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Sunday, 28 August 2011


Last week I received a pleasant surprise in the mail. There in my mail box at school were two parcels from Canada, sent to me by Kay of (An unfitties guide to adventurous travel). These two parcels contained  two books, written by her father Gordon Davies, about rivers in British Columbia and his fishing experiences in them. Kay had let me know, a while back, that she had sent me something by mail. If she had sent me the winning lottery ticket I could not have been happier. Thank you so much Kay!

When I was thinking of photographing the books for this post, I decided to use a map of Canada as background. While I'm reading the book I refer to the map to see if I can find the rivers that the writer is writing about. Strangely enough, I have always had a fascination with this part of the world, seems so different to Africa, but just as wild.

The author on the cover of the first book. A quote from the chapter "The Unspoiled Excahamsiks. pp17-18
 ...."A few miles upstream, beyond any well-beaten trails, where I know I am probably being observed by grizzlies, black bears, mountain goats, wolves and eagles, where the green mountains and the white glaciers look down on me from the heavens, I am dwarfed and humbled by God's superb creations.

Strangely, I find that I'm aware of even the smallest of natures wonders - an aquatic bug, a single tiny wild flower, a glossy leaf drifting on the waters surface. And - most surprisingly - I feel a oneness with the natural untamed world. I am content."

Title page of the book. Rivers are indeed living things, but for the most part people treat them as if they are sewers, and sewers they become. (and dead)

Each chapter is headed by a quote, one of my favourites is the following;
"If people would concentrate on the really important things in life, there would be a shortage of fishing rods." Doug Larson.

Or the following;
"A river takes the mind out-of-doors, and there is no house like God's out-of-doors" -Stevenson.
I can only say amen to both.

The names of the rivers themselves sound like poetry,  names like Exchamsiks, Kispiox, Babine, Skeena, and Kitsumkallum, too many to mention here.

Not only are the rivers, the fish and fishing in them described, but also interesting bits of history of the area, legends, the indigenous people, early hunters, trappers, explorers  and the first settlers.

(I'm having second thoughts on that winning lottery ticket, if I had it I could experience those magnificent rivers first hand).


Desiree said...

What a priceless gift, Phillip! The author writes so beautifully, from the snippets you have shared with us today! I can imagine the pleasure you are deriving from exploring his world with your map and through his eloquent words!

Gorges Smythe said...

Very nice of Kay; I know you'll enjoy them.

Kay L. Davies said...

This makes me so happy, Phillip. I can tell you are reading Dad's books as he wanted them to be read. So much of each chapter is Dad talking about how that particular river makes him feel, and he had a strong spiritual relationship with many of them.
I hope you do get the opportunity to visit British Columbia some day. You would love it. There are about 800 rivers in the province and there will always be some unspoilt ones.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Jo said...

Hi Phil, what a sweetie Kay is and what a wonderful gift! I love the quotes (especially the one about the shortage of fishing rods!), I also love the way you refer to maps when reading about places. Enjoy your books. Blessings and love, Jo PS how on earth does one pronounce those names?

Joyful said...

How wonderful that Kay sent you those books! If you ever get to British Columbia (BC as we call it), you would not regret it. I've just done a few posts about travelling through BC, more to come including one of fishermen on the mighty Fraser River. The last one might be a few more weeks.