Of Vikings and Voyageurs

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Of Vikings and Voyageurs

Postby Magdalene » Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:25 pm

Book Review: The Northland’s ‘Da Vinci Code’?
Jana Peterson Budgeteer News
Published Thursday, September 25, 2008

Released the same week as FinnFest, local author Jack Salmela’s “Of Vikings and Voyageurs” takes readers on a two-pronged voyage of discovery: historical and geographical.

Salmela starts the book 229 years ago, with voyageur Jean-Luc Trotin paddling like a madman through the notorious Hell’s Gate Rapids.

Right when you’re wondering whether Trotin will live to see another day, Salmela transports you to modern-day Duluth and a slightly less exciting adventure, as Tim Malone’s car hits a patch of ice and he almost loses control.

Like “The Da Vinci Code,” this book is a mystery complete with ancient artifacts and symbols to decode, threatening characters descended from dead scoundrels and relics from the time of Christ.

Unlike Dan Brown’s famous book, “Of Vikings and Voyageurs” takes place right here in the Northland.

Malone meets the eccentric Englishman Shelby Harrington in a room “the size of a small ballroom” at the Kitchi Gammi Club in Duluth.

After their meeting, Harrington notes that he is going to brave the elements with his driver, Nigel, and walk down to a restaurant called the Pickwick.

“We were intrigued by its English-sounding name,” Harrington tells Malone.

Malone and his friends visit the Kensington Rune Stone Museum in Alexandria, canoe North Hegman Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) and tour a mine north of Hibbing, all in an effort to find and decode signs left from the past pointing them to knowledge and treasure — and it’s hard to tell which is more valuable in the end.

Salmela, a born-and-bred Duluthian, said he did a lot of his research at Duluth’s public libraries and give special credit to “The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence,” by Scott Wolter and Richard Nielsen.

“BWCA canoeing experience was of utmost importance, especially in terms of knowing the region, its major flowages and describing the beauty of the wilderness,” he added in an e-mail to the Budgeteer.

In short, it’s a book I’d recommend to any Northlander. A good plot with plenty of twists and lots of tidbits about the land we love and live on — what better to curl up with on a wintry day up north?

“Of Vikings and Voyageurs” is available locally. If your group would like to have Salmela talk about his book, contact him at 218-724-2902.
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Re: Of Vikings and Voyageurs

Postby entrepreneurweek » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:06 am

I have never seen any interesting book other than this. This book is really a superb. Full of suspense, ups and downs.
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Re: Of Vikings and Voyageurs

Postby VoyageurNorth » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:29 pm

I like historical back & forth to the future kind of books. Will have to check this one out.
Not to commercialize, but just to let you know I am one of those "outfitter types" :-)

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Re: Of Vikings and Voyageurs

Postby heema » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:38 am

James Campbell reports the life of Heimo Korth and the family he has raised, the last family of trappers to remain in the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
Although this book has one foot in the "wilderness adventure can you believe anyone can survive this" genre (Heimo regularly traps in -50 weather and even jogs in -20 weather), it is also a kind of domestic family saga, almost a "Little House on the Prairie" but the prairie is the Arctic.
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