Wednesday, July 22, 2009

thoughts on the Wabakimi canoe trip

My sleep patterns are quite erratic! When i get an excited buzz, slumber is simply not an option! I played my post canoe trip concert this evening, the show was a ton of fun, and I still feel the energy despite it being nearly 7am! We cannot choose our productive hours, therefore I'd like to use these wee hours to muse about the canoe trip I was on these last couple weeks!

The vastness and remoteness of our trip was emphasized by the 18 hour drive to the town of Armstrong Ontario. A tiny community near a first nations reserve

Armstrong was our launching point, and the jumbo burger at E and J's served as the talisman that marked both the start and conclusion of our wilderness journey!

On the road to Armstrong, we viewed wildlife in abundance, wolves, moose, bears and foxes all seemed to wave as we passed... in the park, all we saw were various vicious types of flies, half a dozen uncomfortable but ultimately delicious fish, and a ton of bald eagles... who knew Canada's wilderness was home to so many of these
imperialistic emblems? Who knew large forest dwelling mammals liked to tease us by showing up only while we moved past at 100km/hr?

My companions, Adam Haller, Rob Trager and Handsome Hartland Jackson, and I turned out
to be a perfect foursome! nary a fight unfolded and many a song was sung!

Top 3 car songs (we played these tunes on
the hour, every hour to stay awake during our nonstop red eye home
1) Fashionable People (Joel Plaskett Emergency from the album Ashtray Rock)

2) Wagon Wheel (by the old crow medicine show)
3) Rolling Rolling Rolling (Joel Plaskett from "three")
I was obsessed with Joel Plaskett the whole time because I recently saw him play at mariposa and was blown away!

Rob's Ford escape had satellite radio, it kept us entertained ... as did candy

The weather in percentages:
80% rain
60% wind in our faces, 30% at our backs, 10% none to speak of
battling the headwind on the largest lakes for three days straight was a serious kick in the rear! That being said, we did have two great days sailing:

Perhaps the highlight of our trip was meeting some wonderful folk from Indiana! They were so curious about our tarp sailboat rig that they invited us over to their lodge! they'd been flown in for the week by sea plane! Since they were leaving the following day, it was necessary for us to help them finish their cold beer! Things escalated till we decided to pitch our camp next to their cabin, and we had a good ole fashioned fish fry! The meal consisted of baked beans, string beans and gravy, enough fried fish to clog an artery, mashed taters, biscuits and many
many cans of beer!

I brought out my guitalele and sang em a bunch of tunes, it was a full on hootenanny! We
about hunting, metallurgy (they turned out to be elevator/ weapons manufacturers) football, F1 racing and about life in Brazil, Indiana! More hospitable people I could not have imagined! They even inspired us to catch some fish for our own dinner on subsequent nights! Even Rob's twenty buck Canadian tire rod was proficient at catching huge fish in those plentiful "honey holes." When I'm old and fishing with my children, i shall recognize this experience as being the week that I finally "got" fishing!

Perhaps the most beautiful part of our trip was the day we reached the Kopka River!
We dropped into a picturesque gorge filled with exposed cliffs and raging waterfalls! Till this point the scenery was vast and beautiful, but not unlike other canoe trip settings like Algonquin. All of a sudden, everything escalated; the portages became more technical, beauty of this river gorge was astounding:

Another highlight for me was sitting round the fire playing music! Singing songs and canoe tripping are different sides of the same coin! Since I began leading trips at various summer camps, I've always brought my Mini ukalele/Guitar (fits right in my pack)! Every night i practiced a few songs, took stabs at writing new ones, and entertained the boys with random pickin!'

at the end of the trip, we took a couple videos of the songs I was working on! Here is "no place to fall" by the late great Townes Van Zandt:

Now we've returned to the real world, had my first show back, and sure enough, our friends from Indiana attended the show @ Czehoski's... we might even go visit them for the Indy 500

All and all, Hart, rob, adam and myself, covered 250km by boat, 3500km by car, suffered no major problems, and had an amazing time!

Next year, in The Nahanni!

As for my music career, stay tuned I've got a lot to announce!!!!

much love to you all, drop me a line asap!


Tonight's show was a huge success! thanks to the players, the viewers and the organizers! Czehoski's tuesday music never disappoints!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

GIG NIGHT (woo hoo) @ Czehoski's
678 Queen Street West, i'm on after 11pm! no cover! So excited to play

Monday, July 6, 2009

twenty minutes till we arrive in thunder bay, been driving since 7am, just had our first delirious political arguement
Stayed up all night packing, left at seven am, almost crashed on a detour in perry sound, sudbury by noon,trager says hi

Saturday, July 4, 2009

@ mariposa watching a song circle w/ luke ducet, steven page, joel plasket, jen grant! Serious!