August 17, 1997
Questions for the canoers
Do you have a question that you'd like to ask the canoers? Do you have a comment or a message to send to them?
August 16 AnswersQ: you have not shared any comments about the night skies - are the stars magnificent? Can you see Jupiter and her moons? Best, Jim and Ellen in San Diego
A: The honest truth is that up here the sun goes down later and not many of us are up at night to see the skies, assuming it is clear. Lately the moon has been out too. The most notable night time thing I've seen lately are the northern lights which have been particularly stunning some nights--usually after I have sent my daily journal in so it's too late to mention it....
Q: I'm reading all the journal entries and was wondering when the Rev. Peter Scott was going to write something?? Ryan Smith
A: I actually asked him to do a daily journal but he declined to...perhaps he'll relent before the end.
Q: Are you sure that it was a grizzly bear that you had a close encounter with, and not a brown black bear? George River is considerably outside of grizzly bear range in Canada and if indeed you had a grizz, this would be a significant event! Vivian Banci
A: I believe if you check Brewster's jounal, he called it a black bear. Of course you are correct. there are no Grizzlies out here, and if we gave that impression we apologize. We have seen Grizzlies in the Barrenlands, and are quite familiar with the differences between the two.
Q: I would like to know how you judge the rapids that you would run or portage. what is the class of rapids that would be runable with the amout of gear and I guess the type of gear that you are taking with you to keep us all informed of trip. Do you run rapids as teams or each base there options on there equipment load and expierence?
P.S. How were the brownies baked in a frying pan?
A: I (Geoffrey) usually descends the rapids first and when neccessary, will walk ahead to scout them if I feel that is required. Once I lead down the rapid the others will usually follow--We are fairly cautious in running rapids I think our limit is really about class 3 with spraycovers, although what we did the other day was probably Grade 4. And as for the brownies, I just fried them like a pancake, only on a really slow heat with a lid on. With a double bottomed frypan the heat is distributed widely enough that burning is avoided. Not as good as an oven but one must make do.
Q: What are your thoughts about what appear to be high water marks a hundred meters or so up the Pyramid Hills. It looked to me when I was there that the sea was once at that level and I believe Bob May said that they had found Inuit sites by them dating back several thousand years.
A: We thought the same thing while on Indian House Lake--looked like a bathtub ring several hundred feet above lake level...If Bob May found stuff then that just reaffirms my theory... sort of like the raised beaches we've seen on lake superior.
Q: I have been popping in and out this summer checking your website when I arrive back home. Jaime and I are just back from bugless family paddling trip in the over-crowded Gulf Islands. I wonder which kind of bug is worse, the sailboat in the channel playing Madonna or the black flies you are dealing with. I am sure of your answer. As I have never been to Northern Quebec I wonder how Jaime and I would deal with the hordes of the northern pests you must prevail against.
I added your site to my 'favorite' hit list and have been getting more and more worried/concerned, as only the original Aug 4 entry would come up. Today I am breathing easier as I have just discovered the use of the Refresh Button. I am glad you found a new oven (thanks for the laugh), but am saddened that you are almost out of Single Malt. Your journal entries are great. I could almost feel myself drifting off to sleep, hearing the clack of keys with the faint smell of frying brownies wafting from your tent, content in the knowledge that you are taking care of the snack factor...
Rob and Jaime on the Sunny Wet Coast
A: Well Rob, before you know it, I'll be back there myself and have to go back to work again (sigh)...Remember your vitamins!!!
August 14 AnswersQ: Greetings from Montreal! What kind of Single Malt Whiskey did you take with? Hope that you recovered from the inclement weather & that you have managed to read parts of Tom Clancy's book, we have it on loan from our library. Will look forward to hearing more about your trip on CBC radio with Terry McLeod.
Greetings from The Berrys.
A: THE SCOTCH OF CHOICE IS 14 YEAR OLD OBAN...WE STILL HAVE A LITTLE BIT LEFT IF YOU'D LIKE TO TRY SOME, JUST HEAD FOR THE YELLOW TENT
Q: Hope you're having at least as much pleasure from the trip as we're getting from the website!
A: WE ARE
Q: What kind of water purification method/system are you using? Any estimate on the volume of water you're using daily?
