As a long ago paddler in BWCA/Quetico, the term used for dragging a canoe (e.g.) up a creek that had too little depth to paddle was “soo” (or “sault”—I never saw the word written). Now I understand the term is lining. Has anyone run into “soo”?
I think of lining as going downstream through a rapid that you don’t want to run. I never knew a term for pulling a boat upstream - until now.
So when I worked for the boyscouts in maine we called it “frogging”. Not only could you use a rope on the ends (lining, taking your boat for a walk) to assist dragging but sometimes when conditions were just right you could sit on the very ends of the canoe and push off shallow spots and rocks with your legs and feet. I used this strategy to get up Caucmogomic Stream a few times and down hay brook and loon brooks. Frogging did seem to work better going upstream where your speed was slow. Many adolescent jokes were made about protecting the “family jewels” sitting on the breast plates of canoes. In reality, what was needed was good river shoes- there’s a reason why I now spend money on astral brewers. I’ve fallen on my ass too many times wearing chuck taylors. Never encountered the term “soo” for lining until now. Perhaps it is a regional term. I never met a portage I’ve liked. I’ll drag in the river, line, or run some sketchy technical stuff to avoid or cut down on the portage when that is an option.
AFAIK, a ‘Sault’ is a French word for rapids (and may come from an older word meaning ‘jump’). “Soo” is sort of the pronunciation of the word. So, the ‘Sault’ is what you are dragging or lining your canoe up.
Sault Saint Marie would be the Rapids of the Saint Marie River.
We call it “draggage” with a French accent.
As fas as I know, towing a canoe upstream with lines is called ‘tracking’,
often involved with wading…
Yes there is tracking and lining.
In the Upper Midwest and southern Canada the glaciers created the deranged drainages. Lots of the lakes are connected by little creeks. Draggage works fine going up or down stream. You just have to get used to going over some beaver dams.
I was lining a loaded canoe in the BWCA with my brother near the Ontario border with Minn. After a couple of days we were talking with a French accent and calling each other Jacques and Phillipe. All at once my brother disappeared. Only his hat was floating on the surface. He calmly climbed out of the water looked at me and said “Stepped in a hole.”