**The National Bestseller**
From the acclaimed, bestselling author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu, a fascinating, wild, and wonder-filled journey into Alaska, America's last frontier
In 1899, railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman organized a most unusual summer voyage to the wilds of Alaska: He converted a steamship into a luxury "floating university," populated by some of America's best and brightest scientists and writers, including the anti-capitalist eco-prophet John Muir. Those aboard encountered a land of immeasurable beauty and impending environmental calamity. More than a hundred years later, Alaska is still America's most sublime wilderness, both the lure that draws one million tourists annually on Inside Passage cruises and as a natural resources larder waiting to be raided. As ever, it remains a magnet for weirdos and dreamers.
Armed with Dramamine and an industrial-strength mosquito net, Mark Adams sets out to retrace the 1899 expedition. Traveling town to town by water, Adams ventures three thousand miles north through Wrangell, Juneau, and Glacier Bay, then continues west into the colder and stranger regions of the Aleutians and the Arctic Circle. Along the way, he encounters dozens of unusual characters (and a couple of very hungry bears) and investigates how lessons learned in 1899 might relate to Alaska's current struggles in adapting to the pressures of a changing climate and world.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Best-selling travel writer Mark Adams is your guide for this funny, fascinating look at the chilly and eccentric 49th state. In 1899, railroad tycoon Edward H. Harriman led a party of scientists, writers, and thinkers on a 3,000-mile sea voyage to study the Alaskan wilderness—and, in typically pioneering Alaskan style, Adams sets out to recreate the explorer’s voyage in the 21st century. Along the way, he finds a lot of rugged individualists who are excited to join him, does his fair share of heavy drinking, and even observes the real-life impact of climate change, since the landmarks he encounters contrast pretty starkly with those of the 1899 expedition. Adams narrates his own book, and his reading reinforces the easygoing vibe of his self-described band of oddballs and weirdos. Listening to this book feels like hearing from a friend about a wild vacation.