Friday, September 04, 2015

Patron Saint of Canadian travel by water

Just reading Stephen Hume's fascinating book Simon Fraser: In Search of Modern British Columbia. Among the interesting details that make this book so fascinating are facts about the fur trade in North America. When Fraser set out from Montreal and Lachine on his journey west, the end of the first day's easy paddle was a tiny community called Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. This place is at the narrows of the Saint Lawrence river where canoes turn west to travel up the Ottawa river. There was a small, windowless stone church dedicated to Saint Anne, described by Hume as the patroness of the Canadians in all their travels by water.
Nice to know we paddlers have a patron saint.
Paddlers looking for a good read will enjoy a little armchair paddling with Hume's book in hand! He describes in detail the birchbark canoes of First Nations and voyageurs, and their river routes. The history of travel by water in Canada is described with as much immediacy as Hume's own times on the rivers and lakes.

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