Pike's Portage: Stories of a Distinguished Place

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Morten Asfeldt, Bob Henderson
Dundurn, Jan 11, 2010 - Sports & Recreation - 328 pages
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"Pike’s Portage plays a very special role in the landscape of Canada’s Far North and its human history. It is both an ancient gateway and the funnel for early travel from the boreal forest of the Mackenzie River watershed to the vast open spaces of the subarctic taiga, better known as the "Barren Lands" of Canada.

"This book is a rich and wonderful comopendium of stories about this area and the early white explorers, the Dene guides, the adventurers, the trappers, the misguided wanderers (like John Hornby) as well as the modern-day canoeists who passed this way. For the reader, it provides an absorbing escape into the past and the endless solitude of the northern wilderness." – George Luste, wilderness canoeist, physics professor (University of Toronto), and founder-organizer of the annual Wilderness Canoeing Symposium.

"So why do people come to this place, this Pike’s Portage in particular? The call of landscape is potent and these word portraits collected here offer up some of those who have answered. Both subject and writer reveal the complexities of human perception. Some are called by the profound power of inherited cultural meaning, while a huge dose of imagination draws others from far away. These worlds seldom truly meet, even in a place as busy as this, but whether it is homeland or wilderness, human histories are recorded in footprints, place names, and memory, and here we stand with a magnificent view, marvelling at it all." – Susan Irving, Curatorial Assistant, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, NWT


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Guy Blanchet A Northern Surveyor on Pikes Portage
John Hornby An Uncommon Man
The Letter
Helge Ingstad Inspiration for a Life ofAdventure in the Land of Feast and Famine
On the Trail to the Present
Gus DAoust Living a Dream on the Barrens
Roger Catling The Last Wolf Hunter in Reliance
North of Reliance

The Denesoline Where Are All Their Stories?
On the Trail
Warburton Pike No Ordinary Shooting Expedition
George Back An Unsung Arctic Explorer
Anderson and Stewart The Byways to the Barrens
Ernest Thompson Seton On the Portage
Buffalo Jones Gods Work But Whose God?
JW Tyrrell The Man Who Named Pikes Portage
On the Trail in the Early 1900s
The Beaulieu Clan Unlettered People
Thaidene Nene The Land of the Ancestors
Selected Bibliography
About the Contributors
About the Editors
By the Same Author

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About the author (2010)

Morten Asfeldt has travelled extensively in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut on personal canoe, hiking and dogsled adventures, as a commercial canoe and raft guide, and with students as part of his teaching at the University of Alberta's Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta. Morten has published in academic journals and magazines, and has contributed a chapter to Nature First (Toronto: Natural Heritage Books-Dundurn Press, 2007). In addition, Mortn's photographs from the North appear in a number of books, magazines, brochures, and websites. Morten lives in Camrose with his wife, Krystal, and their two children, Jasper and Kaisa.

Bob Henderson has taught outdoor education at McMaster for twenty-eight years, often sharing stories on the trail involving characters and events related in this book. Bob is the author of Every Trail has a Story: Heritage Travel in Canada (Toronto: Natural Heritage Books-Dundurn Press, 2005) and co-editor with Nils Vikander of Nature First: Outdoor Life in Friluftsliv Way (Toronto: Natural Heritage Books-Dundurn Press 2007). Bob lives in Uxbridge, Ontario.

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