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Canoeing with the Cree

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  712 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
In 1930, two young men bought a canoe and paddled 2,250 miles from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay. This is the tale of their amazing journey, as written by Eric Sevareid and narrated by John Farrell. The CD set retells the story that launched Sevareid's long career as a respected writer and television broadcaster for CBS.
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Holton House Audio (first published 1968)
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Geoff Wyss
Jun 03, 2010 Geoff Wyss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I were going to recommend a nature-adventure book for adults, I'd definitely recommend 'Kon-Tiki' over 'Canoeing with the Cree.' The former can get preachy at times, but it's often beautifully written (this one's not), it's coherent(this one isn't), and it's got a sense of historical context (again not true of 'Cree'). But this book is going to be perfect for my English III classes, the quarter on the theme of nature.

'Cree' isn't trying to be a nature book, which is why it's going to work we
Marie Carmean
Oct 10, 2016 Marie Carmean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot say how happy I am that this book found its way back into print! What a fascinating testament to the tenacity of youth. Two young men just out of high school decide that summer in the 1920s to canoe 2,250 miles from Minnesota to Hudson Bay. Almost everyone they meet tells them it can't be done; that they are foolish to go that far. Yet, they are determined to see this through, and see it through they do! They were likely the first men to do so....if there was a trapper in the far reachi ...more
Aug 15, 2007 Lush rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens and adults
Facing high school graduation, a couple of teens decide to spend their summer on an epic adventure prior to starting college and careers. Their goal: canoe from the Twin Cities to Hudson Bay.

Only 17 years old at the time, Eric Sevareid convinced not only his mother to let him go, but also a local newspaper to fund part of the adventure in return for periodic updates on their progress. Much of the route was uncertain, and they had to rely on the local population to help them find their way.

Jan 14, 2013 Desiree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great nonfiction read aloud! My children and I really enjoyed it.
Feb 26, 2017 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature
Canoeing with the Cree, Eric Sevareid, 1935. Mike McMahon gave this book to his daughter Gwen this Christmas, and read it himself. He thought I’d enjoy it, and lent it to me. I did enjoy it, and want to ask Gwen about it next time I see her. She reads so many book, though! I wonder what she’ll remember.

For my part, I most enjoyed the last chapters, as Sevareid and his canoeing partner, fellow teenager Walt Port, traversed the last 500 miles from Norway House just north of Lake Winnipeg, to the
Ben Vogel
Mar 24, 2017 Ben Vogel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. An honest and simple story of a true wilderness adventure that two 18 year old boys undertook roughly 90 years ago. They paddled an eighteen foot canoe from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay and lived to tell the tale. In a time when much of where they travelled is far more remote and untamed than even now, the feat is still probably nearly unimaginable to even those who would now consider themselves outdoorsman.
Josh Stefanski
Mar 07, 2017 Josh Stefanski rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about two young men fresh out of high school who decide to take a canoeing trip from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay. They are forced to navigate their 18 foot canoe, loaded down with hundreds of pounds of gear for the four month journey, through rapids and through dangerous portages. Everyone tells them they wont be able to make the long journey before the big freeze, but they meet a few encouraging people on the way that keep their spirits up. They meet a group of Cree Native American's ...more
Pris robichaud
Jan 03, 2009 Pris robichaud rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And, They Said It Couldn't Be Done, June 26, 2008
"Eric Sevareid made his name as a CBS news correspondent. But at a young age, Sevareid experienced an adventure most only dream of. Sevareid detailed the journey in his book "Canoeing with the Cree". Now to mark the 75th anniversary of Sevareid's journey, two Minnesota men plan to make the same trip." Tim Post

In 1930 two young men paddled their way from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay in Canada. A trip of 2200 miles. Everyone told them it could not be
Lisa Kearns
Jun 24, 2013 Lisa Kearns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those old books that is "rediscovered" when it's re-released, bringing it to the attention and admiration of a whole new generation. Originally published in the 1930s as newspaper columns written during the trip, this is one of those books you'll remember long after you've read it.

Eric and Walt, high school seniors, plan and dream about taking a record-setting canoe trip after they graduate. They set out with a used canoe, basic clothes and minimal food and just a few dollars betw
Dec 29, 2009 Kurt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy true wilderness adventure stories.
Always a big fan of true outdoor adventure stories, I was especially intrigued when I heard about this one because the author, who was only 17 at the time, was someone whose name was well-known to me. Eric Sevareid was a long-time reporter and anchorman for one of the national news networks during the 60's and 70's.