A: WE ACTUALLY DON'T USE ANY WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEM...THE WATERS OF THE GEORGE, AND IT'S TRIBUTARY STREAMS ARE INCREDIBLY PURE AND IF THEY WERE CLOSER TO 'CIVILIZATION' SOMEONE WOULD PROBABLY BUILD A BOTTLED WATER PLANT HERE. IN FACT WE HAVE NEVER TREATED OUR WATER IN 16 YEARS OF PADDLING, ALTHOUGH WE TEND TO CHOOSE RIVERS THAT BY THEIR REMOTENESS ARE UNCONTAMINATED BY OVERUSE.
Q: Hi, I was listening to CBC this morning (they *finally* gave out the web address) and you mentioned that the weather didn't permit you to travel yesterday. What do you do when the weather is bad? Did you take some computer games with you on your laptop? -Ian Lipchak, North York, ON PS: I was canoeing in Algonquin Provincial Park last weekend.
A: BATTERY POWER IS A BIT OF A PROBLEM SO COMPUTER GAMES WOULD NOT REALLY BE FEASABLE. ALSO THEY ARE A LITTLE ANTI-SOCIAL, SO WHAT WE DID IS SETTLE DOWN TO A GAME OF EUCHRE...DAVID AND PETER BREWSTER ARE NOT CARD PLAYERS SO THAT LEAVES THE OTHER FOUR FREE TO PLAY...AT THE PRESENT MIKE AND I ARE UP ON TOM AND PETER SCOTT 7 TO 3....
Q: Are the yellow packs attached to the ends of the canoes, floatation devices, navigation aids or are they the battery rechargers? Do the same two always paddle the same canoe, or do you take turns with the 20 footer? Was it considered to take a third middle paddler to help push the 20 footer along? Great story, i liked the picture of the flower. Dean L Wainwright Mt Tremblant Quebec , an old algonquin park tripper
A: THOSE YELLOW THINGS ON THE END OF THE CANOES ARE THE LINING ROPES..YOU CAN SEE THEM IN ACTION IN ONE OF THE PICTURES, PROBABLY AROUND AUGUST 4TH OR SO
WE PADDLES WITH THE SAME PARTNERS. I PADDLE WITH TOM STEVENS, MICHAEL AND DAVID PEAKE PADDLE TOGETHER, AND THE TWO PETERS, SCOTT AND BREWSTER, ALSO PADDLE TOGETHER. OUR RULE IS THAT YOU TENT WITH SOMEONE DIFFERENT THAN YOU PADDLE WITH; OUR TENTING PARTNERS ARE DAVID AND TOM, PETER BREWSTER AND MICHAEL, AND PETER SCOTT AND MYSELF.
Q: In canoeing, as in back country skiing in Rogers Pass, are you forbidden to stop below the guide on the river? Question from Mike Corbridge, Phil, Bob, and James Macdonald.
A: YOU CAN IN FACT, STOP BELOW THE GUIDE, BUT THERE IS A 50 DOLLAR SURCHARGE ATTACHED TO IT--TOM IS PADDLING IN THE BOW, AHEAD OF THE GUIDE, SO HE IS *ALWAYS* BELOW THE GUIDE. HE NOW OWES US SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS
Q: What have you done with Peter Brewster?! We read reports he is alleged to have written, but we never see his smiling face in your photo gallery. Every day it's Peake this, and Peake that.
Brewster was last seen in an Online Onriver photo Aug. 5. Since then, nothing.
Give us an all-Brewster photo day, or we're calling in the authorities. The lack of our leader's mug in your photo gallery has left at least two of his co-workers in a spin.
Concerned Toronto Sun news deskers.
A: IN FACT, BREWSTER FLEW OUT ON AUG 5 AND SINCE THEN WE HAVE BEEN USING PHOTOSHOP AND PICTURES FROM THE LAST TRIP TO GIVE THE APPEARANCE THAT HE IS STILL HERE. WE FLEW HIM OUT BECAUSE WE COULDN'T SEE EYE-TO-EYE ON MANY ISSUES. MICHAEL NOW WRITES HIS JOURNAL.
Q: The photo of Jeoffrey Is he protecting the family jewels from black flies as the picture suggests. Great fotos and text , listen to your phone calls on CBC great stuff. Bob Power
A: NO I AM NOT, BUT WE WERE AFRAID PEOPLE WOULD THINK THAT WHEN THEY SENT IT IN. MIKE TOLD ME TO DISPLAY MY HANDS IN FRONT TO HIDE THE LARGE RIP THAT IS THERE...I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT A SEWING KIT.
