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  • Sunday August 8, 1999 - DAY 9

    Geoff replies to readers!

    Geoffrey Peake writes:

    PETER
BREWSTER Today the "silent partners" of this trip collaborated, and wrote down their thoughts for the daily journal. This was quite an interesting process to watch, as they threw out ideas and themes they wanted to discuss. It has been said that two people getting together to write something is like three people getting together to have a baby. In the end, though, they got it all on paper (or disk, or whatever it is). There are just a few thoughts I'd like to add.
     
     The Winisk has been a pleasant surprise for us. When you look on the topographical map, and see the river surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of miles of wet bogs and muskeg, you expect things will be less than interesting. How wrong we have been. Tonight, sitting back after an excellent meal of basmati rice, tuna, veggies, and cheese, we enjoyed another golden sunset on the river. The river continues it's relentless march to the sea, and we find ourselves in the rather unique position of having to actually spend less time on the river otherwise we'll be in Peawanuck too soon. In the past,
    BREWSTER
    Another dreamy day on the Winisk. -- Michael Peake photo
    --> to the photo gallery
    HACC trips have usually been marked with a panic-stricken dash to the end, entailing in some cases several 16 hour days to keep on schedule. This time it is just the opposite. Today we didn't hit the water until 2 PM, and got to camp about 5:30. In that time we traveled nearly 30 km. Even when we stop paddling and just drift, we still make good speed downriver. You won't hear any of us complaining about this though. I try to imagine the amount of force that is in the river, now about 600 feet wide, during spring break-up.
     
     This section of the Winisk reminds us in many ways of the Thelon River in the Northwest Territories.
     
     Tonight I finally got around to replying to the dozens of questions and comments that have accumulated in the last little while. I know I keep repeating myself on this, but I can't believe the wide variety of comments we keep receiving. You've got to remember that I am just this guy staying up late and pounding away on the keys. It's hard to believe the stuff we write gets read by so many people. Anyway, there are a few people I want to respond to directly.
     
     To Jeni Armstrong: We loved hearing about those early days in Webequie. You're exactly the kind of person that we are writing this stuff for, and your stories add a lot more depth to our own.
     
     To Kevin Scanlon: I've been out to the Brooks Peninsula myself. It's actually one of the most rugged and isolated places left on Vancouver Island--and it's a beautiful place--just be careful of the winds. In winter they can reach up to 120 knots (220 km/hr)!!!!
     
     To Nancy A: Thanks for the words of encouragement, and glad you haven't forgotten the University River. Do you remember dumping? Also, if you were on trip with us, you'd figure out why David and Tom are still single--they're much too fussy!
     
     To Linda from Keswick. Glad you can enjoy the site. You also are the kind of person who we are trying to reach with our online trip. Just be glad we can't send you the bugs over the internet!
     
     To Alan Young: Thanks for the tips on the Green Flash -- hope we can see it for ourselves.
     
     To Sheila Macleod: Go out there Sheila and get paddling!!! Go get 'em girl!! By the way, making bread is a lot easier than it sounds...
     
     The last thing I'd like to reply to is the following question from Joe: Isn't it a contradiction in a way going out there back to nature and taking the high tech stuff with you? I'm just trying to grasp the point of your trip in that perspective. Your friend Joe digitrunner@home.com
     
     Good question! The high tech stuff is a means to an end-which is to tell our story in the most compelling way possible. Since some of us are photographers and journalists, we are used to giving slide shows and articles of the trip once it's over. The point of an online trip is that it is much more immediate--you don't really know what's going to happen from day to day, there is no guaranteed outcome. Although we do sacrifice some sense of solitude to bring this hi-tech stuff along, it still does not interfere with the day-to-day working of the canoe trip (certainly not the way that filming would). Personally, I enjoy putting my thoughts to paper (or disk) at the end of each day, especially when i know so many others are enjoying it. When you look at the feedback we've received so far, you'll realize that this internet stuff allows many others to take the trip with us. It gets them thinking about things they've done, or gets them excited about things they're going to do. (to the point of making it hard to concentrate, for the weak-minded, on work - ed.)(now what was I doing? ed.) This online trip can reach people in a way no slide show or article ever could. That's why we put up with the inconvenience. It may seem like a contradiction to you, but for me the experience of our trip is deepened knowing that there are others who are vicariously enjoying it at the same time.
     
     It's another crisp, clear night again, and the northern lights are again putting on a show. Actually, it's bloody cold out, and my fingers and toes are cold, so I guess it's time to sign off again. Wish you could be here to enjoy it Joe.


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