If you’ve ever been on a serious canoe trip, this book will resurrect memories of rapids, campfires, and friendships. If you’re more of an armchair explorer, Raffan’s prose will give you a taste of why people choose to leave civilized comforts behind and head outside.
Summer North of Sixty is Raffan’s account of a 700 kilometre canoe trip across the Arctic Circle in Northwest Territories. The sparse beauty (and occasional terror) of the land is painted in vivid detail.
One of the best surprises of this book was the personal story. Raffan’s honestly portrayed the stresses the trip created between him and his girlfriend. I’m not sure what possessed Raffan to take a new paddler on a six week canoe trip, but I suppose there’s no better way to get to know someone than under stress!
I’ve read and enjoyed Raffan’s other books—Fire in the Bones, Deep Waters, Bark, Skin and Cedar, as well as some of the works he’s edited. Summer North of Sixty is by far his best.
—James Raffan, Summer North of Sixty (Toronto, ON: Key Porter Books, 1990).