Island of the Blue Dolphins

I’d recently enjoyed reading the young-adult wilderness survival novel series written by American writer Gary Paulsen. It starts with The Hatchet (1986).

Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960) is some what similar.

… the story of a 12-year-old island girl named Karana, who is stranded alone for years on an island off the California coast.

It is based on the true story of Juana Maria, a Nicoleño Native American left alone for 18 years on San Nicolas Island during the 19th century. …

… the subject of much literary and pedagogical scholarship related to survival, feminism, the resilience of Indigenous peoples, and beyond. …

Both books won the Newbery Medal for distinguished contributions to American literature for children.

It was made into a film in 1960.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The Hatchet by Gary Paulson

Hatchet is a 1986 Newbery Honor-winning young-adult wilderness survival novel written by American writer Gary Paulsen.

Brian Robeson is a thirteen-year-old son of divorced parents. As he travels from Hampton, New York on a single-engine Cessna bush plane to visit his father in the oil fields in Northern Canada for the summer, the pilot suffers a massive heart attack and dies.

Brian tries to land the plane but ends up crash-landing into a lake in the forest.

He must learn to survive on his own with nothing but his hatchet—a gift his mother gave him shortly before his plane departed.

… He discovers how to make fire with the hatchet and eats whatever food he can find, such as rabbits, birds, turtle eggs, fish, berries, and fruit. …

Over time, Brian develops his survival skills and becomes a fine woodsman. …

I enjoyed the short book. But it’s far from realistic. The Alone (TV series) documented just how difficult it is to survive on the much easier west coast of Vancouver Island.

The film adaptation is even more over the top.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Many readers asked the author WHAT would have happened to this teenager if he had to try to survive the Canadian winter. Brian was rescued by floatplane in The Hatchet.

So — in 1996 — Paulson published what would have been a sequel IF Brian had not found the emergency beacon.

Brian’s Winter

… still stranded at the L-shaped lake during the fall and winter, constructing a winter shelter, building snow shoes, being confronted by a bear, befriending and naming a skunk and learning how to make a bow more powerful. …

There are more books in this series. I’ll read those as well as I’ve grown to wonder how Brian adapts to civilization.


There are 3 other Brian books. All quite good.

I thought Brian’s Return was quite good. He meets a mysterious Indian mentor in the woods.

FINALLY – the Camino de Santiago

I’ve many times been asked IF I’d done the Camino. Surprisingly, the answer was NO. Until now. 😀

The Camino de Santiago … known in English as the Way of St James … is a network of pilgrims’ ways or pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition holds that the remains of the apostle are buried.

As with most hikes that can be cycled, I prefer to cycle. At least 10% of pilgrims cycle rather than walk or arrive on horseback. They are known as ‘bicigrinos’ or ‘bicigrinas’, bike pilgrims.

My PLAN is to ride León to the famous cathedral. About 325km. Perhaps a week. No rush.

The total length starting in France is 825km.

You need to cycle at least 200km in order to receive a Compostela certificate in Santiago (as opposed to minimum 100km walking).

Nearly 350,000 Compostela pilgrim certificates were issued in 2019. I won’t be lonely. 😀

The Camino Francés, or French Way, is by far the most popular of many routes. Roughly 60% of pilgrims choose this camino over other options.

Though no guidebook is needed, I picked up a paper copy of Mike Wells’ Cycling the Camino de Santiago (2019). I’d listened to a good interview with the author.

Wish me luck.

Many folks only know the famous pilgrimage from the 2010 Martin Sheen movie. It’s very good, by the way.

Click PLAY or watch the trailer on YouTube.

500 Days in the Wild

Dianne Whelan is making a film about her solo adventures on the non-motorized Great Trail (the Trans Canada Trail).

From pushing 150-pounds of bike and packs over rocks, to hiking through flooded bogs, paddling the largest lake in the world, snowshoeing through dense coniferous forests, skiing across wind-blown plains, the trail beckons.

Dianne travels the ‘Old Way’, the slow way of the turtle,seeking wisdom from those that live close to the land, asking the questions “what have we forgotten?”

“What do we need to know?”

500daysinthewild.com

Click PLAY or watch a teaser on YouTube.

related – Is it called the Trans Canada Trail … OR Great Trail?

14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible

Kraig Becker followed this project from the beginning on the Adventure Blog.

Kraig said most mountaineers thought it was impossible — but hoped they were wrong.

Kraig noted that Nims didn’t have enough money to see the project through, even after mortgaging his house.

Must Watch

14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible is a 2021 documentary film

… Nepalese mountaineer Nirmal Purja and his team as they attempt to climb all 14 eight thousander peaks within a record time of under 7 months. (The previous record was over 7 years.) …

Purja was supported by a rotating team of Nepalese climbers, several of whom are introduced in the film, including Mingma David Sherpa, Geljen Sherpa, Lakpa Dendi Sherpa, and Gesman Tamang, however, only Purja would complete the summit of all 14 eight-thousanders …

K2

I liked the film much more than expected.

The video editors did a terrific job putting together something so good from mostly bad GoPro footage.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Nims wife Suchi Purja is a treat.

He’s super talented, of course. Yet irreverent, profane, and funny. A great leader in the face of life and death.

Nims reminds me of a young Mohamad Ali. So confident. So cocky. 😀

Mountaineers might be even more impressed with his later winter summit of K2.

His team consisting of Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Geljen Sherpa, Pem Chiri Sherpa, Dawa Temba Sherpa and himself, joined by the team of Mingma Gyalje Sherpa (Mingma G), Dawa Tenjin Sherpa and Kilu Pemba Sherpa, and Sona Sherpa from Seven Summits Treks.

Nims was the only one to summit without the use of supplemental oxygen.

Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa

Watch the great David Breashears documentary from 2002.

Guide Jacob Kyungai is excellent. Everyone on the team interesting. Including supermodel Heidi Albertsen. But for me the highlight were the two kids on the 45 mile hike: Hansi Mmari and Nicole Wineland-Thomson,

Dreaming of climbing Kilimanjaro is childlike. Full of wonder.

This short documentary is 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Highly recommended for all.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

You might be able to watch the entire documentary on YouTube.

related – Mark Horrell’s review

Banff Mountain Festival 2021

Click PLAY or watch the teaser on YouTube.

The 2021 Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is happening virtually and in-person this year from Saturday, October 30 to Sunday, November 7!

Featuring over 75 films, live events in Banff and Canmore, and 30 virtual programs to watch from the comfort of your home over nine epic days. Get your festival passes, Tuesday, October 5—available to purchase only until November 2 👉

BanffCentre.ca

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