Klee Wyck Journal, by Lou McKee
After many years of paddling the waterways and outer coasts of the Pacific Northwest, author and artist Lou McKee planned a short kayaking trip near Vancouver Island with friends and family that unexpectedly became a yearly tradition. During the first trip that Pacific Northwestern summer, they chanced upon an enchanting stretch of beach and spent several days collecting stones polished by the ocean, exploring the nearby creek, and breathing in the wonder of untamed water and wilderness.
This remote coastal beach drew them back year after year, though the coastal rains become almost too much to endure. Thus, the Klee Wyck Cabin, as it came to be named, was borne from found cedar beach logs and other reclaimed wood to shield the travelers from summer storms. For a few weeks each year, friends and family came together to share stories, heartaches, celebrations, and the building of the tiny wilderness retreat cabin.
Lou took her journal and sketchbook with her to the cabin, documenting the construction and rendering local flora and fauna in colored ink and pencil drawings. Collected together in print for the first time, Klee Wyck Journal (240 pages) showcases the cabin and Lou’s remarkable lifetime on and near the water in exquisite, full color sketches.
“Lou McKee’s Klee Wyck Journal is a love poem to the joys of paddling. Readers will battle waves, set up camps, cook in the wilderness and breathe deeply the magical smells of the West Coast forests and sea. It’s like ‘tripping’ without having to leave your couch.”
–Roy MacGregor, author of Canoe Country: The Making of Canada, and Original Highways: Travelling the Rivers of Canada
“Lou McKee has the intrepid soul of an adventurer and an eye for beauty, both natural and translated onto the page by her skillful artist hand. I found it captivating to enter the wild with this perceptive author and her unshakable optimism. One of the great merits of this book is that words and images marry to tell a truly engrossing story. Lovers of Emily Carr’s paintings and writings will find a kindred spirit in Lou McKee.”
–Luci Shaw, poet, author Sea Glass: New and Selected Poems
“A delightful account of a woman’s long term relationship with a dream setting on Canada’s wild west Coast. Lou McKee, family and friends, kind of fell into the place, and during a lifetime of journeys have made this tiny corner of the wilderness their own. The jewel-like drawings illustrate the account beautifully.”
–Chris Czajkowski author of And the River Still Sings: A Wilderness Dweller’s Journey, and Diary of a Wilderness Dweller
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