Klee Wyck Journal: The Making of a Wilderness Retreat

Klee Wyck Journal: The Making of a Wilderness Retreat

by Lou McKee

Paperback

$24.95
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, May 28

Overview

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 showcases the cabin and Lou's remarkable lifetime on and near the water in exquisite, full color sketches.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935347750
Publisher: Epicenter Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/17/2017
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Lou A. McKee was born in 1942 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Her childhood summers were spent on Texada Island, where she learned at an early age to swim and row a boat. She has worked as a watercolor painter, illustrator, greeting card artist, fabric and dinnerware designer, and most recently as an oil pastel painter.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Klee Wyck Journal: The Making of a Wilderness Retreat 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This beautifully illustrated book is in part a journal recording the realization of Lou Mckee's dream of creating a cabin on the remote west coast of Vancouver Island. But more than that, it’s about her own journey through the natural world from childhood days spent boating on the inland sea between the BC mainland and Vancouver Island to her kayaking adventures as an adult exploring the coast. There is this sense from early on that Mckee was searching for a place that would resonate with her adventuresome self, her love of the natural world, her easy connection to people, and her clear need to find a place to center her spirit. Klee Wick became that place, an accidental find discovered when looking for a campsite in the rain while kayaking among the rocky shoals of the coast. The site and its beach become a favorite to which she return. In 1995, with her nephews, husband David Verwolf and friend Marilyn she returns once more to the beach and declares it as the place she wants to build her dream cabin. Mckee and Verwolf plot and plan to make the cabin possible. They can’t buy the land, but there is a tradition of fisherman refuge cabins built up and down the coast which they’ve used in bad weather. Theirs’s would fit that pattern. A friend architect draws a plan. Friends and family are called upon to pitch in and over the years the cabin becomes the refuge she wanted. Construction begins in 1997. The main materials of the structure, early on finished lumber delivered by boat to the site, later are found on the beaches nearby: split logs for siding, cedar rounds are turned into roof shakes and also used for flooring, beach gravel to fill the cracks between the rounds. Some stuff is imported from the city, such as a stove and windows, but much is created from the material the sea and forest supply. It’s hard work, demands planning, and can only be done during the summer season in a not easily accessed place. This journal records the fulfilling of McKee’s dream. It lovingly extolls the natural worId but equally the community of friends and family, and her husband David, who made her cabin a reality. What sets the journal apart is Mckee’s exceptionally rendered color drawings that were part of her journal. Her eye misses nothing: tiny plants discovered among the beach rocks, an ancient cedar shaped by time and weather, her neighbors, the mama black bear and cubs, the multi-colored textures of beach rocks. These drawing are scattered among the descriptions of the cabin construction and repair, of friends gathered for good meals around a campfire, and of days of her solitude at Klee Wick. The drawings not only illustrate the natural world but also the human artifacts scattered in it: kayaking gear, women’s hats, the cabin’s kitchen counter loaded with stove and pots, the outdoor privy. Each chapter in the journal covers a kayaking season and is sub-headed with the names of those who stayed that year. There are many repeat visitors from previous years, especially women friends, who enrich her life at Klee Wick with a resonating bond. Beside the building the cabin and its site, there are many day trips chronicled--some ending up quite hazardously--which enrich the readers sense of Mckee’s constant curiosity and adventuresomeness. And, each chapter provides drawings of the discoveries she or her companions found that year, giving the reader a rich sense of their experience there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lou takes you with her on her journey to find her bliss…and what a wonderful journey it is. We meet her family, friends and guests, the bears. Her descriptive narrative and beautiful illustrations make you feel like you are there. You can’t wait to turn the page to see what new addition is in store for the cabin. And I like that some days are just for relaxing and all about the food. I hope to try some of those yummy recipes soon. At the end of good visit with friends, I never say “goodbye’, I always say “until we meet again”. So Lou, David and the gang, I say “until we meet again at Klee Wyck”.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I SAVORED this book, much like I would a chunk of exquisite dark chocolate and a glass of ruby red wine. I loved everything about Lou Mckee's lovely memoir: the silky feel of it in my hands, the remarkable illustrations, the stories within the stories, getting to know Lou and hubby David along with the myriad of friends who were privy to this most magical cabin in a most magical place. Each time I picked Klee Wyck Journal up I settled deep into my couch and anticipated being transported to another coastal adventure. Lou never disappoints. Read this book if YOU'D enjoy being transported to a magical cabin in a magical place! It's more than a journal, more than a memoir, more than a work of art. This is a treasure, much like the legacy the author and David has left behind. ~ Susan Marie Conrad, author of "Inside, One Woman's Journey Through the Inside Passage"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I SAVORED this book, much like I would a chunk of exquisite dark chocolate and a glass of ruby red wine. I loved everything about Lou Mckee's lovely memoir: the silky feel of it in my hands, the remarkable illustrations, the stories within the stories, getting to know Lou and hubby David along with the myriad of friends who were privy to this most magical cabin in a most magical place. Each time I picked Klee Wyck Journal up I settled deep into my couch and anticipated being transported to another coastal adventure. Lou never disappoints. Read this book if YOU'D enjoy being transported to a magical cabin in a magical place! It's more than a journal, more than a memoir, more than a work of art. This is a treasure, much like the legacy the author and David has left behind. ~ Susan Marie Conrad, author of "Inside, One Woman's Journey Through the Inside Passage"
Adventuress2018 More than 1 year ago
Reading Klee Wyck Journal was a like floating on the gentle rise and fall of slow moving waves. The story unfolds over time allowing the reader to grow with the Lou McKee's journeys, developments, and the relationship of the diverse characters. Each time I opened the book I would look at all the illustrations again and again to soothe my mind. When illustrations and text are this captivating, you know Lou put her heart and soul into Klee Wyck Journal, and in return her story also touched my hear and soul.
OregonGal More than 1 year ago
This delightful true story of adventure and comraderie, written and illustrated by Lou McKee, follows her merry band of kayak'ers over a period of over two decades as they "grow" a charming cabin, which Lou calls their wilderness retreat, in the middle of the woods somewhere on Vancouver Island. In just a few pages, your senses will be engaged, hearing waves and songs, smelling dinner cooking, picking up cool rocks at the shoreline, immersed vicariously in this unique journey as if you are right there. Ever so many splendid colorful original illustrations enrich this story. Truly a book to both savor and devour, to hold in one's hands. Oh, and there are recipes, bear tales and much more for the reader to discover!