Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Destination Unknown - Snoqualmie Tribal Canoe Makers

We're driving in the van. "David! Where are we going!?!?" the kids ask for the millionth time. Destination: Unknown. This time I honestly don't know, I'm just following Joe and Marcia. We drive out the back way of town, and up "Hospital Hill".

Now we're turning into a driveway, and then behind a house to a covered work area. Three men saunter out to meet us. We disembark from the van. "I'm John!" says a distinguished gentleman. "I'm Bruce" says a white-bearded man. "Jacob" says a younger, quieter, black bearded man. I think I've met Jacob before somewhere.

These are the Snoqualmie Tribal canoe makers. John shows us how they are making river canoe by carving out the woods with hand-made tools. He explains how some day they'll open it up by steaming it. Then he shows us an ocean canoe and tells us stories about sailings and gatherings and skippers.

Rachael is turning red; apparently she's allergic to cedar! She leaves the shed and stands away from all the wood, nervously kicking rocks and crossing her arms. John complains about being 6'10" but I'm pretty sure that he's actually more like 5'1" by height. I'd say 6'10" in personality and poise though. He passes around bone-carving tools and a river rocks. The weather has been nice to us all night.

Before we know it, its time for us to be getting back. Another awesome Destination Unknown. Special thanks go out to Joe and Marcia who set this one up. And to John and crew for preserving the art of canoe making.