Paddling the Boreal Forest: Rediscovering A.P. Low

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Dundurn, 29 նոյ, 2004 թ. - 319 էջ

The boreal forest of Quebec/Labrador -- some of the most rugged and isolated land in Canada -- has captivated avid canoeists for generations. In the latter 19th and early 20th centuries, the intrepid A.P. Low of the Geological Survey of Canada spent, in total, more than ten years of his working life surveying the area. Employing Aboriginal canoemen and guides, he travelled by canoe, snowshoe and sailing vessel to map and document much of this vast territory.

Challenged by the mystique of this extraordinary Canadian, canoeists Max Finkelstein and James Stone retraced Low's routes -- by their admission, their toughest canoe trip ever! Using archival sources, oral history and personal experience, they tell the story of A.P. Low and, in the process, reveal the environmental issues now facing this much threatened Canadian wilderness.

"Once again Max Finkelstein has blessed us with his incredible ability to make history of exploration come alive. Rather than sit behind a desk and try to imagine the 'misadventures' Low would have had, he goes out and duplicates them, and along the way creates a few tales of his own. This is one great read and we should be thankful that people like Max and Jim Stone exist in this world of ours."
- Kevin Callan, well-known author and canoeist

"From A.P. Low's logs and reports, Max Finkelstein and Jim Stone give vitality to that great geological surveyor. Interspersed are vivid accounts of their own challenging canoe voyages on the same rivers and portages of the boreal forest and rock in the James Bay/Ungava/Labrador country of the Cree, Innu and Inuit. What emerges is an eloquent testimonial for the wilderness canoe trip in the Canadian experience."
Bruce W. Hodgins, Emeritus Professor of History, Trent University; President, Camp Wanapitei; Member, Advisory Council, Canadian Canoe Museum

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Interlude Gentlemen Let the Portages Begin
Interlude The Route of the Rupert Brigade
Epilogue 251
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Էջ 178 - Majesty granted unto the said company and their successors the sole trade and commerce of all those seas, straits, bays, rivers, lakes, creeks and sounds in whatsoever latitude they should be that lay within the entrance of the straits commonly called Hudson's Straits together with all the lands and territories upon the countries, coasts and confines of the seas, bays, lakes, rivers, creeks and sounds aforesaid...
Էջ 178 - Company, and their successors, the sole trade and commerce of all those seas, straits, bays, rivers, lakes, creeks and sounds, in whatsoever latitude they shall be, that lie within the entrance of the straits commonly called Hudson's Straits, together with all the lands and territories upon the countries, coasts, and confines of the seas, bays, lakes, rivers, creeks, and sounds aforesaid, that are not already actually possessed by or granted to any of our subjects, or possessed by the subjects of...
Էջ 58 - ... years. In the spring all the able-bodied men are employed in the large bark canoes that descend the Rupert River to James Bay with the hunt of the previous -winter, returning with the outfit of goods and provisions for the coming year. The canoes depart about June 20th, and return about August 20th. As nearly all the women and children accompany the large canoes in their own small craft, very few persons remain about the post during the summer, and as a consequence parties from the outside find...
Էջ 124 - ... below. After a final great wave, the pent up mass of water is shot down a very steep incline of rock for 100 feet, where it breaks into a mass of foam, and plunges into a circular basin below, the momentum acquired during the first part of the fall being sufficient to carry it well out from...
Էջ 91 - At least one half of the forest area of the interior has been totally destroyed by fire within the past twenty-five or thirty years. These fires are of annual occurrence and often burn throughout the entire summer, destroying thousands of square miles of valuable timber, to the south of the central watershed. The regions thus devastated remain barren for many years, especially towards the northern limits...
Էջ 178 - From and after the first day of September, 1880, all British Territories and Possessions in North America, not already included within the Dominion of Canada, and all Islands adjacent to any of such Territories or Possessions, shall (with the exception of the Colony of Newfoundland and its dependencies) become and be annexed to and form part of the said Dominion of Canada; and become and be subject to the laws for the time being in force in the said Dominion, in so far as such laws may be applicable...
Էջ 235 - Hee tooke the Knife and laid it upon one of the Beaver skinnes, and his Glasses and Buttons upon the other, and so gave them to the Master, who received them ; and the Savage tooke those things which the Master had given him, and put them up into his scrip againe.
Էջ 235 - ... knife, a looking-glass, and buttons, who received them thankfully, and made signs that after he had slept he would come again, which he did. When he came he brought with him a sled, which he drew after him, and upon it two deer skins and two beaver skins.
Էջ 64 - Archean country, so that the general level rises slowly and evenly towards the interior. The soil along the rivers appears to be good, and as the climate to the southward is probably favourable for the growth of cereals and root crops, nothing prevents future settlement in this region after the filling up of the north-west, except that without an extensive system of drainage, the lands remote from the rivers will be found too wet for successful farming, as it is said by the Indians, that with the...

Հեղինակի մասին (2004)

Paddler, author, environmentalist and raconteur, Max Finkelstein works as the Communications Officer for the Canadian Heritage Rivers System, Canadaâe(tm)s national program for river conservation. When he is not speaking about, writing about, or otherwise promoting Canadaâe(tm)s river heritage, Max can usually be found paddling on a river. He has paddled over 22,000 kilometres in North America, Europe, Africa and Australia. His first book, Canoeing a Continent: On the Trail of Alexander Mackenzie, which described his experiences retracing the historic first crossing of North America by a European, was released by Natural Heritage in 2002. Paddling the Boreal Forest: Rediscovering A.P. Low, an extraordinary project undertaken with his friend and paddling partner James Stone, sent the two of them to northern Quebec to retrace and experience first-hand the routes of geologist, map-maker and explorer A.P. Low.

Max and his wife, Connie Downes, live in Ottawa, where they are introducing their son, Isaac Thelon, to a life of travelling on and learning about rivers.

James Stone works as an economist at the Department of International Trade Canada. He first rediscovered A.P. Low while a student at Queenâe(tm)s University and kept the idea of writing the biography of this man in the back of his mind since then. Jim has varied northern experience, including geodetic mapping in northern Quebec and the Yukon, canoeing the Nahanni, the Hanbury/Thelon Rivers, and now the Eastmain and Rupert Rivers. On a posting in Brussels he also helped to keep the European market open for Canadian fur.

He is currently posted in Singapore, where he ignored the hot and humid weather to write about A.P. Lowâe(tm)s adventures in the north. His spouse Michaela and sons Adam and Benjamin have been highly supportive of his northern leanings and may yet go on a northern trip with him.

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