Photos of Portage / Canoe Carry Signs

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"In the Adirondacks the French word "portage" is eschewed and "carry" is used instead, both as a verb and noun."

I find this interesting. I think in Maine this is mostly the case as well. I wonder why? Do you suppose it's because of an American cultural denial of French influence in the Northeast dating back to colonial times?

There's a similar cultural 'denial' that exists within the mountain climbing world in the UK. There, the word used for descending on a rope is the German word 'abseil'... literally, down-rope, while in France the word is 'rappel', "to recall, or bring oneself back".

I think in the UK there exists a cultural enmity against the French and French culture owing to so many wars fought between them over the centuries, hence the preference for the German term in spite of having fought two world wars against Germany in modern times!! Perhaps the use of carry vs. portage is a similar example of a cultural schism?

I doubt it had anything to do with a cultural schism, but what do I know. The thing that intrigues me is why the Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders use the word "Hut" to denote changing paddling sides, like in Canada and the US.
 
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The thing that intrigues me is why the Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders use the word "Hut" to denote changing paddling sides, like in Canada and the US.

I wasn't aware that was where the "hut" came from. Presumably we adopted it from them? It seems like a natural noise to make, basically just a grunt.

There were groups of First Nations in northern Saskatchewan who switched sides regularly but I don't ever recall anyone mentioning that either paddler called out the change in any way. Just that they'd switch every so many strokes.

Alan
 
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"In the Adirondacks the French word "portage" is eschewed and "carry" is used instead, both as a verb and noun."

I find this interesting. I think in Maine this is mostly the case as well. I wonder why? Do you suppose it's because of an American cultural denial of French influence in the Northeast dating back to colonial times?

When tripping in mixed company (i.e., with both Yanks and Canuks), it's nice that "carry" avoids the question of "PORTage" vs. "porTAGE".

France was our first ally, so that would argue we should eat the fromage and take the portage.
 
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Bowron Trip 054.JPG Bowron Trip 059.JPG Responding to PPine's comment, while it doesn't quite match Glenn's sign above the Raquette Falls, I've always liked this one at the Isaac Falls in Bowron Provincial Park in BC.

I think I know why it is signed that way...

Bruce
 
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Just a quick aside...the remains of that canoe on the sign at Raquette Falls is from a Cortland College physical education class. The gents in the canoe decided they didn't want to carry the boat over and figured they would just paddle though instead. Obviously, that didn't work. While I wasn't there to witness it, I've been on the teaching staff of the recreation department's outdoor education staff since the mid-70s and every time we approach that Falls, we use that canoe as a teachable moment.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

snapper
 
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Thunderhouse-Warning-Sign.jpg?resize=491%2C369.jpg


This port is NOT optional.. Before it went up some tried to get around on the right as old topos were mismarked
 
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Yup
1st time MDB and I went to St Regis pond we completely missed that sign, paddling instead to the other corner and carrying (not portaging) to Green Pond and then to St Regis
Oops! That was in 1978 and for four days we saw not another soul!
 
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Yup
1st time MDB and I went to St Regis pond we completely missed that sign, paddling instead to the other corner and carrying (not portaging) to Green Pond and then to St Regis
Oops! That was in 1978 and for four days we saw not another soul!

Awesome - was up there in September and stayed on St Regis Pond. Maybe we can get on the water together next summer?
 
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It's called a port up here. I've put a few hundred signs up, started with these heavy duty ones...
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Then moved to the yellow (that's my buddy, Chainsaw Rob)
y6pFyPG.jpg


Now we use cheap plastic ones, think we put up around 20 last year.
 
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Most of the portages where I go have no markings. It is wilderness parks or Crown land. You have to look for openings in the bush along the shore or use your map to find the right bay to look in. On rivers it is a lot easier but you have to pay attention and it helps to map recce first so you know what is coming. There are occasionally blazes on the trees or a bit of orange tape if you are lucky. I taped one entire route and it was all gone the following year. Possibly some over zealous leave no tracer.

This is old school travel and not for novices. Charlie Simard told us to look for oak trees that mark the portages and campsites here. That works about 80% of the time. So maybe those are the signs ?
 
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