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The Lonely Land

1997
Author:

Sigurd F Olson
Illustrations by Francis Lee Jaques

The Lonely Land

A thrilling tale of white-water adventure, now in paper for the first time.

The lonely land lies a thousand miles northwest of Lake Superior in upper Saskatchewan. Here the Churchill River, famed water trail of such early voyageurs as the Hudson’s Bay fur traders, flows in a wandering course through one of the last great wildernesses of the continent. For 500 miles, the author and five Canadian friends retraced the trail of the voyageurs down the Churchill and the Sturgeon Weir rivers to the Saskatchewan. Sigurd F. Olson has added page after page to the lasting literature of the canoe, and the illustrations by Francis Lee Jaques, the canoe-country artist supreme, perfectly complement the text. Mr. Olson writes sensitively but also straight-forwardly, without heroics.

New York Times Book Review

“There are few places left on the North American continent where men can still see the country as it was before Europeans came and know some of the challenges and freedoms of those who saw it first, but in the Canadian Northwest it can still be done.”

With these words Sigurd Olson begins The Lonely Land, the breathtaking account of a five-hundred-mile Canadian canoe journey. Olson and five companions retraced the waterways used by the Voyageurs, the Hudson Bay traders, and a succession of adventurers who used the mighty Churchill River as a major waterway from Hudson Bay to the Mackenzie.

Now available for the first time in paperback, The Lonely Land tells two stories: that of Olson’s expedition and that of the Voyageurs who came before them. The text is illuminated by historical quotes, maps, and research about life on the Churchill during the fur-trading years. But each chapter is driven by the beauty and challenges that faced Olson’s group.

The Lonely Land is a tribute to the unspoiled beauty of the deep wilderness and the rugged individuals past and present who take up a canoe paddle to explore it.

The Lonely Land

The lonely land lies a thousand miles northwest of Lake Superior in upper Saskatchewan. Here the Churchill River, famed water trail of such early voyageurs as the Hudson’s Bay fur traders, flows in a wandering course through one of the last great wildernesses of the continent. For 500 miles, the author and five Canadian friends retraced the trail of the voyageurs down the Churchill and the Sturgeon Weir rivers to the Saskatchewan. Sigurd F. Olson has added page after page to the lasting literature of the canoe, and the illustrations by Francis Lee Jaques, the canoe-country artist supreme, perfectly complement the text. Mr. Olson writes sensitively but also straight-forwardly, without heroics.

New York Times Book Review

About This Book