COMMUNITY | CONTRIBUTORS | EDITORIAL | WILD RICE | CANOESCAPES
Campfire [ COMMUNITY ] RE: TEMAGAMI THREATENED BY DEVELOPMENT
NOT IN MY PARK THEY WON’T!” From a comment posted on Canoeroots’ Facebook page by KEN CARPENTER SR.
IN THE APP AND DIGITAL EDITIONS THIS ISSUE
Read Canoeroots on your tablet or www.canoerootsmag.com/0020
and catch this bonus content:
• Two of the country’s best paddlers and instructors demonstrate a perfect dock landing (Technique, page 27).
Scott MacGregor shared his feelings on the delicate balance between access and overuse on the Dumoine River in the Summer/Fall issue of Canoeroots (www.canoerootsmag.com/0017
elicited some heartfelt responses from readers familiar with the area. “I am the owner, director and trip leader of a Pennsylvania camp called Kwonishi,” writes Ken Bailey. “I pad- dled parts of the Dumoine from 1987–2007. The free-for-all is a great concept and I hope it continues.” “Read your article with interest,”
writes renowned Dumoine River guide and outfitter, Wally Schaber, from Chelsea, Quebec. “Interesting thesis that slow erosion of wilder-
ness doesn’t matter relative to the big threats. Actually, the only
impact that we users can control is this constant erosion of the little things—campsites, using firewood, shitting in the woods improperly, wider portage trails and takeouts, bigger fireplaces, signage visible a mile away, bigger groups—it’s all a collective erosion of the river landscape that guarantees future generations will not experience the river as we did. “The big threats—dams, logging, mining and park status—will happen based on the needs and votes of interested local parties—economic movers and shakers, political king- makers, conservation groups, Natives. Dumoine lovers from afar won’t have much say, so they should do as much as possible about their impact while on the river. A park status for the Dumoine will negatively change the experience, so I vote for increased protection status and more self-discipline. Demonstrating we have good practices without regulated park status is extremely important to you, me and future generations now because it’s re- ally all we can do as individuals.”
• Video previews of the three canoe packs reviewed in this issue (In the Pack, page 30).
• A special Rapid Media TV interview with classic solo superstar Becky Mason (page 44).
Watch for this icon throughout this issue of Canoeroots for bonus digital content.
A Fireside Chat with Becky Mason
THE CANOEING LEGEND ON BEING A MASON, WORLD TRAVEL, ART AND FILMMAKING
In 2011, Becky Mason toured Europe for six weeks celebrating the release of her third film, Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing. Bridging the cultural gap with canoes was an enlightening experience 11 years in the making. Mason’s ongoing work with the global canoeing community is founded on a passion for teaching and her father’s legacy.
To watch the full interview with Becky Mason, including exclusive on-water footage, visit Canoerootsmag.com/0024
or download Canoeroots from the Apple Newsstand.
Q: It’s been 11 years since you released your last film, but this one feels like it’s built on a lifetime of experiences. Tell us more about the person in the famous red cedar-canvas prospector.
A: I’m a creative artist. That’s what I say when people ask me what I am. But there are lots of other hats that I wear in life. I’m a watercolorist. I love the creative side of canoeing, just doing all those gorgeous strokes. And, now, filmmaking—I’ve done three films. I do what makes me tick.
Q: Instructing must make you tick, then.
A: I love teaching. I love sharing knowledge with people— how to go canoeing and how to go canoeing efficiently. People’s eyes light up when they see that they can make the canoe move more efficiently without much effort.
Q: Your path is similar to your father, Bill Mason’s career in canoeing, filmmaking and fine art. Do you feel overshadowed by his legacy?
A: I miss my dad. People ask if it’s hard following in his footsteps and I say no because it’s really special. I have some characteristics of his and I’m good with that. When I was 18, I found it a bit difficult handling the whole fame thing.
SHOULDA, COULDA, WOULDA
We wanted to know, if given the choice of any- one past or present, who would you go canoe- ing with? Like the majority of our Facebook respondents, Joe O Paddles wrote, “My dad. He got me started in canoes, after all.” Chris- tian Hudon was one of many who chose Bill Mason. Along with answers like the voyageurs, Grey Owl and Sacajawea came other explorers and canoeing icons like Chris Booth’s wish to paddle with Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Charlene Bear Atkin’s choice of John Muir and Dan O’Keefe’s pick, Meriwether Lewis. Thinking outside the canoe and with their heads in the stars, Tim Karwiecki chose Darth Vader “just because of how cool it would look,” while Stephen Brown opted for James Tiberius Kirk.
Community, con’t »» www.canoerootsmag.com
ered pristine. And so, I spent six days last summer picking my way down the Dumoine with my family and Canoeroots contribu- tor Brian Shields. I wanted to see firsthand what all the fuss was about. Te Dumoine falls over 39 rapids along its
129 kilometers from its source in Machin Lake near La Verendrye Wildlife Reserve in western Quebec. Te jewel of the whitewa- ter canoeing Triple Crown, it flows south off the Canadian Shield into the Ottawa River upstream of its sister rivers, the Noire and Coulonge. All three are popular whitewater routes. Te Dumoine is considered the best. We drove two hours from our home in
ARE WE LOVING THIS RIVER TO DEATH? STORY AND PHOTOS BY SCOTT MacGREGOR
During the summer months of 2010, more people paddled down the Dumoine River than ever before. With incredibly low water levels in surrounding watersheds, vans and canoe trailers were rerouted from their local runs toward the rock garden rapids of this classic whitewater river. But low water is not the only factor con-
tributing to higher concentrations of pad- dlers on the Dumoine. Restrictions are eas- ing in school systems allowing whitewater back into outdoor curriculums. A relatively new forest road allows more convenient ac-
38 SUMMER/FALL 2011
cess. Financial and program objectives are forcing outfitters and camps to travel in larg- er groups—it’s cheaper to run one large trip than three smaller ones. And the Wild West management strategy on the Dumoine does little more than take a per-head fee to control access; so the more the merrier in their eyes. Tere is no maximum group size, no route planning and no staggered starts. Compared to rivers in surrounding provincial parks like Algonquin, the Dumoine is a free-for-all. Some worry this perfect storm is putting too much pressure on the area once consid-
the Madawaska Valley and camped our first night in Driftwood Provincial Park on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River. Tis would be our take-out where we’d leave our truck and where we’d meet Wally Schaber and the Trailhead shuttle van. Trailhead is one of three operators now running shuttles up the Dumoine. We’d planned to meet early so that we’d
be at Bridge Rapids, our put-in above Lac Benoît, for lunch. Ten it was a short paddle to Little Italy, a boot-shaped sandy spit and popular first-night campsite. Before the new access road you had two
options: paddle down from Lac Dumoine an- other 40 kilometers upstream or fly in with bush pilot and owner of Bradley Air Service, Ron Bowes in his 1951 de Havilland Beaver.
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