Mudflats and Fish Camps

Mudflats and Fish Camps

800 Miles Around Alaska's Cook Inlet


224 Pages, 978-1-68051-018-8
Mountaineers Books 02/23/2017
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• Experiences of a family that opened its front door to walk 800 miles in the wilderness

Alaska holds a mythical place in the American imagination as our wildest, coldest, largest, and farthest frontier. It is also the home of writer Erin McKittrick, who lives in a yurt on the shore of Cook Inlet with her husband and two preschool-age children.

Mudflats and Fish Camps chronicles McKittrick’s journey, along with her family, as they set out to hike and paddle the entire coastline of Cook Inlet, a distance of 800 miles. This is unconventional parenting in the extreme, bringing kids not just into the woods, but into quicksand, snow, and the realm of grizzlies! And while their story includes all the stubbornness, excitement, and sleet-in-the-eyes awfulness that comes from walking their way through the world, it also provides an intimate history of a wild and fascinating place and the people who call it home.

While many adventure tales spring from the restless quest of someone seeking to find themselves—whether floundering in the possibilities of youth or in the throes of a midlife crisis—McKittrick’s story is about a person who has already found her purpose in life. It’s an adventure that happens right in the author’s backyard, providing her an unusual depth and connection. And it’s not a story of record-breaking speed, hopeless under-preparedness, or a radical transformation of the soul. Instead, it describes the journey of an ordinary family stepping into the wild outside their home. The wonder of the landscape, the exuberant joy of children outdoors, and the magic of exploration make Mudflats and Fish Camps an inspiring tale of choosing to walk—literally—a more adventurous path.

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