Canoeing with the Cree is the story of Sevareid and his friend, Walter Port, both teenagers, who decide to spend the summer of 1930 canoeing all the way from their home in Minneapolis
Oct 18, 2011 Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun, easy-to-read true story about Eric and Walter, two Minnesota boys who canoe from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay in northeastern Canada. Sevareid shares the boys experiences fighting wilderness, river currents, unexpected situations like injuries or weather as well as the people they meet and see along the way. Reading Canoeing with the Cree is a joy because you already know that Eric and Walter are going to make it to Hudson Bay, so it's more about experiencing how the journey unfolds--not to sa ...more
Aug 19, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a quiet book, a fast read. Severeid wrote it from his teen age journal, only 5 years after he and his friend did the trip. I am familiar with about two thirds of the journey of 2200 or so miles, and he really makes it sound easier than it was. I am rather astonished that a) his parents let him go at age 17, and b) they actually lived through the last 500 miles as the cold weather was coming. But what a wonderful adventure! With no modern materials or equipment, with woolen clothes and wo ...more
Sally Atwell Williams
When Eric Sevareid graduated from high school in Minnesota, he and a good friend decided to take the summer and canoe from Minneapolis, MN to Hudson Bay, via the rivers going north. Everyone told them they were crazy, but they got themselves equipped and started out. It is quite a saga - including meeting wonderful people on the way; coming way too close to death a couple of times, and being advised by the men they met in Canada, that the rivers coming into Hudson Bay would be frozen and that th ...more
May 06, 2008 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-reading
I really enjoyed this book. 2250 miles in a canoe - a great adventure and a book worth reading. I can't add much that isn't already perfectly described in this book.

At the start of the trip during a brief stay in Fargo, North Dakota, a friend and doctor named Frederick Gronvold sets the boys on their journey in a proper frame of mind. "Don't let anyone, no matter who he is, convince you that your trip can't be completed. You have youth and strength, and courage too, I hope, and with a little co
Jul 15, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of a youthful adventure back when that term meant something, and as such it is cool. It's well written enough, and steers clear of the deadly reefs of endless introspection and rhapsodic descriptions (by teenagers) of nature.

It's also cool as a time capsule. Who wouldn't love hearing people gripe about the exorbitant price of candy bars (2 for a quarter!) and gasoline (50 cents a gallon!) up North? Most striking for me was that the trip almost ended early on when Severeid's comp
Aug 06, 2011 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember Eric Sevareid as a journalist for CBS for many years. However, this book was written many years before his TV career began, in 1930, when he was only 17 years old. At that young age he and his best friend, 19 year old Walt, leave their home town of Minneapolis in a canvas canoe, with supplies they hope will last through a 2250 mile trip that will end at Hudson Bay on the Atlantic. As far as they knew, they were the first people to attempt this trip, with only their paddles and muscle ...more
Barbara Mader
Oct 03, 2013 Barbara Mader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fine book for whiling away my recent flight to Minnesota. Basically a worked-up account taken from journals and newspaper articles filed enroute, it is the true account of two young Minnesota adventurers, aged 17 and 19, who, in 1930, paddled rivers from Fort Snelling in Saint Paul, Minnesota, down to southern and western Minnesota, up to Canada, and finally reached Hudson Bay--a 2,250-mile trip. One of these young men was Eric Severeid, who became a renowned journalist and CBS news c ...more
Susan Emmet
Jul 10, 2015 Susan Emmet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Getting to the meat and bone of things...that's what I remember about Eric Sevareid as a journalist.
And that's what this cobbled-together story tells of meat and bones, and sometimes only hardtack. And hard paddling and youthful hope.
The Minneapolis Star paid Sevareid and friend Walter Port a whopping $100 to canoe from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay (oveer 2000 miles) and they did it, with some help, much pluck and youthful pride, and a heap of just plain determination. They sent their written "colu
May 07, 2012 JoDean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves a good, true adventure story.
Reading this book was a delight for many different reasons only one of which was the adventure story of two teens navigating waterways from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay during the summer of 1930. The author/adventurer, Eric, made use of references to Hugo, Browning, Ballantyne and more that made me ache for education of the past. The other thing that impressed me was the overall manners and decency of the two boys - some Polish girls from a settlement along the way happened upon Eric waiting in the ...more
Jun 15, 2013 Doug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always loved adventure books so Canoeing with the Cree was probably destined for five stars before I even opened it. Having read the book now, I can honestly say it earned every star. Of all the books in this genre that I've read, none we're written from the perspective of a 22-year-old. Sevareid's ability to weave a coherent story from the sparse journal he kept during the trip kept me spellbound. Whether it was his observations of a different canoeing stroke, relations between whites an ...more
Valeria Wicker
Inspiring; makes you want to pick up a paddle and go somewhere. This would make a great book for middle schoolers because it's not on too difficult a level and the adventure will keep their attention. It's also a very innocent coming-of-age story that any parent would approve of. An adventure memoir about a self-prescribed right-of-passage, the two boys ultimately discover their ability to survive through strength, perseverence, careful planning, and reaching out for help when needed. I decided ...more
Gail Lipe
Imagine two teenagers paddling a canoe from Minneapolis to the Hudson Bay without the benefits of GPS, cell phones or tracking systems. That is what Eric Sevareid and Walter C. Port chose to do in 1930.

