Read Alone Against the North: An Expedition into the Unknown by Adam Shoalts Online

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WINNER 2016 - Legislative Assembly of Ontario - Young Authors AwardWINNER 2017 - Louise de Kiriline Lawrence Award for English Non-FictionCanada's real-life Indiana Jones reminds us that the age of exploration is not over      When Adam Shoalts ventured into the largest unexplored wilderness on the planet, he hoped to set foot where no one had ever gone before. What he disWINNER 2016 - Legislative Assembly of Ontario - Young Authors AwardWINNER 2017 - Louise de Kiriline Lawrence Award for English Non-FictionCanada's real-life Indiana Jones reminds us that the age of exploration is not over      When Adam Shoalts ventured into the largest unexplored wilderness on the planet, he hoped to set foot where no one had ever gone before. What he discovered surprised even him, and made him a media sensation.     Shoalts was no stranger to the wilderness. He had hacked his way through jungles and muskeg, had stared down polar bears and climbed mountains. But one spot on the map called out to him irresistibly: the Hudson Bay Lowlands, a trackless waste of muskeg and lonely rivers, moose and wolf, much bigger than the Amazon. Little of it has ever been explored.      Cutting through this forbidding landscape is a river no hunter, no explorer, no Native guide has left any record of paddling. It is far from any important waterways, even further from any arable land, and about as far from civilization as one can get. It was this river that Shoalts was obsessively determined to explore.      It took him several attempts, years of research, and two friendships that collapsed under the strain of Adam's single-minded thirst to explore this river. But finally, alone, he found the headwaters of the Again. He believed he had discovered what he had set out to find. But the adventure had just begun.     Paddling his way back to Hudson Bay, where a float plane would pick him up, Shoalts discovered something that seemingly shouldn't exist: a towering unmapped waterfall. He also discovered edenic islands, and braved rock-strewn rapids, but the waterfall captured both his imagination and the world's.     Adam did a single interview, with The Guardian, and once the story hit, he was a celebrity. He appeared on morning TV and was made the Explorer in Residence of the Canadian Geographic Society. What struck a chord with people was the realization that the world is bigger than we think. We assume that because we have mapped it from space, it must be exhaustively known. But it is wilder, stranger, less homogenous than we assume. We hardly know it. And, contrary to popular wisdom, it is certainly not flat. In other words, the age of exploration is not over....

Title : Alone Against the North: An Expedition into the Unknown
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780670069453
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Alone Against the North: An Expedition into the Unknown Reviews

  • Bri Grove-white
    2019-04-15 11:57

    A one-man dominates nature against all odds attitude is far more evident than the love of stewardship and conservation the author professes within these pages. While no doubt the author has made an exciting foray into the Canadian wilderness and a great contribution to exploration, what could have made for a gripping story was overshadowed by 1) sloppy story-telling, and 2) the narrator's ego-- which is roughly the size of the great white north. To his credit, the author does well reporting the history of a place and explorers that preceded him, though he appears strangely enamoured of his colonial forefathers and embarrassingly dismissive of contributions of the first nations people who settled and explored Canada. His own adventures? Less-well crafted. To fill space the author adds descriptions of other forays into the wilderness beyond the Again or even the first un-named rivers with a bewildering lack of rhyme or reason-- indeed leaves the reader wondering about the outcome of the journey, and why it was even mentioned at all. In an attempt to evoke an emotional reaction in his audience the author describes the death of his dog. This could have been powerful if the first time we'd heard tell of the dog was more than a page prior. Every fleeting glimpse of a bear drawn out, every encounter with another human is excruciatingly crafted to make the author seem tougher, wiser, stoic or larger-than-life, leaving me to wonder if his canoeing partner Brent left not because he couldn't stand the wilderness, but because he could not stand the insufferable ego of this fedora-wearing Narcissus.

  • Terry
    2019-04-20 15:54

    Loved the subject, loved the story. Shoalts' account of it, however, comes across as immature and narcissistic. His main literary device seems to be building himself up by making everyone else in the book appear as bumbling, less skilled, less courageous, less determined, less knowledgeable....you get the picture. He even manages to make his own father seem inferior. I thought perhaps that I was reading too much into his narrative but then I saw him on TV and heard him speak at an event. There's an arrogance and a lack of grace about him that makes him inaccessible; a shame because what he does is pretty incredible and I'd like to hear more about it. But I'd like to read more about the subject matter and not his mastery over it. The fact that he's a skilled woodsman and explorer is a given. That's why we're reading the book. We don't need to be reminded of it every 2nd paragraph. I can't help but compare him to Les Stroud who, while not an Explorer (a title Shoalts doesn't let us forget for long), does similar things and has comparable skills. Stroud differs, thankfully, in that he is able to tell a story and educate without arrogance or condescension. He's just a guy from Etobicoke who knows how to take care of himself. A little bit of Stroud's humility might serve Shoalts well.