Q: We have enjoyed the web site! For those of us stuck in hazy Toronto, it is a great escape! However, on behalf of everyone at Branksome Hall School, we must protest the dearth of information on our delegate, Tom Stevens. Is our "gunnel-grabber" safe and sound? Best of luck to you all on your adventure!
A: SO FAR TOM HAS BEEN ENJOYING HIMSELF, ALTHOUGH HE PREFERS THE INCREDIBLY HOT WEATHER, THE KIND WE HATE, TO THE COLD STUFF, WHICH WE LOVE. IN FACT HE UNDERGOES A RADICAL CHARACTER SHIFT IN COLD WEATHER AND IS NOT NEARLY AS POLITE--I THINK HE MISSES FLORIDA. HE HASN'T GRABBED THE GUNWALES YET, AND IN FACT WOULD LIKE TO BE IN SOME BIGGER WAVES---HE MAY GET HIS CHANCE LATER ON TODAY
Q: Peake boys and the rest of the team, From one Pro-Staffer (Maine Canoe Symposium) to another. I've been following your trip with great interest and an appropriate amount of Envy. I only have one comment - Where are your canoe poles? You have not mentioned them yet - Surely you are not using paddles exclusively !! What will Harry R think? I know you must curse that 1000 lbs of hi-tech computer/satelite gear at times but believe me, the rest of us paddlers are pleased to be able to follow you along day by day via the Net. Keep up the good work guys! Many members of Canoe New Brunswick are following your progress and we wish you well.
A: WE WOULD LOVE TO SEE HARRY TRY AND POLE UP THIS RIVER...HE WOULD PROBABLY LOVE IT TOO
Q: Here is a question for you: Wondering where your point of departure was? Also did you get to view Lake Hope as featured in the Lure and Great Heart? Caribou?
A: WE STARTED JUST OVER THE DIVIDE ON THE QUEBEC SIDE SO WE MISSED THE WORST PART OF THE TRIP. TO GO UP THE NASKAPI IS DIFFICULT NOW BECAUSE, AS YOU WOULD KNOW, IT WAS DIVERTED AS PART OF THE CHURCHILL FALLS PROJECT. I HAVE HEARD THE UPPER STRECHES ARE EASY HIKING THOUGH. ALSO LAKE MICHIKAMAU HAS BEEN ALTERED SUBSTANTIALLY BY HIGH WATER. GLAD TO HEAR YOU ENJOYED THE BOOK; IT WAS THEIR FIRST BOOK, COMLETE WILDERNESS PADDLER, THAT GAVE US THE IDEA TO COME HERE IN 1983.
Q: The web site of the George River expedition has immediately become my favourite! I am following your progress daily. The pictures of this alluring country are just great and make one yearn to go there, too! The presentation of the web site is very professionally made. Congratulations! It is admirable that you are lugging all this extra gear along and, after a hard day braving the wind and waves and bugs, still have the energy to type every evening your report to share your adventures with us, thousands of miles away. Thank you! Keep up the good work, have fun! Hans Wiedemar, Berne, Switzerland
A: GLAD TO HEAR YOU ARE ENJOYING IT ALL THE WAY FROM SWITZERLAND. FOR MY OWN PART IT IS A REAL CHALLENGE TO DO THE JOURNAL ON TOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE; THAT'S WHY PEOPLE'S FEEDBACK IS SO VALUABLE FOR US, IT GIVES US A REASON TO KEEP WRTITING AND TAKING PICTURES...
(Editor's note: To conserve their power, I am not emailing every single question/message to them at this time. A select few questions and messages are forwarded.
Q: What a great treat to get home and check you guys out online! I was told that it was a weather station on the west shore of Indian House lake. Another great place for a hike is on the east shore across from Wedge Point. About six miles est of the large sand beach on the east shore is a bluff that faces north. For the 7 years I have canoed the George there has always been an active Gryfalcon nest there. Its a beautiful hike along the esker that runs east west beside the river that flows in opposite Wedge Point. in 1995 there was also awolf den along the esker.
Say hi to Pierre Paquet at George River Lodge and Bob May at Pyramid Hills Camp.
Our expert here thinks that was a River Beauty or Willowherb not a rhododendron. We'd hate to have you misleading folks. Just returned from the Soper River, a terrific trip complete with blinding snowstorm, lots of caribou and wolves.
Great Pictures. If you need help in George River with your canoes contact Jean Guy St Aubin, he has been a great help to us if you see him give him my best as well, also Mike at the airport. Have a terrific rest of the trip.
