Reading this father/daughter memoir brought back so many memories for me of my short stint living in Alaska. I was nowhere near the remote wilderness that these two were, but I could imagine it. I could not, however, imagine living it. Amazon’s premise of the story explains a little bit of why I felt that way:
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?
The author’s descriptions were so vivid that I could feel the cold and imagine the trials and tribulations of building a cabin with your bare hands. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t stay longer in Alaska. It’s a place where you need to be very resourceful. And fearless. And outdoorsy enough to survive, even if you’re in a major town. Alaska truly is the Last Frontier.
I enjoyed all the personal insight, too, into the author’s relationship with his daughter and her perseverance in their adventure. I found it fascinating that she had trouble adjusting to the ordinariness of life back in Wisconsin. It makes sense. She thrived in Alaska. As did he.
Definitely a good book to curl up with next to a fire. It’s the kind of book that transports you enough that you’ll need a blanket and a hot beverage while you read it, too. I liked reading it in winter when I could experience the cold while I read it; brought the adventures to life.
If you have any travel narratives to recommend, please share! I’m always looking for new ones to read.