  • Linda
    2019-04-19 13:44

    There have been some complaints from readers about this author's ego; complaints that the book is about him, more than it is about the Canadian Wilderness. But, perhaps, all great adventurers are somewhat self-centred; what could possibly make them risk their lives the way they do if not for some deep inner ego-driven force. They clearly do it, not so much for the knowledge gained but out of a compulsion for adventure; their thirst for seeing what's around the next corner; their thrill in risking their lives, without thought of how that affects others. In other words, they are not like you and me. They carry an insatiable passion within and this passion benefits us all when they write books like this, detailing their adventures and those of other explorers before them. An unfortunate side to the risk taker's adventurous and careless spirit is their inability to understand and have compassion for others who have less compulsion than them; I found his somewhat derisive tone for his companion, Brent Kozah a bit harsh. He claims they are still friends; I wonder what Brent would have to say about that after his depiction in this book; Adam Shoalts could have been a little kinder. Nonetheless, this book was an exciting depiction of a great adventure and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Taylor
    2019-04-19 11:08

    I received an advance copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways. When I first received the book, I figured it would be a bit of a slog for me. I vastly prefer fiction over non, am not even remotely an outdoorsy type, and thought the premise was perhaps a bit too thin to build a book upon. A whole book about some guy canoeing in the Canadian wilderness? It turned out to be a fabulous read. The book was entertaining, at times humorous, intelligent, and educational. The author and explorer is very knowledgable about a number of subjects (Canadian flora and fauna, history, wilderness survival, etc.) and weaves this into the telling of his story. I often took breaks from the book to do additional research on the internet to supplement the reading. The book itself was very descriptive and I often felt like I was right there with him while, at the same time, being greatly relieved that I was not.

  • Stephanie Nelson
    2019-04-08 08:06

    I've only recently started to enjoy non-fiction and they've mostly been stories of outdoor expeditions, excursions, and life altering and enriching experiences. This book I enjoyed all the more because of its Canadian content. I've actually been to some of the northern Ontario cities referenced in the book and ridden the Polar Bear Express. Enough of me! This book was well written and I enjoyed learning some history I was unaware of. Adam Shoalts has a love of adventure, the land, and a level of bravery not often seen. I especially was both encouraged and saddened by the short afterward that reminds us all of our responsibility to take care of the land and the earth we have. Good read!

  • Colleen Foster
    2019-04-22 14:42

    This is an incredible account of a real-life adventure story. Adam writes with intelligence and humour, drawing the reader into a world of unbelievable isolation and formidable challenges. "Alone Against the North" is impressive, engaging, and completely unique. It would make a great documentary.

  • Alexandria
    2019-03-27 09:01

    This book definitely grips you from the start, I found that I couldn't put the book down until I finished it. I've never read this type of book before, but I saw the author speak at Toronto's Word on the Street literary festival, and was intrigued. Reading the book, I felt like I was walking right beside the author through every swamp and forest, his descriptions of Canada's vast wilderness are so clear. The way he describes his encounters with wildlife such as bears, eagles and moose as well as his experience with his surroundings make me love and fear the wilderness at the same time.Even though the Adam doesn't really delve into what he's feeling during every hurdle, you find yourself understanding how he feels regardless. You feel like you're reading a non-fiction versus a fiction because the book reads like a story. I am the most impressed by this because most non-fiction books i've encountered tend to be dry. I also really like how Adam incorporated historical tidbits that relate to his current position in his journey, so on top of reading a great story, I learned more about history! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys walking through the woods, watching reality TV on the discovery channel, or anyone interested in the exploration of Canada.

  • Jessica
    2019-03-27 13:41

    I loved this book! A little biography mixed with adventure and a dash of Canadian geography. Adam Shoalts has been called the "Canadian Indiana Jones", and it is clear why he earned such a moniker after reading "Alone Against The North." The book follows Adam as he plans and executes a solo expedition to map an unexplored river, The Again River, in the Hudson Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario. Adam does a wonderful job of describing the scenery and painting a clear picture of both the beauty and harshness of the landscape, for those of us who will never experience first hand.Adam has a nagging, almost obsessive need to be outdoors and explore. The excitement he feels when planning a new expedition and the peacefulness he experiences whilst alone in nature is very well expressed and becomes almost contagious through his writing. This book made me stand over my canoe, which is currently hidden under a foot of snow, and yearn to be out paddling on an unexplored river.This book is a must read for any outdoor enthusiast.

