What Floats His Boat: WSU Professor’s Love of Outdoors Reflected in His Hand-Crafted Canoes

Author: Hannah Jones [Winona Daily News]

Robert Brault opened the gate to his small backyard during a recent visit as a round-bodied sheep dog bounded ahead of him, dragging along its hind legs, which couldn’t quite keep up with the rest its body.

“She’s an old girl,” Brault said. Clouds of steam wafted out of his mouth with the words. Temperatures that day were in the mid-30s, but he wore only a sweatshirt that said “Wisconsin Canoe” and a pair of blue jeans for warmth. He did, however, have his woolly beard, a cascade of curly hair that reached from his chin to his chest. He hasn’t shaved it since 1983.

Brault walked across the yard and opened the hatch on a one-car garage. Inside was Brault’s current work in progress, and the latest example of an art he’s practice for more than 25 years: his third hand-fashioned canoe.

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