Ancillary 6. Addenda.

Major renovations were completed in early November 2017 but I expect that warts remain.
Thanks for your patience. Allan

Ancillary 6. Addenda.

This Ancillary provides items that don’t fit elsewhere.

Item 1. Tom McCloud’s review of Pessl’s book.

BARREN GROUNDS – The Story of the Tragic Moffatt Canoe Trip.
Fred “Skip” Pessl, Dartmouth College Press (2014).
The review was posted here on 19 September 2016.

Students of canoeing in the far north of Canada have heard of the 1955 expedition lead by Art Moffatt to the Dubawnt River, a major drainage to the northwest of Hudson Bay. After 51 days on the river, following a major storm with snowfall, the group of 6 young men in 3 Chestnut wood/canvas canoes entered a long rapid in a section of river with islands partly obscuring the view. Big waves at the bottom of the rapid filled and rolled 2 canoes, the third half-filled. The four swimmers were pulled to shore, severely hypothermic, with Moffatt never awakening.

There have been previous magazine articles and one book (“A Death on The Barrens” by George Grinnell, one of the paddlers) recounting this accident, second-guessing, and often criticizing. Skip Pessl had done previous wilderness trips with Moffatt, so was the second most experienced and, de-facto, second in-charge. Because he strongly disagrees with what others have written, this book is Pessl’s contribution to ‘setting the record straight’. It consists of transcriptions of both Skip’s and Peter Francks’ day-by-day diary entries. They recorded the wildlife they saw, the rapids they ran or portaged, the food they ate, the weather and how cold and wet they were – typical of any northern trip. Skip and Peter were neither tent-mates nor canoe-mates, so where their accounts are similar, they corroborate each other, yet each has his own viewpoint. Using these texts, Pessl forcefully rebuts what others, particularly Grinnell, have written about the tragic accident and its cause. Having had nearly 60 years to ruminate, Pessl concludes the root cause was that Moffatt, and he himself, did not fully appreciate the considerable differences and greater difficulties, between their previous trips on the Albany and the much longer and further north Dubawnt.

If you are interested in the literature of far north paddling, you should have Barren Grounds on your bookshelf. It makes available at lot more first-hand information concerning the 1955 trip and the Dubawnt river, but will not stop the speculation, recrimination or second-guessing. It would be very interesting to spend a long evening around the campfire talking with Skip Pessl.

Thanks to Tom for permission to reproduce the above. The original was published in Coastal VA News, Fall 2015 issue; newsletter of the Coastal Canoeists of Virginia.

Item 2. …paved…paradise…parking lot.

Grinnell passage 1.
The expression, “paved over paradise with a parking lot”, was common at Berkeley…between 1962-1967. Creigh Moffatt reminded me that its origin probably lies with Joni Mitchell: “…paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” [Grinnell book, p 308]

Grinnell passage 2.
…part of the Creation, and paving over the rest with a parking lot. [Grinnell book, p 258]

Big Yellow Taxi, excerpt.
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot…

Comment. I don’t understand why Grinnell gives the dates 1962-1967, given that the song is stated to have been composed only in 1970.
“Big Yellow Taxi” is a song written, composed, and originally recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell in 1970, and originally released on her album “Ladies of the Canyon”.

Internal URLs.

Main text.
Appendix 1. Reality.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Appendix 4. Experience.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Ancillary 4. Distances.
Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.
Ancillary 6. Addenda.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.

With the exception of quoted material, copyright to the above belongs to Allan Jacobs.

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