From September 3rd to September 18th 3 students, without prior skills other than the "Home Study Program",
built and paddled their own birchbark canoe.
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The Site - We were situated less than 100 feet from the bank of the Spokane River, just below 9 Mile Falls. This was within the area of the old N.W. Fur Company Post, The Spokane House. You could feel the history in the area. There was a family of osprey with 2 fledglings in a nest along the river.
Mayu - Jean-Philippe Mayerat (Mayu) is a wooden boat builder from Lake Geneva, Switzerland. He built his canoe and shipped it back home. Mayu brought cheer to the camp with his French-style accordian music and his Alaskan Amber brand beer.
Bill Friday - Bill is from Huntsville, Alabama. A recently retired scientist for the United States Government Bill broke away to live out a long awaited dream.
Mike Dennis and Jay - Mike, originally from New Jersey and currently living in Oregon brought along his good buddy Jay to help him. Jay flew out from northeastern Pennsylvania.
Long Hours - A labor of love, still the days were busy and long and the guys were tired at day's end.
Each Student Built His Canoe on His Own - This included bending all of his ribs free-hand. It was a long day of careful bending and concentration. To cap it off we had an evening of fiddle and accordian music around a blazing fire with bratwurst sausages and beer!
Careful Attention to Detail - High standards were enforced on each student. Each step had to be done to professional standards, not the standards of a first time effort. The result however was a professional quality canoe that each could be very proud of.
The Final Result - Like kids at Christmas the guys hit the water with their new toys. What fun!
Comradarie - Two full weeks of 10 hour days in the dirt. Go ahead and ask these guys if they are willing to sell their canoes.
Bill's Wabanaki Chiman - He named her Nakoomis and her vital stats are 14'long, 13" deep at center, with a 36" beam.
Mike's Wabanaki Chiman - I guess Mike and Jay had enough kneeling while building. His canoe has basically the same stats as Bill's but with a slightly different sheer and prow design.
Mayu's Oldstyle Canoe - You can see Mayu's skill and creativity as a boat builder in how he did the longitudinal seam. This is a style that was sometimes done with fur trade models. Oh by the way, that is one of the Park Staff in the bow.
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