The Twenty Ninth Day by Alex Messenger

New book out that is well written true story of a 600 miles canoe journey in the NWT. The plan is to follow the Dubawnt River, but after a month on the trail, plans are changed by a chance encounter with a Barren Grounds Grizz.

The land of the midnight sun, inukshuks, old Inuit sites, musk ox, caribou and grizz. If you mess up there is no help.

Moving on to Nanovut and some new rivers.
They definitely made some mistakes. Fastest 300 pages I have ever read.


It would appear that few people on this page have any interest in long distance paddling in remote regions. Mostly a day trip and weekend near home kind of group.

I ordered it from my local library. Looking forward to reading it.

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Thanks Peter. The writer is very skilled.

Hi, ppine,

I’m not sure that’s a valid assumption and long distance trips were never common. Still, I think there’s a happy medium between being out for months and a day paddle. I had a 12-day trip planned for Quetico Provincial Park but then the pandemic hit and that all fell apart. Not sure if my buddies are still wanting to go but we’ll see.



Finished it. Was a good read.

I do appreciate the long trips, even though I am not likely to do any like that.

But I did especially appreciate the story from when the incident happened until when the evac could happen. As a WFR (Wilderness First Responder first aid trained person), as was the trip leader in the book, this was good to read as something I may have to do (hopefully not).

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I read this book a while back and really enjoyed it as well. I couldn’t wait to get to “Day 29”.

Another great paddle book is “Kabluna in the yellow kayak”.

I pretty much only read True Adventure Books. Can’t get enough of them. Local true stories are my favorites. Let me know if you know of other books of this type.



I often save reads like this for my time near the water in summer.

If I were younger I would still be doing my 14 day solo trips to Wabakimi, Woodland Caribou, Quetico, Algonquin and the like. I used to do three of those every year for 20 years.
Now with cancer and several joint replacements, and being way over 70 my stamina is gone. Day trips can be a pleasure.

Really remote hasn’t been in my budget at all ever. I will never be able to afford fly in to the Thelon or along the Labrador Coast. Was able to swing the Yukon River.

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Time and money will restrict the majority of people from being able to do things like this.

“It would appear that few people on this page have any interest in long distance paddling in remote regions. Mostly a day trip and weekend near home kind of group.”

I resemble that comment! Daytrips into a “pocket wilderness” can be rewarding as well. Sometimes I even sleep in an rv or motel and go out to eat breakfast before hitting the water.

I carry that shame with me throughout the day as I paddle. If only I could get eaten by a few more bugs, slog through a few more portages, and tangle with a few more critters- then I could be a real paddler.


I have aspired to paddle the North and Barren Grounds my whole life. Time and money stopped me when I was younger. Now I have time and money but have health issues.

We have managed to do some great week long or 9 day trips in many different parts of the western US.

If you want to do a major Northern trip, save your money and make plans well in advance. Do it while you are young enough.

Here are some paddling adventure books I read and enjoyed

Inside, One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage
by Conrad, Susan Marie

Fearless: One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent
by Glickman, Joe

On Celtic Tides: One Man’s Journey Around Ireland by Sea Kayak
by Duff, Chris

Spirited Waters: Soloing South Through the Inside Passage
by Hahn, Jennifer

Thanks Peter. I have read the first two and will find the other two.


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I did a few week plus trip back in my younger days, still try to do a few 3/4 day trips a year now.

Try Canoeing with the Cree by Eric Sevareid (if you are old as I am you know who that is) about a trip he took from Minneapolis to York Factory after he graduated from high school. A few people also wrote books about retracing the route, Distant Fires and Adventure North.


Canoeing the Yukon River was on my list but time is passing me by. I also wanted to return to the Spatsizi/Stikine/Dease River country in B.C. but that trip is probably not going to happen either. I’m happy these days with local trips under a week that don’t require tough portages or running rapids. Lake trips are more the norm these days.

I never really desired to canoe in places that required a plane trip but I enjoy reading about expeditions that are truly remote and adventurous. I’m reading Verlen Kruger’s biography " All Things are Possible: The Verlen Kruger Story: 100,000 Miles by Paddle" by Philip Peterson. That guy was a canoeing fanatic and an inspiration to paddle more.


Now I am looking for the Verlen Kruger book and the 29th Day… not in local libraries so have to keep digging.

Well, I’m not sure lack of interest is exactly the case… At least for me there’s always been plenty of interest but life - work, mortages, etc. - gets in the way. I think that’s the case for most people.

TheBob put me on to the 29th Day last fall. Its a good read, though one certainly could see the bear attack coming a long way before it happened. The group did a heck of a job on the recovery, though its a modern story (radios, flights out, etc.), and very few ever get the opportunity to travel with such a group. Many paddlers don’t ever even get to go to a summer camp.

There are lots of other good reads for us dreamers though. Its what fills the winters when we can’t do the more mundane paddling around where we live.

Canoeing with the Cree is classic. Celtic Tides is a great book also.

Here are a few others that might appeal:
The Lonely Land by Sigurd Olsen - An account of a 500 mi trip down the Churchill R. in N. Saskatchewan
In the Wake of Joman by John Turk - N. Japan to Alaska
Running the Amazon by Joe Kane - as it sounds, source to sea
Mystery of the Nile by Richard Bangs - Nile R. source to sea
Courting the Diamond Sow by Wickliff Walker - Tsangpo R. (drains Kangshung face of Everest)
Hell or High Water by Peter Heller - Tsangpo again.
And River by Colin Fletcher would count also…
But these certainly are accounts of long distance paddling in remote regions and worth reading. Vicarious adventure is OK too.

Great adventures are nice for those who can afford them and get the opportunity, but there’s a lot - a whole lot - of joy to be had in the multi day trips closer to home. The BWCA trips, Green River trips, local after work paddles on local rivers and lakes even. Like the folks at Wenonah say: “If you’re lucky enough to be a paddler, you’re lucky enough.” Most of us have a large bank account filled with happy days spent on the water, campfires, nights with the sounds of wind, waves, rapids, misty sunrises and sunsets, bird song and the rustling of leaves and rushes.

We’re lucky enough.

PS: As an afterthought… Here’s the latest addition to my paddling book collection. Not an adventure tale, but it might well be of interest to anyone here who might visit N. Wisconsin on a paddling venture.

Wisconsin’s Wild Lakes: A Guide to the Last Undeveloped Natural Lakes by John Bates

Lists 119 lakes in Northern Wisconsin over 30 acres, with no shoreline development or private shoreline ownership, mostly accessible only by portaging in (some easier than others) with directions and a listing of features of each. Mostly near L. Superior south shore. No caribou, musk ox, grizzles, or moose, but loons, black bear, and wolves aren’t unlikely.

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Thanks for the recommendation Ppine :+1:. I’m about half way through and enjoying immensely (about to meet the bear!). The young lad is a very mature writer!
I’ll also put in a plug for On Celtic Tides, mentioned above - liked it so much I read it twice!

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I’m partway thru Kabloona, thanks @Lila for the suggestion. Just started the 2nd part and… nooooo, don’t do it! Not with the same guy!

The people you are paddling with can certainly make or break the trip.

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