Saturday, November 26, 2011

Whiskey Jack

I’m in the middle of reading the Nahanni Journals. They’re really interesting and reveal a whole different way of life. Patterson talks about many of the flora and fauna he encounters, and one that attracted my attention, being totally unfamiliar with it, was the Whiskey Jack. It is also called the Gray Jay, and favors higher latitudes and altitudes---Russia, Norway, Tibet and Canada, but also dips down into the American Rockies.

Of course the Whiskey Jack was also adopted as the name of a beautiful canoe paddle made in Montana. They are handcrafted, and they say, like snowflakes, no two are exactly the same.

Credit: WhiskeyJack Paddles

Another thing that attracted my attention was when Patterson was coming back south out of the Northwest Territories in 1927. He had made it to Fort Nelson worn and tattered, and after a huge meal had spread his bedroll out on the floor of the Hudson Bay dinning room. They had a wireless, and I would never have guessed that he’d be laying there in the wilds of British Columbia listening to dance music coming from Atlantic City. Too cool!

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