“Mors tells the best stories…” (pic heavy)

My son Duncan and I took a holiday to Canada this summer. The last half of our trip was full of adventure in Jasper, Banff, and Yoho National Parks. We visited Jasper Lake, Medicine Lake, Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake, Lake Louise, took a dip in Banff Upper Hot Springs, drove the Icefields Parkway, and were the typical tourists on a gondola ride to the top of the mountain. We were also expertly guided by Randy Breeuwsma to Ogre Canyon located just inside of Jasper NP.

Along the way we saw elk, moose, black bears and cubs, a grizzly bear, mountain goats (including a kid), and hands down some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Duncan also had one helluva of an off-trail adventure with dear old Dad to reach a gorge with a beautiful creek feeding into a glacier lake. Some of our 1k photos below…

View 2b

View 2a

WaterFalls

Elk 2b

Yoho

Maligne Canyon

Maligne Canyon

Maligne Canyon (selfie)

Maligne Canyon (selfie)

Late night grizzly -- the sun would set this far north, but it never got totally dark.

Late night grizzly — the sun would set this far north, but it never got totally dark.

Maligne Lake lower

Maligne Lake

Duncan along upper part of Maligne Lake

Duncan along upper part of Maligne Lake

There is a moose in there somewhere.

There is a moose in there somewhere.

Mountain Goat and kid

Mountain Goat and kid

Black Bear

Bear and cub

Duncan at a Glacier off the Icefields Parkway.

Duncan at a Glacier off the Icefields Parkway.

Lake Louise from above

Lake Louise from above

Spill area from gorge Duncan and I hiked off-trail to find.

Spill area from gorge Duncan and I hiked off-trail to find.

It rained at one point along our 3+ hour hike so we opted to put our shirts in gear in a garbage bag afterwards as it the rain felt great. What you can't see in this photo is all the charcoal war paint we had fun with. Huckahey!!!

It rained at one point along our 3+ hour hike so we opted to put our shirts and gear in a garbage bag to stay dry — the rain felt great. What you can’t see in this photo is all the charcoal war paint we had fun with. Huckahey!!!

Proud moment for Duncan as it was a strenuous hike to get here through burnt timber and some boulder hopping.

Proud moment for Duncan as it was a strenuous hike to get here through burnt timber and some serious boulder hopping.

Arriving at Ogre Canyon with Randy.

Arriving at Ogre Canyon with Randy.

Going into Ogre Canyon

Going into Ogre Canyon

Ogre Canyon

Ogre Canyon

Inside Ogre Canyon

Inside Ogre Canyon

On the trail back from Ogre Canyon. Thanks Randy!!!

On the trail back from Ogre Canyon. Thanks for everything Randy!!! They don’t come any better!

"Let me see your license and you can take this 767 for a spin."

“Let me see your license and you can take this 767 for a spin.”

With all that for a 12 year old, I somewhat expected to hear one of the fore mentioned when I asked Duncan what was his favorite part of our trip. However, and without a moment’s hesitation, his answer to my pleasant surprise came from the first half of our trip… digging rat root with Mors Kochanski.

Duncan knows how much I admire and respect Mors, Randy, Lori, and the Karamat Wilderness Ways clan. While that may have planted the seed that this was a special visit, it was Mors that kept him hanging on every word. At one point, my son must have been pondering something Mors had said as Duncan just blurted out, “Mors tells the best stories.”

Duncan trying rat root for the first time from a sliver Mors gave him. If you haven't had it before, its potent stuff!

Duncan trying rat root for the first time from a sliver Mors gave him. If you haven’t had it before, its potent stuff!

Digging rat root

Digging rat root

Mors, me and Duncan working out a big clump of rat root.

Mors, me and Duncan working out a big clump of rat root.

Always teaching...

Always teaching…

Kelly Harlton is a great teacher in his own right having first met Mors in the 6th grade. Here he is giving us a lesson on Aspen, Duncan said it tasted really good compared to the rat root.

Kelly Harlton is a great teacher in his own right having first met Mors in the 6th grade. Here he is giving us a lesson on Aspen, Duncan said it tasted really good compared to the rat root.

Back at Karamat.

Back at Karamat.

Luckiest kid ever, an obsidian blade axe wrapped in buckskin and buffalo hoof rattle gifted to him by Randy and Lori.

Luckiest kid ever, an obsidian blade axe wrapped in buckskin and buffalo hoof rattle gifted to him by Randy and Lori. I don’t think that Karamat ballcap has left his head for more than 5 minutes either!

Eric Moe from Industrial Revolution with Mora 'toys.'

Eric Moe from Industrial Revolution with Mora ‘toys.’

Who better to talk to than the man who made Swedish knives popular in North America.

