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.