21 May 2012, Hoarfrost River, northeast tip of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Hello!  I am Dave Olesen.  As we come down the home stretch to marking our first 25 years at the Hoarfrost River, I have decided to attempt a periodic posting of comments and insights, musings and digressions, inspired by my daily life and work in this remote part of northern North America.  I will write candidly about my life and times — if too candidly at times, or too bluntly, bear with me (or go away — always an option.)

A note to aviation enthusiasts who may have stumbled here because of the title of the blog, i.e. bushedpilot.  A play on words, not a promise that this will be an aviation-centered blog.  Yes, I fly bushplanes for a living.  Yes, it is a great way to make a living here — most days.  Yes, I have opinions about airplanes and engines and floats and skis… and No, airplanes and aviation are not the focus of my writing or my thinking or my daily living.

If pressed to sum up what I am after here, I would offer these lines from an essay by the late John Haines, an Alaskan whose poetry and prose have inspired me for nearly four decades:

“From time to time, when the air has cleared around me, and I have cleared a space in my own head, I have been able to look on my own writing as one individual’s attempt to recover something of that native ground, the original and hardly comprehended thing under our feet:  the actual historical ground, compounded of rock and slime, of animal stench and human use.    

“And rightly comprehended, the theme of the writing would be constant:  a sustained effort to demolish the cliché; to understand, and then to say, as well as we can, what we feel to be true.” 

— John Haines, from the introduction to Living Off the Country, Essays on Poetry and Place,  Univ. of Michigan Press, 1981.

Further notes and links —

Comments. I have for various reasons become uncomfortable with the game of “Comments” and “Replies,” to and fro, as it seems to play out online.  I am available at daveolesen@gmail.com or via PO Box 607 Yellowknife NT X1A 2N5, and I will try to answer correspondence.

1 comment
  1. Harley Hanson said:

    Yes, I’m a follower and fan of your blog and all that, but today’s post–‘Hot Frogs in the Hinterlands’–really worked for me. For this English and geography major (the seventies) and retired forester (2016) it gave me all of it: nods to literature and geography, weather and fire, Otters and Beavers. Thanks.

    I’ve been thinking of Great Slave Lake and your family lately, as I quite smoothly–for me–internet-ordered and am now reading ‘Kinds of Winter’. That made me dig out my long-ago introduction to you and Bill Magie, ‘A Wonderful Country’. I recently passed along details of your blog to another recently retired guy who told me his first Big Event will be helping shuttle his son and friends for a canoe journey that connects to Great Slave Lake, though I’m short on detail.

    Blog on.

    Harley Hanson
    Duluth, MN

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