So I’m adding a new one to my Life List. Yes adding more but not checking any off. Fine. Perhaps I’ll just go and make my Life List into my home page as a way of shaming, no, reminding myself of the shit I’ve got to get done before I kick the bucket. If it grows faster than it shrinks I guess I’ll just have to live forever, but that only works if I’m removing items – that’s how perpetual motion works see? Otherwise its just sitting there and that’s no life either. But back to the matter at hand. The addition.

I want to learn how to raft, or canoe, or just generally get around in some floating thing that doesn’t involve my legs dangling in the water. When you think about it that’s how the explorers did it all. Only dimwits like Lewis and Clarke went it on foot. Now talk to Sir Alexander Mackenzie if you want to learn a thing or two about exploring a continent. Or have a chit chat with R.M. Patterson who did some pretty amazing canoeing himself up the mighty Nahanni, but take his claims of being the first white man to see Victoria Falls with a grain of salt – I’ve read his diaries. But the fact remains that boats are the way to go for adventuring and exploring, not 4x4s or ultralights or whatever other gas guzzling mechanation you can imagine. So, in the spring I shall look it up, find it out and get my ass into a canoe, and probably fall out of it once or thrice.

Be that as it may Montreal is the home of the Voyageurs and so what more appropriate place to make a start? How fun it will be to travel from A to B, not by asphalt and petroleum, but over water, under sunlight and by the sweat of my brow. I can already think of a lovely river that runs a good chunk of the way between Alberta and Nevada for that annual pilgrimage of mine…

As much as I love the city and the multi-coloured swirl of sensation – people, lights, music, machinery – there’s also something sacred about being on the trail, in the cleft of a giant canyon or gorge and just floating along. No machinery, no traffic, no electric lights, just you and that impressive world.

Besides. River guides charge way too much for what they provide. A sanitized and standardized “adventure” for common yuppie consumption. A real adventurer has no clue what’s behind that bend in the river – and he probably packs a gun.

Well there we go. And to bring it back to the commercial, the market and monetization that makes everything and everyone real and worthwhile –

I can’t call myself a Hardcore Camera Commando if I don’t know how to float a damn boat.


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