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A New Service on Our Website: Canoe Country Encyclopedia

Thursday, April 14th, 2011
submitted by: Bob Evans

News Flash: We are announcing a new service on our website: Canoe Country Encyclopedia.
For about 35 years we have been taking pictures in Quetico and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and for nearly 20 years we have been video taping in Canoe Country. We are now adding a section to our website that will be in encyclopedic form that will use a large number of carefully edited video clips, audio segments, and photographs. We are also expanding this multimedia approach to current pages of our website. Extensive cross referenced links will help you move around our site to gain the maximum possible information.
The initial page of the Encyclopedia will be uploaded in a few days and will be the starting point. As soon as it is on line and tested, we will begin formatting it into pages for ease of reference in anticipation of its rapid growth into many hundreds of entries.
Have you ever wondered what the Ranger Cabin on Kahshahpiwi Lake looked like before it was burned? Would you like to show others what the “bathtub” in Lousia Falls looks like? When you talk to your friends about what a portage is like do they look back at you with a blank stare? Well now you can show them short clips of some of the portages you have carried your canoe and pack over.
If you have never been to Canoe Country but are contemplating a trip you can scan the encyclopedia to learn about the area. If you have made a trip or two, you can learn about other areas and skills, or show your friends and family what your trip was like. If you are a long term paddler in Canoe Country, we hope you will be able to scan through the entries to find clips or photos of that bring back wonderful Northwoods Memories.
Join us in trying out the new Northwoods Memories Canoe Country Encyclopedia. We will appreciate your suggestions and comments here on the blog about the new entry.

We Meet the Nicest People in Canoes!

Saturday, March 20th, 2010
submitted by: Bob Evans

Edwina and I just returned from Canoecopia.   I presented a short program on our three-year project to compile a complete and accurate record of all known pictograph sites in Canoe Country.  As we were driving home from Madison, we talked about how we meet the nicest people in canoes!  While that is not exactly literally what I mean, since we were not in a canoe in Madison, we do mean that canoeing and related activities have introduced us to a group of really great people.

A number of years ago we flew into Atikokan on a float plane and were met by our friends from Canoe Canada Outfitters.  They shuttled us to our hotel room.  It was July 1.  We had planned to spend the rest of the day in Atikokan walking around, visiting, shopping and generally enjoying the small town canoeing atmosphere.  We did not know that July 1 is Canadian Independence Day and businesses would be closed.  We enjoyed being around the town anyway and have gone back a number of times since.  The next day, the folks from Canoe Canada dropped us off at the French Lake entry and we began our trip back to Prairie Portage.  We  looked for the remains of old log cabins, steam boat relics on beaches, and visited the Dore Lake pictograph site.  Nearby was the sunken steam boat in shallow water.   But the best part of the trip happened in Sturgeon Narrows. (more…)

Our Canoecopia Presentation

Sunday, January 31st, 2010
submitted by: Bob Evans

We are excited that we have been notified by the Rutabaga staff that we have had our presentation proposal accepted for Canoecopia 2010.  We will be presenting at 4:30 on Saturday March 13.   

As you know, we started three years ago revisiting every pictograph site in canoe country that we have visited in the last 20 + years of paddling, and visiting the remaining known sites not visited.  Our goal was to produce a complete and accurate record of every known pictograph site in canoe country.  Out of this project has come the Northwoods Pictograph bulletin series and much more. 

As many of you also know, in the course of this study, we have been notified of some sites about which we did not know.  On visiting these we have found some are probably authentic and we also have found two to date that very probably are not authentic.  We have found images at some sites that we have not seen previously reported, often using photo analysis techniques.  We also have found some images where authenticity is not clear.  And we have corrected some long held and incorrect information on the locations of some sites.