  • Dee Gorz
    2019-03-30 12:09

    I received this book through good reads first reads.Definitely recommend this book. Well written. You feel that you are right along side the author on his travels on foot and on the water, along the uncharted waterways of the north.Adam keeps you engaged. The short additions of history when he gets to certain locations is a nice touch. Could not have imagined an adventure like this on his own, my fear for him when encountering bears , or mishaps on the water felt like being there.As a parent I can imagine what his family goes through when Adam is on these adventures. I certainly would not recommend doing this alone.

  • Doriana Bisegna
    2019-04-02 13:52

    An adventure story from one of Canada's great explorers. I am now convinced that passion and determination will allow you to do just about anything. Adam Shoalts always wanted to canoe the Again river in the Hudson Bay Lowlands and his wish came true. Hired by the Canadian Geographical Society to map and chart out the river, he embarks alone against this true wilderness and then enthrals us with the details of his adventure. Personally, I wouldn't have lasted 10 minutes but Shoalts goes the distance and the story is awe inspiring. The human spirit is infinite in its capability of achieving the impossible.

  • Anthony Meaney
    2019-04-21 14:48

    If you are at all interested in wilderness camping and canoeing this book is for you. Shoalts' idea of a canoe trip would make most people shudder. He drags a battered canoe and some paltry equipment through some of the most difficult conditions imaginable in Northern Canada in order to explore a previously unknown river. Not only does he have to drag his canoe up rivers to get to the headwaters he has to portage through the thickest spruce forests and boot sucking muskeg. All the while hounded by clouds of black flies and mosquitoes and threatened by massive polar bears. It's the best "trip report" you've ever read.

  • Barbara
    2019-04-02 11:02

    The story may have been interesting but the ego of the author and his constant running down of those around him really put me off. It overshadowed the storyline for me and I wouldn't recommend it for that reason.

  • Amber Wilson
    2019-04-24 11:46

    "What a blessing to be born in a land of almost limitless wilderness". Incredible story and wonderfully written.

  • Huguette Larochelle
    2019-03-29 10:47

    wow what a courage , to go alone in the wild , with all danger it take gut and determination. that a fascinating adventure .

  • Jen
    2019-04-04 11:53

    Another excellent, true adventure story (my favourite thing right now!). I loved that this one took place in the Ontario north, with references throughout to places that I know - Cochrane, Hearst, the Missinaibi River! This guy is hardcore. To do those gruelling portages alone, and even to deal with the bugs he would have encountered, makes me exhausted just thinking about it! Although he discussed quite frankly the dangers and risks associated with doing something like this alone, I really hope that people who read it don't think that this would be a good idea at all. It was interesting to see his perspective on wood-canvas canoes - more as art pieces than as functional canoes - , as Camp Temagami uses them exclusively. I can certainly understand that for the purposes he was describing, a wood-canvas canoe would not have been ideal, but again, I hope that others reading it will not be of the same mind when it comes to the functionality of a beautifully hand-crafted canoe. Overall, a great story of a modern-day explorer.

  • Brendan
    2019-03-30 13:00

    Warning: Reading this book may cause you to want to quit your job, leave your family and head off alone into the mosquito and black fly infested northern wilderness. The siren's call is strong and I say that as someone who has experienced first hand the awfulness of the black flies as a tree planter in Northern Ontario during my university days. I feel that this book has been unduly harshly reviewed by a few critics. Yes, Shoalts does come off as a bit of a jerk in the beginning. He seems to me though to be someone who says what he feels even if most of us would be more likely to hold back. I took him to be someone with an extremely driven personality and let's not kid ourselves, you need to be that way to live that kind of life. This is not camping in Muskoka. I can't help but yearn to do what he does as I sit here in a crowded Tokyo train. Definitely worth a read.

  • Jordan
    2019-04-02 12:02

    This is a great read for anyone interested in wilderness, adventure, and folklore.

