Braving it: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey Into the Alaskan Wild

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Crown Publishers, 2016 - Biography & Autobiography - 359 pages
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The powerful and affirming story of a father's journey with his teenage daughter to the far reaches of Alaska

Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to only a handful of people, is a harsh and lonely place. So when James Campbell's cousin Heimo Korth asked him to spend a summer building a cabin in the rugged Interior, Campbell hesitated about inviting his fifteen-year-old daughter, Aidan, to join him: Would she be able to withstand clouds of mosquitoes, the threat of grizzlies, bathing in an ice-cold river, and hours of grueling labor peeling and hauling logs?

But once there, Aidan embraced the wild. She even agreed to return a few months later to help the Korths work their traplines and hunt for caribou and moose. Despite windchills of 50 degrees below zero, father and daughter ventured out daily to track, hunt, and trap. Under the supervision of Edna, Heimo's Yupik Eskimo wife, Aidan grew more confident in the woods.

Campbell knew that in traditional Eskimo cultures, some daughters earned a rite of passage usually reserved for young men. So he decided to take Aidan back to Alaska one final time before she left home. It would be their third and most ambitious trip, backpacking over Alaska's Brooks Range to the headwaters of the mighty Hulahula River, where they would assemble a folding canoe and paddle to the Arctic Ocean. The journey would test them, and their relationship, in one of the planet's most remote places: a land of wolves, musk oxen, Dall sheep, golden eagles, and polar bears.

At turns poignant and humorous, Braving It is an ode to America's disappearing wilderness and a profound meditation on what it means for a child to grow up--and a parent to finally, fully let go.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nancynova - LibraryThing

An ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Told in three parts as three different trips, Father and teen daughter head to Alaska near the arctic circle for adventure. In their first ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Twink - LibraryThing

This is the kind of thing I wish I could have done when I was younger. Seeing more of the world, being a little more adventures and taking chances. But, at this stage, I am just as happy to read about ... Read full review

Contents

INTo The Wild
3
Bugs BEARs AND THE BATH Room PRocedure
11
PEELING Poles with MARcus MUM Ford
22
FIRst THE River Giveth
33
Down River
47
NEw Rituals AND THE Ridgepole
62
FERN web
93
lo The Pull
105
Its IN THE GENes
207
TRUst
220
SAY GoodBye to SUMMER
232
237
BE Still My HEART
249
MR GRIz
259
WHERE THE Wolves SING
275
At the HEADwaters
283

BAck to THE Bush
113
THE REAL World
125
Wolver INE AND WHALE
137
Tha Nksgiving
154
The LIFE They LovE
167
WildERN Ess G1 RL
180
BIRTHDAYs AND BEAver TAIL
195
PART III
205
A Box y River INDEED
291
PADDLE AND PRAY
307
GRIT AND THE Go Roe
316
Hypother MIA
324
The WAY Distance Goes
335
GoodBYE ALAskA
344
AcKNow LEDGMENTs
356
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About the author (2016)

JAMES CAMPBELL is the author of The Final Frontiersman and The Ghost Mountain Boys. He has written for Outside magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Men's Journal, Audubon, and many other publications.

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