A: HI GREG. JUST STOPPED IN TO SEE BOB MAY YESTERDAY...HE'S BEEN THERE SINCE JUNE AND SAID ONLY ONE OR TWO PARTIES HAVE BEEN THROUGH SO FAR...BEEN AWFULLY QUIET UNTIL WE SHOWED UP HE SAID. YOU ARE PROBABLY RIGHT ABOUT THAT PLANT, DAVID, OUR PLANT EXPERT, WAS NOT FULLY CONFIDENT OF HIS ASSESSMENT....
August 9 AnswersQ: Seen much in the way of wildlife - any pictures? Mike Collie
A: We have seen several caribou on the upper river and I moved a picture with a couple swimming. Yesterday, we saw a black bear, an otter and there were some wolves around camp last night but they were too far away for good pictures. The problem with doing a wilderness river that is the cameras are packed in waterproof cases securely underdeck so it takes a while to get cameras ready. Also I don't keep the digital camera out in the rain or hail (in one case). Mike Peake.>
BREAD QUESTIONS: We have had a number of inquiries regarding our bread making abilities since we forgot the Coleman Oven we usually take. Geoffrey has improvised a baking system that seems to work fairly well for bread. We use the Coleman Apex stove, which is a low burner and place the frying pan, lightly greased on top. The dough is broken into two pieces and put in the pan and a large metal bowl is placed over top. This produces good results though not as good as the oven. Geoff makes bread from scratch with yeast - and no measuring. One of his trip specialties is cinnamon buns and we will be trying them later in the trip - when we get time. between the long days, short evenings ( we are still on eastern time but sun the down goes down around 8) and typing all this stuff the days are pretty full. - M Peake
A FURTHER ANSWER TO AN EARLIER QUESTION FROM OUR FISHING EXPERT PETER BREWSTER:
Q: Are u catching fish in the river? What kinds? Are they plentyful? What tackle are u using? Munden D. Batstone
A: The George has brook trout in the headwaters, lake trout in Indian House Lake and other river expansions, a major Atlantic salmon run in late August-early September and Arctic char on the lower river.There are very specific fly-fishing regulations for the Atlantic salmon and you should get info from Quebec Tourism on that.
RE: TACKLE: For the salmon an 8 or 9 weight outfit would do; for the lake trout almost any heavy spoons with silver and red on a heavy spininng or casting outfit; and for the char, smaller spoons with a touch of orange work well.
August 8 AnswersQ: How long does it takes to upload one of the pictures, after you've gone on line?
A: Most of our pictures take between 2-4 minutes, depending on the file size. We are sending at 2400 baud so it's pretty slow. Our usual daily dispatch uses about 12 minutes of phone time.
Q: What's the name of the headwaters where you put in? Were you on the DePas river at any time? From firstname.lastname@example.org
A: We put in at the headwaters of the George, below Cabot Lake. Yesterday we did join up with the De Paswhen we entered Indian House Lake. The De Pas, as you might now, is almost equal in volume to the upper George, so the river is now much larger, as we'll find out when we leave the lake. The De Pas is the preferred access to the George for those wishing to avoid a fly-in as the headwaters are accessible by road from Schefferville
Q: Are you catching fish in the river? What kinds? Are they plentyful? What tackle are you using? Munden D. Batstone
A: We haven't done any fishing yet because our days are fairly full, and Peter Brewster, our only true fisherman, would prefer to fish when we actually have some time to spend. On our last trip we started fishing on Indian House Lake. The George is a famous Char river and we hope to be catching lots downriver...We'll update you on what hear we are using when we start using it. --
A: And in reply to a note from an Concerned aunt, Peter is having a great time--says it's the first time he's felt normal in 5 years, and we'll have him do his own journal entry really soon >
Thanks for surfing UNGAVA!
G Peake for the NTU Crew
August 7 Morning email:
Geoffrey Peake, Chief Guide of the Hide Away Canoe Club (HACC) writes:I was going to mention the baking question in yesterdays journal but the rapids sort of took over. I actually started the dough last night and will have to find time to bake it sometime today. We never did find an over so I bought a large metal mixing bowl and place a frying pan directly on the stove, covering it with the bowl to keep the heat in. It's not as good as the oven but it worked surprisingly well...the guys actually said they prefered the bread this way because it had a thicker crust. Have to flip it half way through to get even cooking though...maybe we'll get a shot of it tonight.
the wind has really come up here...looks like a storm might be coming in so we've got to go...talk to you later