  • Jamie
    2019-04-20 09:44

    The other 2-star reviews hit the nail on the head so I won't repeat them.What I will add is that as a hiker I enjoy setting up artificial challenges for myself that might lead me to hike a couple of extra miles or hit some arbitrary deadline. For all the talk of the necessity of exploration and survival at all costs, I see this type of artificially inflated challenge figure prominently in Adam's adventures. There is nothing wrong with this but for two things: A) he's outsourcing risk to his would-be rescuers, and B) it conflicts with his insistence that his adventures are for the sake of exploration.Two cases in point (spoilers):If you review the map of his journey that he began with Brent, his original design (that he shockingly did not thoroughly read Brent into before setting out) was to portage 100 km over 2 weeks and explore the western tributary of the Brant River (pages 66, 85, 93). His second plan relates to the nameless river and he sells it to Brent saying, "We would have to travel upriver, against the current, wading through the water and dragging the canoe behind us for about a hundred and twenty kilometers" (93). Evidently, Brent was not sold. The third plan which they begin to pursue takes them down the Sutton River and then back up the Brant, but this plan was "so dangerous that I was reluctant to mention it" and yet Adam "wasn't sure whether [Brent] understood what the plan I had sketched out involved exactly -- and I was in no mood to explain it" (94). In my view, this is criminal as an outdoors companion and Adam should be ashamed rather than prideful of risking his friend's life without his informed consent. I disgress... Ultimately, when Brent leaves the trip, Adam executes plan #2 alone and drags his canoe upstream 120 km along the nameless river. Apparently, the nameless river was a worthy target of exploration after all, even though it was his preference to explore the Brant River tributary. However, if you inspect the map, the furthest upstream point he made on the nameless river is indeed ~120 km upstream from the Goose Lodge, but it is also only ~4 km (!!!) from the point the plane dropped them on Hawley Lake (with two lakes covering perhaps a third of that distance, and no especially challenging terrain that can be seen on satellite imagery). So basically, he lies to his friend about the necessity of dragging their canoe upstream 120 km because that was the only version of the journey that was sufficiently hardcore for Adam. It wasn't enough to canoe or "explore" the nameless river in a straightforward way at all, and also, I partly suspect that he wanted to scare Brent off as an excuse to be alone and increase the challenge and the scale of the tale he would have to tell.A second more minor case in point, he canoes the Again River finally and yet neglects to carry sufficient tools to effectively document his discovery, despite this apparently being the only distinction between explorer and adventurer. So he must return...I'm all for adventure and self-challenge for their own sake, but spare me the preaching and talk of fate and necessity.

  • Heep
    2019-03-29 11:04

    The book ends with a lament. "When forests and wetlands are converted into farms, shopping malls, highways, or cities, we lose more than just the world's biodiversity - that bewildering blend of animals and plants that makes our world such a fascinating place. We also lose something that's deep in our collective psyches - the vast, forbidding, but enchanting world of untrammelled wildness, those critical "hunting-grounds for the poetic imagination." Shoalts is an engaging and likeable author. The story is readable, entertaining and generally upbeat. He does tend to make the almost impossible seem only a matter of hardwork and perseverence. It is a credit to his humility, but the book may tempt some without a fraction of his skill to try their hand at such adventure. This kind of activity is only for the most hardened and experienced of explorers. The book explains that despite all the technical equipment and know-how available today, all the communications and all-seeing sattelites, much of the world has either not been visited by humans, or if it has, there is no record of our passage. The area surrounding Hudson and James Bays is a good example, and includes hundreds of rivers and lakes without human report. Shoalts acknowledges that some might have been visited by aboriginal peoples, but probably not all. The need for survival limited opportunities to explore in such a harsh and unforgiving environment. This book does not attain the level of Krakauer's writing and lacks the intensity of a book like "Annapurna" but it is very good and a joy to read.

  • Carol
    2019-04-05 08:08

    I enjoyed the author's writing style and his descriptive talent. The recounting of is explorations in the Hudson's Bay rivershed are very interesting to me and I certainly learned much that I didn't know before. However, although I understand Mr. Shoalts' desire to be a modern day explorer, recording and mapping areas were no human known to us has been before, I do question his sanity at times. He took many reckless chances which could have brought himself and his companion to their deaths. He was often not properly equipped or even poorly equipped. And exploring unknown areas alone was not only reckless but irresponsible. Having said all that, I still very much enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

  • Evan G
    2019-04-25 14:08

    I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.This an excellent book that followed the attempts and ultimately successful attempts of Adam Shoalts to canoe and document the Again River in Northern Ontario. Not only did he do this, but he did whilst alone. Not only was this book a great adventure story, I also learned a lot. I learned of many expeditions and famous explorers and the great difficulties that they had to endure. But the biggest thing I gathered from reading this book was that, even with the things like Google Earth in existence, there are so many places that no human has ever set foot on or documented, especially here in Canada. Modern explorers do exist and Shoalts is one of them.

