The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Belladonna Beaver the Dugout Canoe


Courtesy Photo

Pictured are Tom Elpel and "Bella".

It took nearly three months of sawing, chopping, planing, grinding, and sanding to turn a 10,000-pound Douglas fir log into a 500-pound dugout canoe.

Tom Elpel of Pony long dreamed of making a dugout canoe, much like those used by Lewis and Clark. The dream came alive this spring with the expert guidance of Churchill Clark, the great-great-great-great grandson of Captain William Clark.

Clark and Elpel carved the canoe at River Camp near Cardwell, the field camp for Elpel's Outdoor Wilderness Living School LLC (OWLS) and Green University LLC primitive skills programs for kids and adults. S...

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