Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bill Mason: Patron Saint of Canoeing.

Any person who refers to themselves a paddler has learned some of their skills from Bill Mason. Often referred to as the "Patron Saint of Canoeing", he had done more for bringing the knowledge and joy paddling to the masses then anyone other person has. Along with canoeing, film making, writing, and being a fine artist, he was just as talked about for raising environmental issues. Born April 21, 1929 in Winnipeg, Bill enjoyed the water from a very early age, building his first boat at the ripe age of 12. Working as a canoe guide and camp counselor for Manitoba Pioneer Camp in the mid 50's and an animator in the late 50's Bill when met and married Joyce, his beloved wife and soul mate. They would later have two children Paul, and Rebecca, both are still very active in the art and paddle sport community. Bill made 17 well known films. The three that I know best is "Path of the paddle", a series of films that show the viewer methods of paddling in flat water as well as white water. "Song of the paddle" is a beautiful film showing Bill and his lovely Family on a canoe trip. My favorite part of this film is the conversation Bill and Becky have regarding his Pancakes. Camp pancakes just don't turn out pretty like at home!. The last one that I am have seen multiple time is "Waterwalker", a film showcasing Bill on a solo trip around Lake Superior area. Bill Also wrote a "Path of the Paddle" book which is a companion piece to the film of the same name, also he wrote "Song of the Paddle" which goes into detail the knowledge of wilderness camping. I remember being 5 or 6 and my Father borrowing the reel film version of Bills movies from the Library and watching them projected on the living room wall. Then Later in life having to ask "what were those camping movies" then finding them on VHS. He was a Traditionalist, being out in the bush / water from thaw to freeze over. Always in plaid with his Woods Pack and Bakers tent, which a lot of people now refer to as the "Bill Mason" tent. His red Prospector Cedar Canvas Canoe is at the Peterborough Canoe Museum for all to see. And I will say they when I went to look at his canoe, it gave me goose bumps. The energy in that Canoe is something that one can truly feel. Bill passed away Oct 1988. I would have loved to share a story and a laugh with Bill, however watching the legacy in film and print of this great man is fine enough. So please pick up one of his books, and a DVD of his films, or a print of his art. All of the above can be purchased at, as well as Becky's and Paul's Artwork.

The "Bill Mason" Uniform (from Ebay and Etsy):

Filson Summer Packer Hat.

Red Bandana, Made in the USA.

Pendelton Wool Shirt

Vintage harness leather belt with brass buckle.

Levis big "E" cut off shorts.

Kodiak wool socks.

Woods Canada #200 canoe pack.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

St.Lawrence Sunday Antique Market.

Today, We went to meet my Father at the St. Lawrence Antique Market that happens every Sunday. The Hustle and bustle of collectors looking for that one item, the chit-chat of deals being struck, and always interesting characters that frequent these events. Today was a "lucky" day for me, I found a item I have been trying to find at the right price for quite a few years now. As I was looking in a display case of militaria, I saw a I.M.C.O. lighter. The usual one I see are the chromed "streamline" model. It can change from a lighter to a candle when you pull out the wick/fuel reservoir. Usually range from $20 -$40. This lighter seemed like a basic model, made out of brass, the shape though instantly recognizable. As I and inspecting the lighter the gentleman says "$10", I reply "sold". After doing a quick check on it, turns out it is one of the first models I.M.C.O made, this lighter give or take is from 1925 and the model is the I.M.C.O. "IFA" model and it works beautifully.

The second item picked up was a really nice old Bruce trail patch. It was in a bin full of door knobs. As a Halton resident the Bruce Trail goes right through Milton, and I know sections of the forest and trail like the back of my hand. The patch was $1 and will look great on my Swiss "salt and pepper" pack. It was a swell day with a great many laughs. Anyone looking for a quick fun thing to do on a Sunday morning should definitely check it out.

  St. Lawrence Sunday Antique Market

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Enjoying The Outdoors - Part Three.

Here are some photographs of America enjoying the outdoors. These are from my personal collection.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Winter Hike

This Sunday caught me off guard. After almost two solid days of rain, I awoke Sunday morning expecting to be a nice day and perhaps a bike ride. To my dismay, it snowed. We got about 6 - 7" of beautiful powdery snow. I threw on my clothes and headed out to the bush, I brought my camera and made this short video. The snow was sitting atop anything that would hold it and I got the pleasure of breaking trails that day. I am still learning what I can do with Imovie, and trying to keep it simple. The Song is "The Grey Eagle" by J.D. Harris.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Viberg & Red Wings Boots Factory Films

Here are a couple short films inside of the Viberg and Red wing Factories. These two companies are two of what I think to be the highest examples of men's boots.

Canadian made Viberg boots, started their harness and boots around 1930 in Shellbrook, Saskatchewan. With the depression in full swing they stacked their reputation on craftsmanship, high quality and durable goods. In 1949 with the closing of many sawmills in the area, Viberg packed up and relocated to its current home in Victoria, BC. Claiming 218 steps in each pair of boots made, they are by far the highest quality Canadian made boots on the market.

Film Produced by: Inventory Magazine.

The US's Red wing Shoes was started in 1905 by Charles Beckman. By 1915 Red wing was the primary Boot maker for the US Soldiers fighting is W.W.I. and W.W.II and producing more than 200,000 pairs a year. I really don't need to go into to much detail regarding the high quality of their footwear. Buy a pair and you will see why there are still around. There more popular work boots are the Moc toe, white sole Boots.

Their Boots are still mostly made in the USA, I came across this short film regarding the factory in which some of the boots are made. This is they kind of pride in the product we need more of, and are slowly seeing with the request for locally make dry goods.