Yukon Passage: a year camping on a raft
January 05, 2005
"Yukon Passage" by Keith Tryck caught my eye years ago because of its cover. It's an adventure book, but it shows a group of guys playing cards around a table. ...On a raft. Floating down the Yukon.
I looked inside and saw other attractive photos---of a canvas tent on the raft, with oil lamps and bookshelves.
If you're interested in a change of pace from Mt. Everest-style extreme adventure, speed, big air, daring-do---well, this is a fine tale for you.
The kids who did this trip weren't even rich.
Of course it's a story that was published in 1980, meaning The 70's. That was back when people just went off and did things that grabbed em. They'd get an idea, let some pals know and everyone would try to save up and work it in between jobs.
The kids in this tale were in their 20's. One was a lumberjack, another worked on a fishing boat, another did surveying. The author had a grampa who was part of the Gold Rush and he always wanted to see for himself where his gramps was.
Now, in the middle of their tale they do go broke then they do get the big idea of approaching National Geo with the idea, back when NG was more of a cosmic bike-America mag that covered Appalachian Trail hikers and other low-key back-to-nature adventures. They use the last of their money to fly right to the office and ask. No query letter or appointment. They're turned away but loiter and rummage in the NG offices like big-eyed teens until someone takes pity and looks at what they have---and they end up with a deal. Good work, kids! The result is likely why the book has such nice photos and such punchy editing.
An adventurer didn't need so many sponsors back then.
...Probably still doesn't today! All it takes is gumption, eh?
Anyway, this is a fine tale, with nice historic backgrounding. It's a hardcover book with a color photo section, 220 pp. I have a few copies on hand. I like to keep notions like this alive.
Build a raft and float it with yer pals.
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