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Vanishing Trails, David and Lea Jackson

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I'm not sure if any of you have come across these two yet, David is a phot journalist, lives down the road from me in Nipigon. Him and his soon to be wife did an epic 60 day trip all the way to Hudson Bay. He made a video about their journey.

I'm not much of a video watcher when it comes to canoe tripping, but this morning I watch the entire half hour, a new record for me.

These two are the real deal, living their best lives.

 
I started watching it too, it’s amazing watching them find old portage trails via old blazes, a sawn deadfall from many years ago, ruts from years of moccasin clad feet crossing between water routes.

“Look for the signs of use, listen to the stories, and you will find a land to connect with, not the ghosts of an industrious company. To those who left only trails in the moss, miigwech.”
 
I watched the whole video, while drinking a pot it tea to keep myself hydrated on all those portages. They will have the memories of that trip to cherish the rest of their lives.
Thank you Memaquay for sharing it with us.
 
I started watching it too, it’s amazing watching them find old portage trails via old blazes, a sawn deadfall from many years ago, ruts from years of moccasin clad feet crossing between water routes.

“Look for the signs of use, listen to the stories, and you will find a land to connect with, not the ghosts of an industrious company. To those who left only trails in the moss, miigwech.”
Great video - thanks for sharing.

Searching for old portages was what we did for the 14 years of the Wabakimi Project - look for old blazes, trail tread and old cuts by ax or saw. It always amazed me that Uncle Phil could flag a likely route without finding any signs of an existing route and get to the end, turn around at the waters edge and there would be an old blaze. He had a great instinct for where the most logical route would go. Another thing we learned was often the portage landings were at the absolute last place to take out before you would be in real trouble.
 
Thanks for the thread. I'll be watching this evening while on my treadmill. I'm always searching Youtube for canoeing adventure videos.

Thanks again!
 
Laying in bed for the fourth day resting a wrenched back, this was good medicine for the soul.

Living in a part of the world where one is seldom out of sight or hearing of civilization it is good to see, if only vicariously, the type of world that has been rarely touched by the human hand.

Thank you for posting this video.
 
Outstanding video, thanks for sharing.

I wonder how many hours of video were shot to get the final 35 minutes... Great job of overcoming the challenges of keeping the equipment charged for almost 60 days in the bush, excellent cinematography and the fact that they're both still smiling at the end bodes well.

The references to "community lockdown" makes me believe that they social distanced themselves in a way that most of us only dreamed of.

Great job & Godspeed to them both.
 
Great video - thanks for sharing.

Searching for old portages was what we did for the 14 years of the Wabakimi Project - look for old blazes, trail tread and old cuts by ax or saw. It always amazed me that Uncle Phil could flag a likely route without finding any signs of an existing route and get to the end, turn around at the waters edge and there would be an old blaze. He had a great instinct for where the most logical route would go. Another thing we learned was often the portage landings were at the absolute last place to take out before you would be in real trouble.
I prefer the old hand cut blazes on the trees compared to modern bright white or blue paint.
 
Really enjoyed that. Very nice video production. Mosquitoes gave me concurrent memories and shivers ;-)
 
Great video - thanks for sharing.

Searching for old portages was what we did for the 14 years of the Wabakimi Project - look for old blazes, trail tread and old cuts by ax or saw. It always amazed me that Uncle Phil could flag a likely route without finding any signs of an existing route and get to the end, turn around at the waters edge and there would be an old blaze. He had a great instinct for where the most logical route would go. Another thing we learned was often the portage landings were at the absolute last place to take out before you would be in real trouble.
Wabakimi, Aug 2022. My son and I decided to take a shortcut on Grayson Lake and followed old blazes.
 

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Thirty-odd years ago I was on a northern river - back before the internet - no knowledge of the river except topo maps. Found no signs of humans, except for the old, old portage trails around the falls. Walking in history's footsteps.

Thanks for posting this great video of a great journey.
 
There is a piece by David Jackson in the current Adventure Journal (No. 33) covering a subsequent trip. It begins by recounting a time when, while returning from a 30 day trip, they encountered white out conditions on the highway and plowed into a scrum of wrecked vehicles, barely escaping with their lives. It then recounts the trip after the wreck, which they did from home using pretty much any means at their disposal that didn't include them driving. So portage from the house to Nipigon Bay on Lake Superior, paddle to somewhere they can get a train, paddle and portage again, train again, etc., ultimately reaching Hudson's Bay, then returning via a different route using the same means. Same canoe, which they sure seem to be getting some mileage out of.
 
These two are very impressive. Paddling into the wind with the rain in your face, portaging in a bog with 1,000 mosquitoes, paddling upstream can try anyone's patience. Not to mention searching for the ancient portage trails. This couple is very stoic and perfectly suited to the hardships of traveling in the North. They are dialed into to the beauty and vastness which overcomes all the little daily tests of one's endurance. bravo.

I cannot help but think of the early days of traveling by canoe with cute young women that were fit and never complained. Some of my best times. The last two decades I have traveled mostly with old men and dogs. Now my last canoe is about to get sold this weekend. Sixty four years of paddling. I still have a few cherished paddles and hundreds of memories. This is a great video.
 
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These two are very impressive. Paddling into the wind with the rain in your face, portaging in a bog with 1,000 mosquitoes, paddling upstream can try anyone's patience. Not to mention searching for the ancient portage trails. This couple is very stoic and perfectly suited to the hardships of traveling in the North. They are dialed into to the beauty and vastness which overcomes all the little daily tests of one's endurance. bravo.

I cannot help but think of the early days of traveling by canoe with cute young women that were fit and never complained. Some of my best times. The last two decades I have traveled mostly with old men and dogs. Now my last canoe is about to get sold this weekend. Sixty four years of paddling. I still have a few cherished paddles and hundreds of memories. This is a great video.
Are you retiring from canoe tripping? :(
 
Erica,
It sure looks like it. I still have a drift boat for river trips I used to do in a canoe. It has a 6 hp outboard for lakes.
 
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