  • Aaron
    2019-04-06 07:50

    This is an unusual book: half adventure, half scholarly, the author is both an adventurer who makes his own birch bark canoes, maps unexplored rivers, sleeps alone in polar bear country, but also a Phd in archaeology and professional geographer who often digresses from his main story of first-person adventure to talk about the history of the north, archaeology, geography, plants, animals, and legends. He is sort of like a cross between Sheldon Cooper and Grizzly Adams. On the whole, a very entertaining and insightful read.

  • Alexandra Prochshenko
    2019-04-11 07:42

    Shoats's been dreaming of becoming an explorer since he was a kid. He was thrilled to learn that there are still things that can be explored in XXI century, like unknown rivers that were never recorded properly. One of them, the Again River, became his obsession; on his way to it, he learned how to travel alone, although nobody goes alone on such trips - too dangerous. But Adam never found a right companion, so he made his choice to explore wild rivers alone and now he is considered to be "Canada's Indiana Jones", funny, brave and a little bit crazy. :) If you love detailed nature descriptions and have a vivid imagination, you will truly enjoy it: it all consists of "cascades, smooth ledges, abrupt drop-offs, foaming cataracts, rocky rapids, staircase-like steps, and impassable channels" (222). It's also full of historical facts about great explorers (because you MUST make use of your University degree, right? :D ). I wish there were pictures of things he describes. For example, Shoalts mentions a moose that was doing some "modeling" for them - I'd love to see the result without going online and googling it. Their challenging "photo session" with Royal Canadian Geographical Society flag also sounded pretty hilarious, and I'd love to see that one too. Maybe pictures are published in the hardcover version. Although the author constantly complains about his friends and companions, he doesn't seem smug at all. He clearly sees that they are just different from him, and their priorities and interests don't go along with his; he gets genuinely disappointed when sees that they don't share his passion, but he also has, you know, a kind of a "fair enough" attitude towards it. I wouldn't recommend the book to someone who isn't really into non-fiction camping, geographical and survival literature. For me, the most interesting part has ended when he finished his first solo trip. The rest was repetitive and tremendously boring, I hardly finished the book.

  • Ned
    2019-03-25 11:10

    I've read several books in this genre; and this was one of my least favourites. I found the author's ego far too pronounced, particularly in the beginning of the book when he was explaining what he does is so much (better) different then other explorers who 'only' canoe previously canoed waters etc. And his continual explanation on how he is the best man for the job and the most experienced and only he, despite immeasurable (and repeatedly immeasurable) odds can accomplish this.The story itself is interesting, being Canadian I was curious to learn more about the northern parts of Canada, and he did pull off an incredible feat, especially as a solo explorer. I just wish he had talked less about how his style of adventure travel is so much better than others. He came across judgemental of others travels and that turned me off in general.The writing was adequate; I don't generally expect exceptional style from adventure books, so to his credit it was an easy read. The repetition of the mosquitos and black flies ripping at his flesh got a bit redundant after a while (we get it) but his love of nature did shine through. The book would have been so much better with some photos from his trip; I wondered if he wasn't allowed to use them or chose not to, but I think that would have added a lot to the story and helped the readers to 'be there' with him, if only on paper.

  • Sarah Boon
    2019-04-05 08:49

    This is the most selfish and self-absorbed book I've ever read. Especially when it starts with: "I think I always knew I was destined to be an explorer."Shoalts talks about no one other than himself. His dad makes a cameo because he helps Shoalts fix/build equipment, the guys who fly/boat him in and out of places are mentioned, and he bad mouths the friends who go with him. He just can't fathom why one of his friends wouldn't want to do a random canoe trip instead of being home while his wife is pregnant, and the other friend he basically bad mouths for not being keen enough (he knew beforehand that this friend could be a problem, so it's not the friend's fault, it's Shoalts's fault for not choosing his team wisely).I usually enjoy tales of adventure in remote areas of our country. In this case Shoalts just succeeded in pissing me off with his condescension about 'adventurers' vs. 'explorers,' his bad-mouthing of journalists making minor mistakes (that he likely could have prevented by speaking with them more clearly), his slavish admiration for the many male explorers who went before him (only one woman is mentioned, and that's because she's the wife of an explorer who aims to finish his last trip. Also every quote at the beginning of each chapter is by men), and his pretentious wearing of a brown fedora - which he loses twice and has to note how sad he is about it.He's also closely tied in with Canadian Geographic and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. When he gets elected as a Fellow of the RCGS, he's over the moon about how only real explorers get to join. Dude, I'm a member too. And I worked in the High Arctic for four years. You don't see me dancing around about what a great explorer I am because I've been validated by the RCGS.He also talks about the devastation of remote wilderness by industry. Well if he's really concerned about it, he might not want to be as entangled with CanGeo as he is, given their ties to oil and gas. http://www.canadalandshow.com/oil-san...

