This article is about portages and how to survive the thoughest ones. The key is self-motivation.
In the case of the author the thing that gets him across particularly grueling, blackfly-infested trails is red Lifesavers at every 1000 meters. He does not take it lighty and if you happen to steal his last red Lifesaver there will be severe consequences.
What gets each canoeist to the other side of a portage varies. For some it is a treat from their candy bag, others a dreamscape of good first dates, movies worth seeing again, dirty tricks to play on their bosses or the thought of traffic jams back home. Many sing the last song they heard on the radio (or every song they have ever heard... sorry Mr. Brouwer). But the thing that ultimately gets most to the other side is the fact that the portage, nasty or not, is the only thing that protects the places the portage is leading to.
I really enjoyed this article. The author's view on the motivation needed to get across portages is not only accurate but quirky as he reflects on a 27-day solo trip when he couldn't get Aqua's Barbie Girl out of his head.
I would recommend this article to anyone who has completed a long, hard portage that they didn't think they had the strenght or motivation to get through.
Callan, Kevin. "One Lifesaver at a Time." Canoeroots. Summer/Fall 2010: 46. Print.