Kirkland B. Alexander. We cross paths again! A year ago your work came to me in the form of "The North Shore Log - 1910"...first the original journal with photos...then the hard cover publication. Now I find you tucked into one of my Mother's numerous boxes of research as the "Pipe River Log - 1923".
Your daily journalling reveals the exploits of 8 gentlemen fishermen of some financial standing (enough to afford the $5.00 fishing license for U.S. residents visiting Canada) who board the steamer Caribou in Sault, ON and head for Pukaskwa River, Pipe River and Red Sucker Cove for a week of fishing. The reader is sometimes left to wonder at your teasing remarks that can only be de-coded as an inside joke which perhaps only a "gentleman" fisherman would be able to decipher. Other entries, however, give us a fantastic sense of the true experience in travelling the shoreline by ferry, canoe or on foot.
Your description of travelling with 80+ lumberjacks and their families and supplies destined for Pukaskwa on the Caribou leaves me wondering if anyone enjoyed this mode of transportation at all. Your journal entry describing Jack Cadotte's retelling of the Wreck of the Reliance in 1922 conjures images of a classic campfire scene complete with an Ojibway story-teller, dramatic backdrop, and the smell of pipe tobacco and driftwood smoke.
For those interested in reading Kirkland B. Alexander's Log in its entirety I will scan as a pdf and link it here soon. But in the meantime...I include his last paragraph to make us yearn for a warm summer day on the Superior shoreline.
"We miss the bouquet of pine and balsam. We prefer the noise of surf and the minor song of kas-kas-ka-nig-gee. We are positive that the wilderness is preferable to the most advanced civilization; that nature should never have been contaminated by man. We are all engulfed in that curious lethargy that one experiences in the first hours of return from the Superior country - a physical and mental reluctance to slip back into the groove, a sort of bewildernment, vague alarm and hesitation, a moment midway between sleep and awakening."
K.B.A. October 30, 1923