humboldt State U, North Cali Coast) Environmental Engineer friends about beavers and fisheries, and they are currently setting up to study the use of human-built "faux" beaver ponds, and how they impact fisheries. They weren't aware of this book, but are expecting it to arrive soon...

    Meanwhile, we got drenched with 3+ inches of rain this week, and the rivers are all in flood. I'm doing a Sandhill Crane survey in the upstream reaches tomorrow (Sunday)... no idea what we'll find...
    Shari Gnolek likes this.
  8. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Finally finished Eager...". A fun read! Definitely gives me an increased understanding of the role beavers play in the ecology of my area. Thanks for the suggestion!
    Shari Gnolek likes this.

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