Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Four Quarters of Light

Brian Keenan's fascination with Alaska began as a small boy, while reading Jack London's wondrous, "Call of the Wild". With a head full of questions about its inspiring landscape and a heart informed by his love of desolate and barren places, Brian Keenan sets out for Alaska to discover its four geographical quarters, from snowmelt in May to snowfall in September, and en route, finds a land as fantastical as a fairytale, but whose vastness has a very peculiar type of allure...From dog-mushing on a frozen lake beneath the whirling colours of the aurora borealis, to camping in a two dollar tent in the tundra of the arctic circle, Brian Keenan seeks out the ultimate wilderness experience and along the way, encounters hard-core survivalists who know what struggle and endurance mean, from their daily battle with nature to exist. He discovers that true wilderness is as much a state of mind, as it is a place. And ultimately to make Alaska home, one must surrender to it.

This is a wonderful book that brings alive the daily struggles of those who have chosen to live in Alaska. It is full of colourful descriptions of the people and the environment in which they live that draws you in and makes you feel like you know them personally. It also describes a very personal journey for Brian Keenan and moved me to tears on a number of occasions.

Its certainly put me in the mood for my first big adventure to this wild place. Something I'm looking forward to immensely

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