|Rob Stevens and Roger Foster at Roger's Carlise Canoe Co (hwww.carlislecanoe.com). wood working shed. Notice a red canoe in the background.|
Ahhh, Snow. Finally back in my habitat. It was great to see the old white friend, crispy on the Canadian ground once, after so many months, I made it full circle around the globe back to North American. I'll be here for the next month with the Canadian Canoe Museum where ill be learning as much as I can about traditions from this expansive continent, particularly the birch bark canoes.
Among the most important people to this incredible journey is Rob Stevens, Board Member of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (www.wcha.org), who connections, knowledge, and constant kindness has made my first week in Canada, essentially kickin' it with Rob, quite spectacular.
|Rob Stevens and Roger Foster looking at a restored wood canvass|
Rob, a knife, canoe pack, canoe, paddle, and toboggan maker spent a generous amount of time showing me his treasures and wonderful skills. We hand crafted a few paddles, my brain nearly flooded with unforgettable information in working with wood, varnishing, and designing a good paddle that will push the canoe forward with might.
|Paddles from different parts of Canada except for an Amazonian on the bottom|
|Spokeshaving a cherry paddle, Rob's in-progress wood canvass canoe in the background.|
|My finished cherry paddle.|
Rob gave me an incredible hunting knife and taught me to make a sheath treated with bee's wax. That was between our adventures making maple syrup. Rob and Bruce Farrand every March, when the maple trees are beginning to wake up from a wintery slumber, when their water blood is beginning to run again from ground to sky, and make something utterly delicious. They go to the trees and hang buckets, dozens of them. In a perfect partnership, as the men clear and maintain the forest below, the trees fill the bucks with a bit of their sap.
|Farrand Land, Ontario, a gorgeous place to spend time|
|Bruce, Rob, and Don steaming the sap to syrup|
|A little teamwork to make harvesting easier|
|Bruce checking for the perfect consistency|
That was my introduction to Canada, a massive amount of learning, meeting good folk, and making a delicious heritage product from healthy and happy trees.
|Finished syrup from different parts of the season. Grandmother tree in the background.|