In June of 2002, the author and his friend set out to descend by canoe a rarely traveled and extremely remote wilderness river in northern Saskatchewan--the MacFarlane River--and eventually arrive at pristine Lake Athabasca. It is a river journey few have attempted (the first recorded descent was in 1991), passing through an uninhabited and inhospitable region of the vast Canadian north. It is an area rarely entered and even more rarely written about. From encounters with nasty grizzlies to some of the most challenging conditions imaginable, David Curran manages to survive his first foray into true wilderness and writes about his adventure in a style reminiscent of Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods--with self-deprecating humor and a novice's appreciation for all things wild. In addition, the book explores the natural and human history of the region, as well as describes the choosing, planning and carrying out of a wilderness canoe trip in a style that is informative and engaging.
By day, David Curran is a clinical psychologist whose canoe camping experience began rather late in life, in 1997, at the age of 46. His book about that first trip, Canoe Trip: Alone in the Maine Wilderness, was published by Stackpole Books. He lives and works in Berlin, MA.