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Historic Waterways

Reuben Gold Thwaites

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Book Overview: 

This volume is the record of six hundred miles of canoeing experiences on historic waterways in Wisconsin and Illinois during the summer of 1887. There has been no attempt at exaggeration, to color its homely incidents, or to picture charms where none exist. It is intended to be a simple, truthful narrative of what was seen and done upon a series of novel outings through the heart of the Northwest. If it may induce others to undertake similar excursions, and thus increase the little navy of healthy and self-satisfied canoeists, the object of the publication will have been attained.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Having taken in our awning and disposed of our baggage amidships, so that nothing remained above the gunwale, W——, kneeling, took the oars astern, while I knelt in the bow with the paddle borne like a battering-ram. Pushing off into the channel we bore down on the centre of the works, which were strong and thickly-posted, with wires drawn as tight as a drum-string. Catching the lower strand midway between two posts, on the blade end of the paddle, the speed of the canoe was checked. Then, seizing that strand with my right hand, so that the thick-strewn barbs came between my fingers, I forced it up to the second strand, and held the two rigidly together, thus making a slight arch. The canoe being crowded down into the water by sheer exercise of muscle, I crouched low in the bow, at the same time forcing the canoe 52 under and forward through the arch. When half-way through, W—— was able similarly to clutch the wires, and perform the same off. . . Read More