"...this was the beginning of something life-changing for my fellow paddlers and me--this was Hommes du Nord, forty-two days of canoeing Canada's wild rivers and lakes."
Alex Messenger was 17 in the summer of 2005 when he set off with five friends on a 600-mile trip across Nunavut in the Canadian sub-artic. And for the first twenty-eight days all went well. They successfully navigated the white water rapids strung along the Dubawnt River and happily camped in the taiga. And Alex tried to appreciate each moment along the way.
"The purpose of a journey is to experience those things that can't be explained and to forge the memories that will never be forgotten, the ones that change you forever."
Then, on the twenty-ninth day, while traversing a ridge alone, he encounters his worst nightmare. A grizzly bear. Somehow, Alex survives the bear's attack. But he and his friends are still miles from nowhere, and with his injuries, getting home just got a lot harder.
"One of the ways an expedition tests your mettle is that it's up to you and the group to solve any problems. If you wait for help to suddenly appear, your odds are not good."
This is such a compelling biography! I loved Alex's lyrical descriptions of their canoe trip, and the river, the islands where they camped and the Inuit ruins they find along the way. And his recount of the bear attack itself is pretty chilling. He's so honest. About everything. I could not put this book down. If you love memoirs about outdoor adventure and survival, I highly recommend this one.
We love survival stories. Maybe especially now, reading about a trip into the wild with all of the beauty and dangers provides an uplifting view of the world.ReplyDelete
He writes a lot about the river running part of their trip, but I enjoyed that part of it, too. And the bear attack was scary.Delete
Added to my want to read shelf on Goodreads. Of course. :-)ReplyDelete
Well you're always adding books to my want to read shelf! ;DDelete
Ooooh, this definitely sounds like one I need to read. I'd never heard of it before, so thanks for the heads-up!ReplyDelete
It's a compelling read. :)Delete
This would terrify me!ReplyDelete
It's not a trip I would take. And I never want to meet a grizzly bear up close and personal.Delete
Hi Lark, I have read a few of these books in which people test themselves against nature by hiking, canoeing, mountain climbing. I am glad Alex is okay. If someone us going to explore the wilderness what I've learned from my reading js that you must prepare and wild animals a particular concern.ReplyDelete
They ran into elk and some other animals on this trip, too, but the bear encounter was definitely the scariest.Delete
I so rarely read memoirs anymore. Once in a while though. This one sounds really interesting. Let someone else do the adventuring while I experience it vicariously through the book. :-)ReplyDelete
I used to read a lot of travel memoirs, but I don't so much any more. Mostly because good ones are hard to find. But I do love traveling vicariously through a good book when I'm otherwise stuck at home. :)Delete
This sounds intense! I don't read many memoirs but this one has me intrigued!ReplyDelete
I liked reading about their trip and everything they did. It's a very interesting book.Delete
Wow this sounds amazing!ReplyDelete
It was good. :)Delete
I don't read a lot of nonfiction, even though one of my goals this year is to read more of it. This sounds so interesting though. Wow, what a trip!ReplyDelete
It was quite a trip! And I've been trying to read more nonfiction this year, too. :)Delete
I've to admit I rarely read memoirs but this one sounds so intense and interesting! I think it's good to know how we should react when we are faced with dangers in the wilderness; and especially an encounter with the bear!ReplyDelete
There were some intense moments in this book for sure. The rest of the river trip was fun to read about, too.Delete
Travelogue memoir set in Canadian sub-arctic? Very unique. The only time I remember coming across grizzly bear attacks (in books) was Linda Howard's Open Season. Though I may be confused about that, given it's been a while.ReplyDelete
I read a book once called The Bear about an attack on a family who was camping, but I can't remember if it was a grizzly, or another kind of bear.Delete
For a memoir that sounds really interesting.ReplyDelete
It was a good way to do some bookish traveling. :)Delete
This sounds unusual. I can't imagine going through an experience like that one. In a strange way it reminds me of a story I heard last night of a Texas Ranger who had been left for dead after an Indian attack. Without food, water, or weapons he somehow managed to walk the 120 miles back to safety - and he died an old man. You just never know what you are capable of, I guess.ReplyDelete
I'm pretty sure I'm not capable of doing anything like that! ;D That Texas Ranger story would make for a great book.Delete
Wow! I can't imagine. Sounds like a compelling story. I don't read many memoirs, but this one sounds like something that would capture my interest! Great review, Lark! :)ReplyDelete
I don't do a lot of outdoor adventurous stuff, but I do like to read about other people doing it every once in awhile. :)Delete
Wow. This sounds like one of those un-put-downable books. Exciting. Sorry I am so late to respond. Fridays I watch my grandson and now that he is mobile I don't have much chance to do anything other than keep an eagle eye on him all day. Exhausting.ReplyDelete
Keeping up with little kids can be exhausting! It's a good thing they're cute. ;DDelete
Oh my goodness I thought this was a novel. Knowing this is true would be so intense to read about! As much as I love to travel, I admit I'm not that adventurous!ReplyDelete
I'm not that adventurous either. But this kind of travel is very fun to read about. :)Delete
Yikes! I don't even like camping. But this does sound like a compelling read.ReplyDelete
I like the idea of camping...but not the actuality of bugs, dirt, and hard ground to sleep on. Or bears!Delete