New Book: On Top of a Boulder: Notes from Tyrrell’s Cairn

22 Apr


“On Top of a Boulder adds a new and important element to the history and artifacts of exploration and travel in the Barrens; and the photographs are outstanding!”—Skip Pessl, Moffatt 1955 expedition member

Longtime Arctic paddler Brian Johnston is inspired by a famous rock pile, or cairn, in the barrenlands near the headwaters of the Dubawnt. It was constructed by J.B. Tyrrell in 1893, who left a note in a jar to commemorate his journey – it was a moment when he and his brothers were short of food, and had to decide whether to turn for home, or venture further north. Ever since, prospectors and adventurers have added their memories to the jar. In an effort to preserve and share this treasure trove of history, Brian collected and scanned the original letters and returned the jar with facsimiles. In the book “On Top of a Boulder” the notes are transcribed and preserved for future generations and may just inspire you to pay a visit to Tyrrell’s cairn.

“The cairns beside the great barrenlands rivers—Dubawnt, Kazan, Hanbury-Thelon, Back et al.— stand as silent sentinels in the heart of our Arctic wilderness. The cairn notes deposited there speak to the soul of this country.”
—David F. Pelly, Author and barrenlands canoeist


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One Response to “New Book: On Top of a Boulder: Notes from Tyrrell’s Cairn”

  1. Rob November 14, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

    Does any body have a map showing the location of tyrells cairn
    I paddled Carey lake 3 years ago but could not find it.