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The Lure of Faraway Places: Reflections on Wilderness and Solitude [Paperback]

Herb Pohl , James Raffan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 27.95
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Book Description

May 11 2007

The Lure of Faraway Places is the publication canoeist Herb Pohl (1930-2006) did not live to see published. But Pohl's words and images provide a unique portrait of Canada by one who was happiest when travelling our northern waterways alone. Austrian-born Herb Pohl died at the mouth of the Michipcoten River on July 17, 2006. He is remembered as "Canada's most remarkable solo traveller."

While mourning their loss, Herb Pohl's friends found, to their surprise and delight, a manuscript of wilderness writings on his desk in his lakeside apartment in Burlington, Ontario. He had hoped one day to publish his work as a book. With help and commentary from best-selling canoe author and editor James Raffan, Natural Heritage is proud to present that book, Herb's book, The Lure of Faraway Places. "There's nothing like it in canoeing literature," says Raffan. "It's part journal, part memoir, part wilderness philosophy and part tips and tricks of the most pragmatic kind written about parts of the country most of us will never see by the most committed and ambitious solo canoeist in Canadian history."


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The Lure of Faraway Places is the publication canoeist Herb Pohl (1930-2006) did not live to see published. But Pohl's words and images provide a unique portrait of Canada by one who was happiest when travelling our northern waterways alone. Austrian-born Herb Pohl died at the mouth of the Michipcoten River on July 17, 2006. He is remembered as "Canada's most remarkable solo traveller."

While mourning their loss, Herb Pohl's friends found, to their surprise and delight, a manuscript of wilderness writings on his desk in his lakeside apartment in Burlington, Ontario. He had hoped one day to publish his work as a book. With help and commentary from best-selling canoe author and editor James Raffan, Natural Heritage is proud to present that book, Herb's book, The Lure of Faraway Places. "There's nothing like it in canoeing literature," says Raffan. "It's part journal, part memoir, part wilderness philosophy and part tips and tricks of the most pragmatic kind written about parts of the country most of us will never see by the most committed and ambitious solo canoeist in Canadian history."

About the Author

James Raffan, a much experienced writer, paddler and northern traveller, has been recognized with many honours including the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal. He is the Curator of the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, and resides in Seeleys Bay, Ontario.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I only heard of Herb Pohl after reading an article in a Canadian canoeing magazine, which mentioned the forthcoming publication of this book...I borrowed it from the library, read it through twice in a row, then went out to my local bookseller (sorry, Amazon, but this time I couldn't wait) and got a copy.
Herb's story is inspiring in so many ways: he started paddling late in his life, much in the spirit of Verlan Kruger, another legendary paddler who also was in his late 40s when he discovered what would become his life's passion. As someone who returned to paddling fairly late as well, I was glad to see that I wasn't "too late" to re-start my career of adventuring in a canoe..
However, that is where Herb's and my similarities end; while I've so far stuck to the local provincial parks and crown land, Herb immediately 'struck out for the territories" to quote Mark Twain...his journeys took him to the far edges of Canada's wilderness, into areas most of us have ever only vaguely heard of, let alone thought of visiting.

Ultimately, his journey ended in July of 2006 on Lake Superior...

I initially thought it sad that he went that way (I even initially thought he'd decided to kill himself that day, but have since discovered that not to be the case)

However, I think that his journey was meant to be that long and no longer.

Just as I think this book was meant to be discovered and published.

Enjoy and absorb...
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes me dream of another northern wilderness trip Feb. 15 2008
By Kurt Zimmermann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a compilation of Herb Pohl's trip reports from more then 20 years of traveling in Canada's North. Wonderful to read and to dream about going on similar adventures. The one question Herb doesn't touch upon is how did he convince his wife to let him do a multi-week solo trip almost every year?
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