Book Review of Canoeing With the Cree

 

Canoeing With the Cree

Teenagers Undertake An Epic Journey

It is 1930 and two teenagers graduate from a Minneapolis high school. One of them, Eric Sevareid has no plans for the summer and a classmate; Walter Port talks him into joining him on a canoe trip he had been thinking about for some time. It would be canoeing from Minneapolis up the Minnesota River and Red River into Canada and to the Hudson Bay.  Walter knew enough about the plan to know there would be rivers and lakes all the way to Hudson Bay. They didn’t know a lot more about what such a journey would involve nor did they have the money or experience for such a trip.

 

Canoeing with the Cree Cover
However, as teen age boys, these details didn’t deter them. They made a list of items they thought they would need, somewhat pared down to fit their budget. The obtained a used eighteen foot square sterned canvas covered canoe for the trip. Eric, who had been the editor of the school paper, suggested they get a sponsor, maybe a paper that would print stories they would submit while they made the journey. They were turned down by some prospects but did find the Minneapolis Star interested and they were given a stipend to help them get started and with another payment if they finished the trip. And so they took off from Minneapolis on June seventeenth with worried parents waving and hoping they would return in a few days after facing the reality of what they were attempting to do. The trip up the Minnesota and Red River into Canada and Winnipeg had been mostly tedious and time consuming. They did find people along the route had been following them because of the stories being run in the Minneapolis Star. At times this became helpful when they ran into difficulties and also provided a chance to meet people who provided helpful information and also some free meals along the way. However, by the time they reached Winnipeg  they were worried because they were running behind their planned schedule and the possibility of not making it to Hudson Bay before the fall freeze up. In addition the most hazardous part of the trip lay ahead. On Lake Winnipeg they experienced ocean sized waves and winds that kept them off the lake for days making the completion of the journey before freeze up even less likely. After leaving Lake Winnipeg they faced five hundred miles of wilderness and little chance of getting help if they ran into trouble. If  the streams froze up they would have little chance of surviving with only the summer clothing they wore. Their maps were rudimentary and the possibility of becoming lost was added to their concerns. There was no GPS, no means of communicating with the outside world. They learned many of the things they needed to know by doing; such as how to maneuver the canoe through rapids that could have torn it apart.  Great story, well written by Eric Sevareid.

 

Alfred Wellnitz Published Book and Short Story Information at:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=alfred+Wellnitz&x=19&y=12

 

Free Copies of Finding the Way

Kindle users will be able to download a free copy of Finding the Way starting on May 7, 2016 through May 11, 2016.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=alfred+Wellnitz&x=19&y=12

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A moving story of an immigrant’s journey to fulfill a dream to homestead land in America and realize his potential.” —BookWire Review

“Few American immigration stories have the vast scope this novel has. The journey covers much of what was then America.” —iUniverse Review

“The characters are believable in this exciting work of adventure, love, self-discovery and hard choices.” —Deadwood Adams Museum

“Author Alfred Wellnitz has done a great job in creating a story and characters that his readers will truly care about, and will think about long after the book is done.” –Readers Review

Cover 2015

While serving in the Prussian Army during the Franco Prussian war, Karl Mueller learns about the opportunity to homestead land in America. As the son of a landless peasant family this represented a great opportunity and he decides to immigrate to America

Karl meets Heinrich Schlicter while crossing the Atlantic and with little money between them after landing in Baltimore, the two team up. They take menial jobs to pay for food and shelter and to accumulate funds needed to work their way west where land can be homesteaded.

Karl and Heinrich first move to Chicago to work in the meat packing industry where Karl strives to accumulate enough money to fund his homestead plans. They find the meat packing work and living conditions oppressive and the compensation inadequate. They move onto the north woods of Wisconsin and work as lumberjacks for two winters. After Karl finally accumulates the funds needed to fulfill his plans, Heinrich convinces Karl to join him in the 1876 Black Hill’s gold rush.

The Black Hills adventure includes deadly encounters with Indians, a lively existence in a lawless Deadwood and Karl falling in love with a mixed blood Indian woman. After two years in the Black Hills and seven years of pursuing his dream, Karl, with the woman he loves, and Heinrich set out on a four hundred mile horseback ride to homestead fertile virgin prairie near the eastern edge of the Dakota Territory.

Alfred Wellnitz Published Book and Short Story Information at:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=alfred+Wellnitz&x=19&y=12