Reading the River: A Voyage Down the Yukon

John Hildebrand, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $17.95 (243p) ISBN 978-0-395-42480-3
In a sense, this recounts a journey of expiation: Hildebrand and his wife had gone to Alaska in the early 1970s, hoping to homestead and be self-sufficient. The death of a child and breakup of the marriage forced a change of plans. Ten years later, Hildebrand returned alone, to set to rest the ghost of his dream by canoeing the length of the Yukon. He particularly wanted to meet people who had gone to the wilderness and remained. In his three-month, 2000 mile journey, Hildebrand met trappers, aging hippies, biologists, dog mushers, fishermen, Athabascan Indians, Eskimos, missionaries and politicians. He camped in abandoned cabins during rainy weather. As he approached the Delta, he was beset by wind, rain and rough water; 90 miles from the sea, he left the river, sold the canoe and flew home to Wisconsin. His book is more than an adventure story; it is a fine portrait of individual people and communities in a rugged environment. Illustrated. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1988
Release date: 07/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-395-51023-0
Paperback - 260 pages - 978-0-299-15494-3
Open Ebook - 253 pages - 978-0-299-15493-6
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