Bear asks ever so politely,
This has been presented to Hal and Scooter in the past. It's a viable question yet one that goes to the core of what these two river travelers do. The story goes back years when another hard core paddler presented an idea. But years have a way of playing tricks on a person. The original trip was the Makenzie but that didn't happen. Besides, Scooter had already done his trip, 650 miles of Canadian Shield Wilderness, the Albany River to the James Bay, down the bay to Moosenee. Back in '75 wool was the standard clothing, fish caught was what they ate supplemented by freezed dried food, the early stuff, and Korean War leftovers. Plywood wanigans and frame packs got them through the portages. Frozen clothes in the morning was a real treat puttin' on in the water, much warmer than the air. A leftover boot at a seasonal fishing camp saw Scooter through to trips end and dolphins on the beach raised the hair on their necks, Jaws came out that year. Trips of this nature these days dig hard in the pockets of the working Joe. Hal, the father of two and Scooter, a public school employee opted for a trip closer to home, cheaper, but based more on their perception of what canoeing is really like.
....a few years later Scooter stumbles upon the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and Hal and Scooter are all over it. "We're gonna do it!" Then a certain trip comes up and the pressure is put on the duo to attend a downstream trip in Canada, sponsors and everything, and suddenly the thrill is gone. Others were dictating to us, the sods who came up with the idea, over a beverage induced fire. Later, after much thought Old Scooter gave it the old Nancy Reagan slogan, NO! Feeling the pressure of others to set their guidelines the two selfish bastards consulted the maps, the guides, the river gods and decided on a more traditional, a more back to the way things were once upon a time that pleased their passion for the river, the canoe, and their upstream battle as well as their piece of mind. To forsake the opinions of others dwelt on their minds but the goal of the river and their mode of travel overwhelmed that obstcale.
The bottom line of this story is that the duo would take a journey which
would encompass every skill of the canoe that was open to them. The
paddle, the sail, and the pole! The pole is a much negligected and
ignored form of making ones way on the water dating back to the beginnings
of water travel. There is as much skill if not more than the darksiders
need or the C-1'ers need, for to stand in an open canoe in moving water
is a task. It is so obscure a part of the river these days that it
is ignored and so little talked about that it is on the brink of extinction.
This skill is only one part of the "WHY" was asked.
Scooter and Hal