  • Joshua Sannar
    2019-04-18 13:51

    Adam wrote his book in a way that I felt that I went on the adventure with him to the Again River. I enjoyed his narrative style and found a couple of places that I chuckled. The only aspect of the book that I didn't care for was Adam's condescending tone towards those of us that would rather be armchair explorers through others. I have no desire to be in the middle of the wilderness with swarms of mosquitoes and blackflies biting me, but I enjoy a good read and living the adventure through someone else. Overall, I enjoyed going on Adam's canoe adventure, and can recommend this book to anyone who has wanted to go on a adventure through the Hudson Bay Lowlands.

  • Dave
    2019-04-25 09:52

    The idea was good. The actual adventure was not the main topic of the book . Most of the pages were taken up in the telling of how he was preparing for the adventure and completely degrading his friends. I found his treatment and description of those around him to be insulting , while building himself up To be a hero. A lot of potential but completely spoiled by the authors arrogance.

  • David Cavaco
    2019-04-08 15:45

    Solo adventurer alone in the Hudson Bay Lowlands charting an unexplored river and landscape. Despite our high-tech and interconnected world, there are massive swaths of land and water that have never been traversed by humans. An amazing recounting of bravery and heroism.

  • Drewgrof
    2019-04-15 08:46

    World's worst person visits world's worst place.

  • Mike
    2019-04-07 12:11

    I feel conflicted about this book to say the least. I thought it was an incredible adventure story. The descriptions of Schoalts' travels were vivid and engaging. As many other reviewers have pointed out, he also comes across as insufferably egotistical and I was shocked at the uncharitable way he portrayed people who were ostensibly good friends of his in the narrative.Egos like his are not uncommon in these sorts of stories though, and to be fair, he undertook something I don't think many people could. I consider myself a reasonably competent outdoorsman, and have done my share of back-country trips in remote parts of Canada, but I can't even imagine taking on the kind of risks the author did in going into these places solo with so little knowledge of what he might face.What I found far more disturbing was the glibly ignorant, neocolonial attitude with which he approached his explorations. He came across as incredibly dismissive of the First Nations peoples whose land he was traveling through. Their beliefs get consistently portrayed as backwards superstitions and Schoalts is consistently disrespectful of admonitions from locals about the areas he is traveling in. He seems to even take pride in being openly dismissive of the cultural beliefs of First Nations across the country, as though this dismissiveness proves his worth as a scientific thinker. It is possible to be respectful while still being discerning and holding differing beliefs, but Schoalts seems completely uninterested in that. He is equally dismissive of the achievements and history of First Nations people compared to the European explorers who came to the land after them. He dwells excessively 0n the distinction between exploration, wherein one makes scientific observations and keeps detailed records of these findings on their journey, and travel, where one does not make such records. While I can appreciate the distinction between these two modes of experiencing a landscape, the constant privileging of one over the other and the subsequent dismissal of any indigenous claims to propriety in the areas Shoalts writes about feel unnecessary, ill-informed and disrespectful.For a book written so recently, the uncomplicated celebration of the achievements of European explorers who often subjugated and cruelly mistreated the native inhabitants of the lands they travelled through is frankly quite disturbing. I think this aspect of the book is far more troubling than any perceived personal arrogance on Schoalts' part. For my part, I share Schoalts' interest in the stories of these early explorers. I find their accounts enrapturing and the idea of exploration is one that has captured me for a long time, but I think it is important to acknowledge the costs to the people already living on the land that such explorations entailed.While the book is severely marred by Schoalts' patronising attitude in this regard, I still really loved the story at the core of this book and the message that the age of exploration is far from over. The sense of wonder it inspires makes it a book worth reading, but I hope in the future Schoalts might make more of an effort to listen to the voices of those who are still suffering at the expense of the ancestors of the explorers he so uncomplicatedly admires.