So…last night I finally finished unpacking from my Greenland expedition. It wasn’t my fault, really. You see, I came home to a canoe in the living room. And that canoe was really a bit too big for the living room so it blocked the hallway to the gear room and laundry room. So, given the choice of stepping over the canoe while carrying gear or leaving it on the couch, I chose the later. For about four weeks now. Until last night and realizing that we are on a four week countdown to our next adventure and thus needed to clear out the old gear to make space to stage the new. And I’d learned to gently move the bow of the canoe sideways by four inches which makes is possible to step beside instead of over. The canoe that is.
So, you probably wondering what these ordinarily sane people are doing with a 16.5 foot canoe in their 14 foot living room? Well, that’s an excellent question…you see, it started when Marian went for coffee with her work pals about 14 months ago. A simple cup of coffee led us to canoe school in Ontario with Paul, Joe, Lew, George and Mike and that wonderful ten days prompted an invitation to join Paul, Joe, Lew and George on the George, River that is.
During their schooling, most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will have been assigned a book to read, “The Lure of the Labrador Wild.” This classic tells the story of Leonidas Hubbard’s attempt to travel the George River through Labrador and Quebec in 1903. As many will recall, it didn’t go so well and it frequently prompts Marian and I to say, “Remember Hubbard.” The long story short…he didn’t get enough local knowledge before setting out, the maps weren’t the greatest (or at all), and GPS wouldn’t be invented for another 80 years or so…so Leonidas and company headed up the Susan instead of the Nasapki, swamped their boats, lost bunches of food, found little wildlife to eat, and eventually Leonidas starved to death but the others got out alive to tell the tale.
And Mina Benson Hubbard, Leonidas’ wife didn’t appreciate how her husband was portrayed in Wallace’s book and the media, so she organized an expedition two years later in 1905 to complete her husband’s dream. And she’s been my hero since…and I’ve wanted to follow in her wake/paddle strokes/footsteps since first reading, “A Woman’s Way through Unknown Labrador” over twenty years ago. And (it’s the and paragraph) in four short weeks, we’ll begin driving across the island to begin our trip so I’d best get off my butt and start hacking away at the gigantic to do list…much more about the trip and Mina and company to follow in the coming weeks…welcome aboard another adventure awaits!
PS…The additional reasons for the canoe being in the living room will be revealed as well.