View topic - 80 day circuit trip in the Barrenlands

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2007, 10:35 pm 
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I did write a book 15 years ago about the history of this region using our trip as a storyline. I had a publisher lined up and began sending chapters, then they went out of business. I then started grad school and never got back to the book. At the pre-internet time I thought I was the only modern person travelling up there. I'm sure my text would outdated and trivial now.


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2007, 10:50 pm 
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That's the route I contemplated Paddlenorth. I got to the end of Kasba lake after about 65 days of paddling. The last 20 had been travelling upstream from Angikuni Lake via the Nowleye. My goal was to get back the the Cochrane River and Wollaston Lake where we started. However, our map of the lake country got destroyed, so we were going by our memory of the maps. We decided we had a better chance of getting to the Cochrane before freeze-up by portaging a couple days east to the Little Portrage, rather lake hopping south along the route you sketched. It was pretty exciting. Fortunately, I had been obsessed with the maps of this country for about a year so I was able to pick my way to the little partridge. Once there, we paddled to Kasmere where we had been 2.5 months earlier. We then worked our way upstream to Wollaston. I always regretted not taking the lake route, although it was snowing hard when we left Kasba and without a map we could have wandered around in that country for weeks. We were scared of getting frozen in.


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 12:03 am 
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Quote:
I'm sure my text would outdated and trivial now.


personal experiences don't get dated. sleeping island and unflinching are two cases in point.


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 9:07 am 
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Sounds a little nuts paddling around late in the season up there without maps. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to get to the little Partridge without a map. Did you have Tyrrell's notes? I went as far as annotating all of his portages on our maps (a few still exist because people from Lac Brochet go up to Ennadai through here in the winter). I've nearly finished an annoted map of the Little Partridge Route (in the spirit of Berard) with Tyrrell's route and ours, which I'll send off to Che-mun soon.

Did you read Mowat's 'Lost in the Barrens' (a kids book)? I think there's a map in there.

Was the lodge on Kasba in 1991?

I'd send off your book to another publisher.

...

David, what's 'Unflinching'?

-Andy


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 11:30 am 
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Lots of interesting stuff here!

Kasba Lodge has been there a long time - it was in operation when I passed through in 1984. Our group met (I believe) Dave Demello on Kasba that year. However, the lodge doesn't stay open that late in the fall.

"Unflinching" - was the title under which Edgar Christian's diary was published. (He was the young cousin who starved to deat with Hornby and Howard Adler(?) on the Thelon.

-Jmc


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 2:35 pm 
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the group i met that year was the 'edmonton explorers'. the leader of the group was a fellow called gleason. i remember the cheese cake at ennadia station. you dried cream cheese! and whole salads! i am sorry that the other names escape me. one of you called me afterward to see how i fared. i believe he was an electrician.

but what i was most envious of were the chairs that you sat on around the fire at night. first class!


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 2:47 pm 
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the edmonton explorers! yes i remember the cheese cake and whole salads. both reconstituted from being dried! you all were going to baker lake and i was off to arviat. i do indeed remember the cheese cake with the gramcracker crust!


Quote:
Unflinching" - was the title under which Edgar Christian's diary was published. (He was the young cousin who starved to deat with Hornby and Howard Adler(?) on the Thelon.

-Jmc


correct. the diary was a remarkable personal story.


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 3:17 pm 
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Paddlenorth,
We didn't have a choice. We found ourselves at the end of Kasba in mid-September with no maps for either route. I remembered the general direction to the Little Partridge from Tyrell's notes. Figured it was safer to head that way than to head straight south, where I originally wanted to go.

Kasba lodge was there, but closed for the winter. That was the first sign of recent people was saw since leaving Wollaston 2 months earlier.

Speaking of being there, some folks mentioned Fort Hall lake earlier in this thread. The original Fort Hall on the Thlewiaza was there when we paddled downstream in July, but it had burned down when we returned that way in September. We paddled through a very large active forest fire for about 2 weeks. Made portaging very difficult.