So our proposal was to present the most interesting of the new sites visited, authentic or not.  We are also presenting some very new information about some very old and well known sites.  In the presentation we will explain some of the photo analysis techniques used to evaluate images, discover images, and make images more easily understandable.  Check out Canoecopia at  www.rutabaga.com/canoecopia

For all of you attending Canoecopia 2010, please come by our presentation.  We would love to see you.  In addition, we will be on the Canoecopia floor throughout the conference wearing easily recognizable shirts.  Please stop us to say “hi” and visit.  We are looking forward to meeting each one of you.

Island River Pictograph Site: Authentic?

Sunday, October 18th, 2009
submitted by: Bob Evans

When we were in Ely, summer of 2008, I had a conversation with Steve Piragis, owner of Piragis Northwoods Company and the Boundary Waters Catalog.  I was introducing him to our fledgling series of Northwoods Pictograph bulletins.  In the course of the conversation he asked me about the Island River Pictograph site.  During this same visit he had asked me about the South Hegman Lake Pictograph site.  His account with pictures of his trip to the South Hegman Lake site was printed in Boundary Waters News, their on-line newsletter, Fall of 2008.

In June of 2009, after a trip to Ely, I wrote Steve passing on information I had gathered based on some research and our visit to the Island River site.  In it I also included information about  the South Hegman site, and that information was included in my blog post on September 28, 2009.

In July of 2009, Steve reprinted the original article from the previous Fall and my letter to him about the two sites.  Following is the approximate text of part of that publication.  I have edited it slightly from what was published to try to clarify some of the points in my original writing.

I have several unanswered questions about this site: (more…)

South Hegman Lake Pictograph site: Authentic or not?

Monday, September 28th, 2009
submitted by: Bob Evans

When we were in Ely, summer of 2008, I had a conversation with Steve Piragis, owner of Piragis Northwoods Company and the Boundary Waters Catalog.  I was introducing him to our fledgling series of Northwoods Pictograph bulletins.  In the course of the conversation he asked me about the South Hegman Lake site and if I thought it was real.  While the North Hegman Lake site is well known and authentic, we had not heard about the South Hegman Lake site.  He had recently heard of the site and he had visited it and taken some pictures.  He offered to send me the pictures from the site and references to the site location.

His account with pictures was printed in Boundary Waters News, their on-line newsletter, Fall of 2008.  He sent me the pictures and I reviewed them.

Then in May of 2009, Edwina and I visited the South Hegman Site on an easy day trip.  During that same week in Ely, we crossed paths with Steve again when we were eating at the Chocolate Moose.  He asked me about my opinion of the Island River Site.  He wondered if the very large green and gray images were authentic.  We visited briefly about them before moving on to breakfast. (more…)

Charles Summers Northern Tier Does Not Carry Our Pictograph Bulletins.

Sunday, July 12th, 2009
submitted by: Bob Evans

For all of our readers who are associated with Boy Scout units headed to the Boundary Waters or Quetico based out of Charles Sommers, the Northern Tier Canoe Base, our Northwoods Pictograph bulletins are not currently stocked in the store there or in the outfitting department.  We wanted to let you know so that if you are traveling a route with pictograph sites, and you are interested in having your Scouts learn about pictograph sites and the related Ojibwa culture, you will need to pick up bulletins before arriving at the base.

You can order from our website, or if you want to save shipping charges, there are several outfitters close to Sommers who carry a complete stock of the bulletins.  You can check our “shop” pages or the “links” page for a list of those outfitters who stock our bulletins. (more…)

What’s in this blog?

Monday, December 1st, 2008
submitted by: Bob Evans

From the beginning of this website, we have been talking to friends, colleagues, and members of bulletin boards to decide what would make this blog helpful, interesting and consistent with memories of northwoods experiences.  This blog will evolve, but to start, we will address some of the suggestions shared with us so far.

 

The “General” category will continue for things of general interest that are non-specific and of broad application.  We will also use this section to introduce new sections of the blog, new ideas, things of timely nature, and notices about information of a new or different nature elsewhere on the site. (more…)