WITH A RAUCOUS ROAR, the small float-plane speeds away from the lake. The gentle breeze soon carries away the sound and smoke and we stand on the pontoon, refugees in wilderness, amongst the hastily unloaded backpacks and boxes. We are in the middle of an uninhabited Alaskan island; the Forest Service cabin behind us is our shelter, and the long single boardwalk across the muskeg, our only route home.

‘Uninhabited’ seems as out of place here as two clumsy humans. The haunting call of loons or pile of steaming bear dung soon tell us that we are far from being alone. The rich evening sun is already ...


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