The Journal of Canadian

Wilderness Canoeing

  SUMMER 2004










In this issue

Front Page



Labrador Tragedy

Summer Packet


From the Editor


Back page



From the Editor


I am sure many of you wondered what happened to the HACC and our Crown of a Continent trip scheduled for this past summer. The sad truth is a sudden recurrence of my wife Margaret’s breast cancer, that she had battled so valiantly last year, took her life on July 11. It was not even two weeks from diagnosis to death. Her breast cancer returned to her liver and took her very swiftly.

While there is some consolation in the fact she did not suffer a prolonged decline, as is common with that accursed disease, the speed caught us all unprepared. She was diagnosed June 30, two days after we had cancelled the trip when it became obvious the abdominal pain she had was nothing trivial.

My son Tom, 8, and I were, and are, devastated. Our world has changed dramatically. But to offer a canoeing metaphor – when times are toughest – a light so often shines through. In this case, it was the tremendous support of family, friends and neighbours, including many of you. It is all too overwhelming and keeps coming at you in waves. Time will heal, but it will take some while  before the wounds are bearable.

Margaret McNair Peake, aka Maggie, was not a wilderness canoeist but she fulfilled the role of this canoeist’s biggest fan – and critic. She was the voice behind many stories and comments in Che-Mun

and tried her best to improve our woeful typo rate while at the same time trying to rewrite everything she edited!

That is the reason that Outfit 117 is so far behind schedule and Crown of a Continent was dethroned. I will continue to produce Che-Mun and I would ask you to bear with us as we struggle to get back to some kind of normal schedule.

Another story of death takes over these pages as well. The discovery of the bodies of Daniel Pauzé and Susan Barnes, lost in Labrador last summer  came as some relief to the families of the pair of young adventurers. This story has created a great deal of interest in these pages and beyond which is why we deal with it one more time.

As for our summer of 2004, it will be remembered with great sadness and a time when both our lives changed dramatically. Tom and I did, however, return to the wonderful cottage the three of us shared last summer in Georgian Bay. Wild rocky shores and the looming presence of big water, make Georgian Bay a haven and a superb place to begin the healing.

                                                  Michael Peake

 Summer 2004         Outfit 117 

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