That is a really cool story.After a down payment of $500 to get on Joe Seliga’s waiting list, I started to squirrel away money for the day my beautiful green cedar and canvas Seliga canoe was ready to come home. Nearly five years later on May 26, 1992, Joe sent me a note that she was ready to leave his shop. I had sent him a total of $1700 US dollars in three installments over the intervening years.
Joe told me he could keep it indefinitely in the attic of his canoe shop, in Ely Minnesota, until I could figure how to get it the roughy 3500 miles to my home in Alaska. Within a few months, I read in the Boundary Waters Journal that the publisher Stu & his family were coming to Fairbanks to race in the limited class sled dog races in March of 1993. I called them to see if they had room on their dog truck to bring a canoe, in exchange for bringing my canoe the could stay with us for the duration of their stay. That sounded good to them, so in late February of 1993 our Seliga canoe started the long ride to Fairbanks.
Since Jerry Stelmok’s book about the Seliga Canoe and then the death of Joe, the cost of one of his boats has jumped to the seven thousand dollar mark. I guess it was a good investment, at the time it seemed like a lavish amount to spend on a canoe.
As a side note, it was in a yellow Joe Seliga Canoe that my future wife and I remember first talking to each other. It was at a YCC Forest Service Camp in the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota. The canoe belonged to one of the camps guest speakers, he had encouraged me to take it for a cruise around Lydic Lake. I needed a bow paddler, that will be fifty years ago in this coming June.
The real question is how much did you pay per use. I bought my Trillium a couple of years ago and she has been out paddling over 300 times and many miles. I honestly tried to forget the cost but know it was over 3K. I think I better head out for a paddle to bring the average cost per paddle down.