Wannigans found on Marten River in 2002 

After losing the canoe just above Marten River Falls, space had to be made in the other canoes for the two canoe-less paddlers and their gear. Four wannigans of food were abandoned. In August, two paddlers found them where they were left.


Wannigans, August 2002


Photo: James Stone and Max Finkelstein

As Bill Seeley recalls in 2002, "We went 50 kilometres that day to make up some time lost tracking around forest fires. We chose to push past the campsite at the lower confluence of the first cut-through, and past the ensuing falls to reach Marten River Falls. The campsite sounded so idyllic in Heb's book, The Rupert That Was. But we lost the canoe in the rapids before we got there. That cost us time, but we pushed on. What a disappointment when we reached it, just as dusk faded to dark, to find that burn." 

"We had chosen the spot to leave the wannigans because it was the obvious kitchen. The soil was still charred and there was only the faintest hint of green."

"I told Matthew Wapachee and others at Nemiscau that the food was there and they said they would retrieve it in the winter."

James Stone and Max Finkelstein were retracing A. P. Low's 1885 exploration for a book they are working on. They came across the wannigans, still on the kitchen site, but empty.  

Garrett Kephart remembers that day


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