Jim


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 4:04 pm 
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At the risk of extreme embarrassment, a ROUGH draft of the book (more like a collection of cheesy metaphors, bad dailogue, and idealistic rants) I wrote 15 years ago can be found here:

http://earth.boisestate.edu/home/jmcnam ... namara.pdf

If you check it out, please keep in mind the following:

1. I wrote this 15 years ago when I was 26 and haven't even looked at it since.
2. At the time I thought I was the only person traveling around up there. Simply wasn't aware of all you people.
3. It is the unedited, unfiltered, uncut first draft written in about 2 months.

Tear it up if you wish.

Jim


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 5:29 pm 
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Jim,

Thanks a lot for posting your draft - I like it, but I've only skimmed through it so far.

You didn't happen to work for the old national boy scout camp in Maine? (If so, we might know some people in common.)

Contrary about what many people say about divorce boats, marriage is easier in a canoe because life is easier .

What reference's do you have for Kasmere or Casimir?

How were you tipped off to the Oberholtz trip? I was only aware after the publication of the pictures from their trip. (Maybe Olson mentions the trip in Runes of the North - I faintly remember Olson visited Nueltin Lake?)

-Andy


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 7:06 pm 
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I found a book called Traders, Trippers, Trappers by Sydney Keighly that talks all about the kasmere region. Great source of data. I'm don't remember how I heard about the Oberholtzer trip. Was it mentioned in Sleeping Island? I eventually found an article about the trip but I don't remember the magazine or the author. I'll look for it.


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 7:08 pm 
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Yes I did work at the Pitston Farm base on Seeboomook Lake, and also on Lake Matagamon. That was way back in 84-86.


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 8:40 pm 
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Location: Two Harbors, Minnesota USA
I camped at the site of old Fort Hall back in July, 1988. The site was on Thanout Lake. At that time all that remained of the "fort" was a collapsed building, surrounded by thousands of caribou and small mammal bones. The building remains were of logs and hand-hewn boards, built in a dove-tail fashion. Some old cans were also sprinkled around the area, along with some old depressions in the sandy terrain. Too bad it has since burned, but there was not much left anyway.

Gordon


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 Post subject: Wollaston to Nunavut
PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 10:39 pm 
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Location: Beauval, Sk.
In June of 2006 six of us paddled from Wollaston Lake to Hasbala Lake. Trip leader Bill Jeffery suggested the route after talking to several Dene trappers and fishing camp operators. Since we were able to drive to the put-in and split a float plane charter with the owner of Hasbala Lake Lodge to get us back to Points North this proved to be a very affordable trip into this remote corner of the Province.

Our route was Wollaston to Hatchet, upstream to Thrift Lake, portage to Williams, upstream to Bentley, portage to Merritt, portage to Obst, portage to Babiche, portage to Nordbye, upstream to Phelps, portage to MacDonald, several short carries out of the north end of MacDonald over the height of land and then downstream via Pewapisk, Hutcherson, Naosap, Pimutik, Apipuyew, portage to Dutton, eight carries from Dutton to Many Islands, on to Archibald Lake and down an unnamed river that empties into the south end of Hasbala.

We were definitely off the beaten path as we saw few signs of any previous trips and just a few abandoned trapping sites. We did, however, see shore lunch sites and hear floatplanes moving fishing camp guests around on several of the larger lakes. The 350 km over 13 days included 25 portages - the shortest about 100 meters and the longest about 500.

As Hasbala Lake drains into Kasba via a short stretch of river this route proved to be an interesting and affordable way to reach Nunavut and could easily be extended to access some of the routes mentioned in this thread.


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2007, 11:38 pm 
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for any one who is interested:

fort_hall

photos of fort hall with its roof on, kasmere's grave,caribou corral, and water route to esker carries.


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