Going Inside: A Couple's Journey of Renewal Into the North
Tired of the frantic activity of society, and, more troubling, growing tired of each other (and their inability to have a child), Alan Kesselheim and Marypat Zitzer decide to take unusual steps to avert a crisis in their marriage. They escape on a year-long canoeing expedition.
They begin paddling at Grand Cache, Alberta, on the Smoky River. Following old fur-trade routes, they travel northeast, to the far end of Lake Athabaska. Their first summer's paddling done, they dig in for a long, lonely winter in a tiny cabin in a deserted fishing camp. It is here that Marypat discovers, against all expectations, that she is pregnant.
When the thaw comes, they resolve to press on into the Northwest Territories, north of the tree line and beyond the reach of medical help, to try to reach Baker Lake - although, assuming all goes well, Marypat will be heavily pregnant by the time they reach their destination...
The heart of "Going Inside is not the adventure of white-water rapids or the ferocious storms and numbing cold, but rather Alan Kesselheim's deep joy at the beauty and healing power of the natural world - discovering fresh wolf tracks, looking an otter in the face, observing the ever-changing character of a river each day, seeing the slow stirring of the natural world as the hard grip of a northern winter begins to ease.
In this environment, what seemed important back in civilization becomes trivial, and the natural cycle, so easily ignored when insulated by modern living, becomes profound.
With rare grace Kesselheim enfolds his reader in this world and portrays the universal drama of two people learning how to get along.
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Athabasca River baby bear birds blackflies boat Brian cabin calm camp canoe caribou Chipewyan Cliff coffee cold comes dark distance dogs eyes fall feel feet finally fire fishing Fond-du-Lac forest hands head huge Inuit inukshuk island jack pine Kasba Lake Kazan River keep Lake Athabasca land light look lunch Marypat says Marypat Zitzer miles morning move musk ox night northern Otherside otter packs paddle Peace River plane portage pull quiet rain rock sand sandhill cranes seems shallows shore slush Smoky Smoky River snow snowmobile snowshoe snowshoe hare sound spot spruce stand stay Stony Rapids stop summer swim talk tell tent thing tiny town tracks trail trees trip tundra turn upriver Uranium City walk warm watch waves weather weeks wilderness willows wind winter wood