Who better to talk to than the man who made Swedish knives popular in North America.

Duncan exploring one part of Mors' library.

Duncan in awe while exploring one part of Mors’ library.

One building dedicated to just Mors' notes, each binder more or less could be a book on a particular subject.

One building dedicated to just Mors’ notes, each binder more or less could be a book on a particular subject.

Duncan with Mors in his one room full of books dedicated to just Bushcraft.

Duncan with Mors in his one room full of books dedicated to just Bushcraft.

Duncan exploring Kelly's Bathtub where we met Tom Roycraft and family.

Duncan exploring Kelleys Bathtub where we met Tom Roycraft and family.

Tom Roycraft and Mors Kochanski. The knowledge here is hard to fathom.

Tom Roycraft and Mors Kochanski. The knowledge here is hard to fathom.

Duncan getting acquainted with Tom Roycraft (Mors' own guru).

Duncan getting acquainted with Tom Roycraft.

Mors Duncan

Magic!

Whether we were at the lake, camp, Mors’ house, or the extra special trip to see Mors’ own guru, Tom Roycraft, Duncan was paying attention. So much so he began asking before we even left, when we can come back to see Mors, Randy & Lori.

If you are into bushcraft, I don’t have to tell you about Mors… you know. Well, then trust me when I say I know what you are thinking — this is the luckiest kid ever. I agree! And I was there!

To Duncan’s credit, he understands the significance very well for his age. He has already started to plow through the stack of photocopies Mors made for him, sent his thank you letters, and is going through Mors’ DVDs, booklets, and more.

With all the noise from the internet and TV, it’s hard to find what’s real these days. 100 years ago, the information was in books; and publishers simply were not going to make an investment in someone unless they knew what they were talking about so they could get a return.

Today, literally anyone can throw up a website (me included), post a video, self-publish, and get on a TV show. I am not saying that there is not some very good stuff in those mediums, it’s just that is so hard to find and know for sure what’s good.

That is unless you put it to the test. Experience is and will forever be the best teacher. It can sometimes be the hardest too, as my grandmother used to say. Thus gaining that experience with someone who truly knows their stuff can greatly accelerate one’s learning as my son found out very quickly spending time with Mors and Karamat.

If you are reading this, bushcraft is likely more than just a hobby to you. If so, I hope this encourages you to spend time with someone who knows their stuff. Maybe it’s a class, gathering, event, or even a good book; whichever, getting that knowledge firsthand will be worth the effort. That was solidified for Duncan on this trip; if only I could have figured it out so young.

Special thanks and shoutout to friends Kelly Harlton, David Delafield, Dragan Uzelac, Eric Moe, Nick Gordon, Renee Nolting, Nina Nyholm, Jonathan McArthur, Cindy Roberts, Brian Rice, and Jay Schofield! And a really, really special thank you to the women behind the men, Diana Kochanski and Lori Breeuwsma!

About Christian Noble

Chris Noble is the founder of MasterWoodsman.com and Woodsmoke Camping Company. A Master Naturalist, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and has worked as a Registered Forester and Certified Burn Manager in several states. Chris is also a Wilderness First Responder and since the late 90’s has been “practicing primitive” skills and taking lessons from numerous Master Woodsmen throughout North America. An advocate for Conservation, teacher of Wilderness Living Skills, and happily married, he enjoys passing what he has learned thus far to others, especially his 2 children, Emerson and Duncan.

6 Responses to “Mors tells the best stories…” (pic heavy)

  1. survivalsherpa@gmail.com'
    Todd Walker June 27, 2016 at 4:23 am #

    Fantastic trip report, Chris! You’re right, Duncan is fortunate beyond measure!

    ~ Todd

  2. corey.beavers@gmail.com'
    Corey Beavers June 27, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

    Chris, I was hoping you were planning to share some parts of your Canada trip soon. That looks like it was an amazing trip – time with friends and time with your son! That’s a trip he’ll never forget.

  3. Christian Noble June 27, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    Thank you fellas. Much appreciated.

  4. kelly.harlton@gmail.com'
    kelly June 29, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    Great shots! and again, glad to finally meet you in person, and have you guys up to see us!
    cheers mate

  5. tray@york.k12.sc.us'
    Tom Ray June 29, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

    Chris,
    Knowing you, I’ll bet that’s one of many “trips of a lifetime” for Duncan! You are a great Dad my friend!

  6. ddelafield@gmail.com'
    David August 10, 2016 at 2:22 am #

    It was a great experience having you join us up here in Canada once again. You selflessly provided us the opportunity to get together with old and new friends, share a campfire or two and bask in the stories of Mors the Master Storyteller. All the best until we see you again.

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