In the Footsteps of Grey
Journey Into the Ancient
Gary & Joanie McGuffin
McClelland & Stewart, Toronto,
2002 144 pp $39.99
and Joanie McGuffin continue to produce, at an alarming
rate, quality books and In the Footsteps of Grey Owl is
This is primarily a photo
book highlighting the superb work of Gary who truly is
an artist with light. The photo reproduction is
excellent and itís all done on chlorine free paper.
This book is the result of
their 1997 online trip though the forests of northern
Ontario. It was to have been the first half of a
summer/winter pair of expeditions but family planning
seemed to get in the way of things and the couple had a
baby girl, Sila in 1999.
The trip began in Algonquin
Park and headed north of North Bay and then due west to
finish just below Sault Ste. Marie.Much of that area was
frequented by Grey Owl before he headed to Saskatchewan.
As a travel narrative it is
pretty tame, much of the area is surrounded by
settlement but Joanie blends in the past and present in
her 40 page trip summary. The rest of the book is
dedicated to Garyís great pictures accompanied by the
short passages from Grey Owl, primarily from his books
Tales of an Empty Cabin and Men of the Last Frontier.
My favourite shot is a
self-portrait of the normally shy Gary ó a beautifully
warped shadow of himself against a sun-drenched granite
ó Michael Peake
The Horizontal Everest
20 Years of Canoe Camping North
By Jerry Kobalenko
Penguin Books Canada 2002
Kobalenko likes it cold. He travels in some of the most
remote terrain Canada has to offer. And he does it well.
But he does it without the aid of a canoe.
Kobalenko is a snow
walker who has retraced his adventures on
The book is a complete
and fascinating account of these trips. Heís a
very good photographer but the reproduction of the
black and white pictures is not great.
A big surprise is his
trashing of a very well known and respected Toronto
paddler who accompanied him on one trip. He only calls
him by his first name but a lot of people will know who
it is. And Jerry isnít very kind to him. It sounded like
that trip had a special coldness all its own.
ó Michael Peake