Connie's Reviews > Two Coots in a Canoe: An Unusual Story Of Friendship

Two Coots in a Canoe by David E. Morine
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Jan 21, 2012

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bookshelves: winter-2011, sports, nature, autobiography-memoir

Ramsay Peard asked an old college buddy, David Morine, to take a trip down the Connecticut River in a canoe. Ramsey was a former CEO who had felt bored with his life after he retired, and this trip was a "bucket list" request. They traveled 400 miles from the Canadian border to Long Island Sound, going through the states of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. They relied on the kindness of strangers for lodging and dinner every evening, mostly through contacts with environmental groups.

As they paddled, they saw the decline in the number of farmers and manufacturing plants in the region. They noticed the effects of huge dams put in by electric companies. Water quality was especially poor in Massachusetts. They also spoke to many organizers of land trusts about efforts to preserve the land along the Connecticut River. The author is the former head of land acquisition for The Nature Conservancy so this was a subject of great importance to him. They also took out time to chat up the people they met along the river, and party with their hosts in the evening.

The book started on a humorous note since neither of the guys was an expert paddler. But there was an undercurrent of friction between the two men by the end of the trip. It would be difficult for any two people who have not seen each other in many years to suddenly spend a month together. They also had quite a few rainy days on the river. The book ended on a somber note with a surprising tragedy.

I enjoyed taking this trip with them down the Connecticut River as an armchair traveler. This book would be of special interest to people who live or vacation in New England who are familiar with the locations along the river.

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