On an expedition he always seeks encounters with nature, of course, but also with other human beings.
Opposite: Several times our raft drifted out of the main current and became grounded on a sandbar. We would then have to tow it, sometimes for hours, until we could bring it back into the deep waters of the river’s main channel.
There is no better way to preserve meat and keep the pies away than to smoke and dry it (above left). Partridges are eaten immediately, as are rabbits and ducks (above right).
The Beaver, the Great Construction Engineer
Beavers were at the heart of the huge expansion in the fur trade at the end of the sixteenth century. Their history in some sense recapitulates the history of Canada, where beaver pelts once served as a basis for monetary exchange. The unit of currency was the pelu, equivalent to a beaver fur, and twenty-five pelus could buy a gun.