Rocky Mountain Portage

from by Great Lonely Wild

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    Includes liner notes with stories behind the music. Cover features a photograph of early BC from the Vancouver archives. Shipping fees will be added.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The West Beyond The West via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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Simon Fraser and a team of fur company explorers begin their expedition of the West by establishing Rocky Mountain Portage house. It is situated at the Eastern end of the Rocky Mountain Portage trail, which skirts the Peace River canyon. Until the growth of Columbia River supply systems, the trail provides the main overland route into the West.


Late in the freasing of the middle of the night
We were waiting for the moonrise to begin the journey right
We set out as the frost laid heaviest on the ground
Departed from the mountain house with bales of ninety pound

Soon as the moon reached its summit that night
The storming began and kept on ‘til daylight
We walked as blind men stumbling all along the way but
We made rocky mountain portage afore dawn still that day

On down the Parnsip we tarried on our way
As far as the river reached we followed in its trail
We came across a man wearing skins over his head
He told us we were fools to take the river route instead

We tried all the same to ride those bad river bights
Wrestled with the whorls before we saw our plight
They were laughing from the shores as we made it up the bank
T’was no rocky mountain portage but we made it all the same

Late in the morning we were ordered all ashore
We were led up to a ladder, like a pole, to help us o’er
Scaling up the rocky walls we held on for our lives
At the mercy of those mountaineering men that we relied

The footpaths were impressed as well as any highway
Our guide said he took the path at least twice a day
Still I did not lose my footing, no, not once along that way
I’d make rocky mountain portage stead of that, any day

Those were the hours we could barely breathe
Those were the days we were too tired to see
Wrestling against the river runs of those woods
I’d make that rocky mountain portage yet again, if I could


from The West Beyond The West, released November 9, 2012



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Great Lonely Wild Vancouver, British Columbia

Original roots and folk music about the 19th Century Pacific Northwest.

The sounds of mandolin, banjo, concertina, violin, guitar and vocal harmonies will expose you to the tales and stories of those who came before us in Canada's West. ... more

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