Monthly Archives: June 2021

I am a bundle of contradictions. I like the smell of a spruce campfire in the morning, the quiet lapping of water on a crescent-shaped beach, the steady leverage of my arms and back sent along the shaft of a canoe paddle, the silent trot of a dogteam in fresh snow. I like the steadfast trustworthiness of hand tools – claw hammer, rip saw, brace and auger. I like the way a sail bellies with wind, and the firm ache in my calves as I hump a load over a portage. I like to run, gulping lungfuls of clean cool air.  The movements of life, silent and direct, are beautiful.

I like too the smooth advance of the paired power levers of a 300-series DeHavilland Twin Otter, the spine-shaking thunder of two Pratt and Whitney turbine engines as they spin screaming propeller blades in full fine pitch. I like the ponderous heft of the control yoke pulled back in my lap as we start the takeoff run, the gentle nosing forward as the massive floats rise onto their steps, the glance at the torque gauges pegged on the redlines, and the temperature needles as they climb through 675 degrees Celsius.  Airspeed 60 knots. A gentle tug on the yoke.  Airborne.  Beautiful.

— Chapter 6, North of Reliance, 1994, by Dave Olesen (used by permission.)