Back to the Barrens: on the wing with da Vinci & Friends
By: Erickson, George
Binding: Trade Paper
Size: 8.5" X 5.5"
Publication Date: 2007
PR Highlights: Adventures through the northern wilderness
PHOTO Highlights: 24pg color photo section w/47 color photos; 14 maps
Back to the Barrens: On the Wing with da Vinci & Friends begins at the author's lake home in northern of Minnesota. Following stops at Red Lake, Ontario, which has gold in its basement and at York Factory, Manitoba, which was once the headquarters of the Hudson Bay Company-but is still a home to polar bears-Erickson takes the reader farther north to Churchill, then up the west coast of Hudson Bay to Marble Island. There he spends a foggy night on the desolate hump of pale, white stone on which Captain James Knight and his men needlessly starved to death. Heading west, he visits the Natives of Baker Lake, reviews their traditional beliefs and then heads for the Arctic Circle. Thwarted by weather, not to mention a close encounter with a grizzly, he heads for Yellowknife, telling frontier tales along the way before moving on to Lake Athabasca and the oil-rich tar sands of Fort McMurray. From there the journey back to its place of origin commences. The route home includes stops in Ennadai Lake and Thompson, Manitoba, and offers glimpses of unique geological features, reminiscences of visits with a well-read hermit and a swim with a porcupine.
While lighting the evening campfire, readers learn where the phosphorus that enlivens their match tips first came from. They study the northern lights, appraise the mythologies that tried to explain the Milky Way and learn pertinent stories from the history of aviation, science and mythology, Native beliefs and customs. Aviation buffs, adventure travel readers, environmentalists, historians and all who are attuned to wildlife and are concerned about our changing environment will love Back to the Barrens. Like its predecessor, True North, Back to the Barrens is a celebration of the North-its beauty, history and inhabitants-a celebration lived by a knowledgeable author who probes the depths of the wilderness while having the time of his life.
The book is 328 pages, has a 24-page color photo section, a bibliography and has maps throughout that illustrate the route taken.