Quetico
Credit: Kevin Callan

I have less grey hair and a cooking pot floats around Northwestern Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park looking for me—but the film Wilderness Quest is worth a watch during the holidays.

I put the film on my YouTube channel this week. Sorry to all the paddlers who bought the DVD when it was released back in 2012. I just ran out of my supply, so I figured it was time to place it online for everyone. To anyone who doesn’t own a copy—Merry Christmas.

The story behind the film is quite intriguing. In 2007, filmmaker Kip Slidell and I were hired by the Friends of Quetico to produce a film on the park. We spent two summers paddling the interior of Quetico and interviewing paddlers we met, asking them the ultimate question: “Does wilderness still exist?”

All that we interviewed said “yes.” It was a very positive experience. However, during the trip, due to long days and whisky-influence nights, we decided to also film a cooking pot we named “Potsie.” The idea was that I forgot the pot on shore when I headed out on the trip and it spent the entire time trying to catch up on me. We did not intend to place it the final project. Kip and I thought we’d just have fun along the way. It was kind of like a bad knockoff of Bill Mason’s Paddle-to-the-Sea.

The Friends of Quetico never did raise the money to complete the film. Kip went to work on other projects. That’s what professional filmmakers do. But being just a canoeist, I couldn’t resist finishing what we started. I gained the rights of the film, spent four years learning to edit, and released it in 2012—with Potsie included.

I had a few calls from broadcasters asking about it. It didn’t go any further than that, however. No one could grasp the cooking pot concept. I thought my explanation was simple enough. I included the pot in because I could. Makes sense to me.

I hope you enjoy it.

Watch the Film Here:

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