The book is a well-written journal outlining their adventure. It also speaks about the time in history and people’s reactions to each other. For example, the boys gathered letters of introduction along the way, which at the time, were an important part of validating them and their mission.

My expec
Oct 28, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1930, two teenagers, just graduated from High School in Minneapolis MN, beging a 4 month, 2250 mile journey by canoe from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay. Traveling with equipment that by today's standards are antiquated and heavy, they paddle their way through many areas that were uncharted with almost no population, little communication with family, braving the changing weather, and succeeding! An incredible journey that gives us insight into what it was like in the 1930's to undertake. One of th ...more
Aug 26, 2014 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a book I first read in 2008 and read again in 2014 for a book group discussion. Although it contains a few minor errors, this was one of those accounts of two young men on an adventure. They admit they could not tell all to the financial supporters, the Minneapolis Star newspaper, not the parents because those back home would be too worried. Taking place in 1930 the communication systems were in place in Minnesota and they would be greeted and supported by many generous people along the ...more
Jun 21, 2013 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"There is a cleanliness, a breadth and sweep and strength in the north, a purifying realization that one is living close to the fundamental elements of life. Yes, the north has a spell". So wrote Eric Severeid during the epic journey that he and Walter Port took by canoe after their high school graduation in 1930. The goal was to go from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay, over 2,250 miles. The journey took them 14 weeks and was a life-changing event for both young men. This is a book I just re-read and ...more
Nov 14, 2015 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a quick, very entertaining read that captures your imagination and holds it for the entire 2250 miles of an arduous and often treacherous journey undertaken by two high school graduates in 1930. Even 85 years later, with vastly improved equipment and technology, I can't imagine two 18 year olds being able to complete such an undertaking. It certainly reads as though it were written by a high schooler, but the story is so riveting you don't really mind that at all. It actually adds to the ...more
Anne Rasset
I'm so glad I finally got around to reading this. Originally written in 1935, Canoeing with the Cree is a firsthand account of a trip from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay in 1930, possibly the first of its kind. Who hasn't thought of such an adventure, and who among us has actually followed through? These sorts of things always sound well and good, and the result is usually that the trip never happens, or fails spectacularly. In the case of Eric and Walt, the result was success--to the great surprise ...more
Nov 16, 2009 stefan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wonder a bit what this book would have been like if written by the other paddler, whose combination of excitement and cool and humility (maybe I'm projecting) seems a bit more my taste. A classic adventure tale, a document (if prejudiced) of Cree living 80 years ago in wild Canada, and sure, an impressive adventure. But every other line seems like a heroic of blindly lucky escape from certain death. The author went on to become an award-winning TV journalist and Paris-based newspaper editor. T ...more
Susan Fetterer
Aug 12, 2011 Susan Fetterer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1930 Eric Sevareid and his high school buddy embarked on a canoe trip which began at Fort Snelling on the Minnesota River and ended in Hudson Bay a full month later than anticipated. Paddling for three months was the plan but having countless delays and problems, they barely made it to their destination before the waterway iced over. Their inexperience was nearly their undoing multiple times. The Minneapolis newspaper partially funded the trip and expected periodic update on their progress... ...more
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