Minneapolis to Hudson Bay, 1930

This trip was first done by a man named Eric Severeid and a friend in the summer of 1930.

Mr. Severeid wrote about the trip in his book “Canoeing with the Cree”. If you haven’t read this story, you are missing out on a great adventure.

Eric Severeid went on to an adventurous career in journalism becoming the most intelligent news commentator in the history of TV.

like a great read. Thanks for the tip. http://www.amazon.com/Canoeing-Publications-Minnesota-Historical-Society/dp/0873511522

Two More
These are two more modern accounts: “This water Goes North” by Dennis Weidemann and “Distant Fires:Duluth to Hudson Bay” by Scott Anderson.

Gear List
There once was a thread about gear lists and p-netters posted lists of various essential gear. I posted the list from Severeid’s book, and it was a stark contrast to begin with, and when you considered the scope of the trip those kids undertook, it is truly humbling to consider what yesteryear’s adventurers had in comparison to what we take today to “rough it”.


two groups did since…here’s story
A couple groups did the exact route since. Here is the blogs and photos:


and in 2008 two high school boys shatter the Severied record in 1/2 by paddling the same route in 49 days!!!


It would be easier nowdays with better equipment. Remember the other guys bought a used Old Town wood & Canvas canoe and they did “waste” some time chasing down carp for food and visiting with the locals. Also Walter was held up with an infection for over a week. Also they were sort of lost many times since the maps were poor.

The gear list
I pulled out my copy of Canoeing with the Cree and copied the gear list to a file, then I uploaded it to mobile.me.

People love Apple products, because things can be done without much knowledge or thought. But I am having a hard time because I have things, like the gear list, that I did not create with an apple product, and I just want to upload it. I have not yet figured out if I am doing this right so you can just click on it and have it show. It might ask you to download it. Might say security certificate is out of date (say okay). Tell me if you are unable to look at it so I can know I still have learning to do.


I’m reading it now.
I’m about half through the book. Sorta boring up to this point. Not much character development. Not a very empathetic trip. I would NEVER paddle the Minnesota upriver, and camping in bogs and in pastures seems less than adventuresome, just kinda idiotic. Maybe the Hayes portion of the trip will inspire me. Not really a page turner. I’m not itching to crack it open like with some stories. It does help me sleep, but then, so does the newspaper. Anyone want to buy a slightly used book?


– Last Updated: Feb-09-11 2:36 PM EST –

Ok, the last half was more interesting. I found myself wanting to know more about the nature and some of the people they only mentioned. How about the girl Walt took "swimming" at Berens River (Betty)? Or the people who threw the parties at the Canoe Club? I know it was just a journal, but a little detail would have made it read better. I give the book a 4 out of 10 possible stars. I liked Sevareid. He was one of the TV guys who was a writer and journalist before he was a broadcaster, and it seems they always did a better job reporting without bias or slant. Today's broadcast "journalists" could learn a thing or two from the old guys.

I still think Betty and Walt did a little more than swim that day.

Severeid also wrote a book “Not so Wild a Dream” which I am reading now. It covers his youth, the canoe trip, depression years, and much of World War Two. If you think the canoe trip was an adventure this book is even more as he was in near constant danger during these years. I can’t really think of a more seasoned reporter.

another book
I read “this water flows north” ( I am pretty sure that was the name anyway) About four college students who followed the Red River north into Canada and the waterways into Hudson Bay. It was a pretty good read.

Tell us a little more about the book.

it followed four college age kids in the late 70’s or early 80’s through their travels on the Red River and Canadian watershed of the Hudson Bay. It was pretty well written, they used aluminium canoes, I think a regular ol’ Grumman and a square stern Grumman on their trip. It was interesting to me mostly to see the difficulties they faced that would not even be considered nowdays with cell phones and GPS. They had the typical problems of long distance trips of the time, food and communication, but seemed to do allright.

Worth looking up I guess.

Are you thinking of the book “This Water Goes North” ?