Braving It: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey into the Alaskan Wild

November 1, 2020
Braving It: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey into the Alaskan Wild

The powerful and affirming story of a father's journeywith his teenage daughter to the far reaches of AlaskaAlaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to only a handfulof people, is a harsh and lonely place. So when James Campbell'scousin Heimo Korth asked him to spend a summer building a cabin inthe rugged Interior, Campbell hesitated about inviting hisfifteen-year-old daughter, Aidan, to join him: Would she be able towithstand clouds of mosquitoes, the threat of grizzlies, bathing inan ice-cold river, and hours of grueling labor peeling and haulinglogs?But once there, Aidan embraced the wild. She even agreed toreturn a few months later to help the Korths work their traplinesand hunt for caribou and moose. Despite windchills of 50 degreesbelow zero, father and daughter ventured out daily to track, hunt,and trap. Under the supervision of Edna, Heimo's Yupik Eskimo wife,Aidan grew more confident in the woods.Campbell knew that in traditional Eskimo cultures, somedaughters earned a rite of passage usually reserved for young men.So he decided to take Aidan back to Alaska one final time beforeshe left home. It would be their third and most ambitious trip,backpacking over Alaska's Brooks Range to the headwaters of themighty Hulahula River, where they would assemble a folding canoeand paddle to the Arctic Ocean. The journey would test them, andtheir relationship, in one of the planet's most remote places: aland of wolves, musk oxen, Dall sheep, golden eagles, and polarbears.At turns poignant and humorous, Braving It is an ode toAmerica's disappearing wilderness and a profound meditation on whatit means for a child to grow up—and a parent to finally, fully letgo.— Amazon Best of the Month pick in Biographies & Memoirs forMay— Longlisted for Banff Mountain Book Competition in "AdventureTravel" category