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Canoeing Quotes

"What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature."
~ Pierre Elliott Trudeau

"…perhaps our grandsons, having never seen a wild river, will never miss the chance to set a canoe in singing waters…I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in."
~ Aldo Leopold, cofounder of The Wilderness Society, quotation from A Sand County Almanac



"A canoe trip in 1839 convinced Thoreau that he should not pursue a schoolteacher's career but should instead aim to become established as a poet of nature."
~Age of the Sage

"In 1842, Thoreau's brother John became ill with lockjaw, the result of a small untreated wound. John died in Henry's arms...Upon returning home in December of 1843, Thoreau began to write an account of canoe trip he had taken with John in 1839. That book would become A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, combining poetry, historical background, and philosophical reflections with the narrative of the trip. Realizing he needed fewer distractions in order to concentrate on his writing, Thoreau decided to simplify his life by building and living in a cabin by the banks of Walden Pond, about a mile and a half from the center of Concord."
~ Grade Saver

"I sailed up a river with a pleasant wind,
New lands, new people, and new thoughts to find;
Many fair reaches and headlands appeared,
And many dangers were there to be feared;
But when I remember where I have been,
And the fair landscapes that I have seen,
Thou seemest the only permanent shore,
The cape never rounded, nor wandered o'er."
~ Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

"And when I must leave the great river,
O bury me close to its wave,
And let my canoe and my paddle
Be the only mark over my grave!"
~Traditional Folk Song

"I went along to iron out the wrinkles in my soul."
~ Ormond Solandt, When asked why he went on a 4 week, 500 mile expedition down the Churchill River in Northern Saskatchewan.

"There is one thing I should warn you about before you decide to get serious about canoeing. You must consider the possibility of becoming totally and incurably hooked on it."
~ Bill Mason, Path of the Paddle

"I remember my very first canoe trip. I was terrified. We were venturing out into what seemed to be uncharted territory, perhaps never to be seen again. Every aspect of it was intimidating … but especially the idea that somehow our survival depended on us doing stuff and doing it together and doing it right. Of course, steadily, terror gave way to triumph, and I returned with an indescribable feeling of achievement."
~ Michael Eisner

"Love many, trust a few, and always paddle your own canoe."
~ Anonymous

"Originality is unexplored territory. You get there by carrying a canoe. You can't take a taxi."
~ Alan Alda

"The bush pilot asked the Indian how long it took him to reach his trapping cabin by canoe. "Four days" was the Indian's reply. The pilot told the Indian it would take only an hour by pontoon plane. "Why?" remarked the Indian.

"I would be loading up the canoe right now."
~ Matthew T. (?), Responding to the question, "If you were to die tomorrow, what would you do for the rest of your life?"