Day 1 Snow Walkers’ Rendezvous

There are over twenty winter, heated tents housing the hardiest participants this weekend in Fairlee, Vermont. The event sold out again, with 100 of us in attendance.

While it sound bracing, the keen eye will note woodsmoke emitting from some stove pipes. These folks aren’t suffering, but are languishing in shirtsleeves within their
little shelters.
The program began with several large group presentations.
Elizabeth Bradfield kicked off the weekend with a gripping poetry reading. She read from Approaching Ice and held the attention of the large group with her polar imagery and genuine voice.
The highlight of the evening for me was viewing 30 minutes of “The Romance of the Far Fur Country”, an almost forgotten silent movie produced in 1920 by the Hudson Bay Company in celebration of their 250th anniversary in North America.
From the website:
“lIn spring of 1919, two cameramen from New York City set out to film Canada’s northern wilderness. They first boarded Canada’s most famous icebreaker, the HMSNascopie, and headed from Montreal toward the Arctic Circle. For the next nine months, the film crew lugged their crates of gear by foot, canoe, dogsled and icebreaker, trudging through the Arctic, the boreal forest and up some of the fiercest rivers in the world.
The filmmakers perched their cameras in places never before filmed. By the time they completed filming at the end of December, they’d gathered 75,000 feet of film, some eight hours of viewing time. The footage was rushed to New York where editing began. By mid-April, a first draft was complete, and clocked in at four hours. A month later it was cut in half.”
This restoration project is currently in progress with the cooperation of Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, the British Film Institute / National Film and Television Archives in London, England and additional funders such as the Manitoba Arts Council.
Marcia and I retreated to our bunks to settle in for a night of vivid dreams, with images of trails and winter.

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