Alone Across The Arctic: One Woman's Epic Journey by Dog Team


Product Details

$12.95  $12.04
Alaska Northwest Books
Publish Date
7.02 X 9.99 X 0.28 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Pam Flowers is the fourteenth recipient of the Gold Medal from the Society of Woman Geographers, following in the footsteps of Amelia Earhart, Margaret Mead, and Jane Goodall. Named an Outsider of the Year by OUTSIDE MAGAZINE, she has participated in nine Arctic expeditions and completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Pam is the author of ORDINARY DOGS, EXTRAORDINARY FRIENDSHIPS; ELLIE'S LONG WALK; HUG A HUSKY; DOUGGIE and, along with Ann Dixon, is the coauthor of ALONE ACROSS THE ARCTIC: ONE WOMAN'S EPIC JOURNEY BY DOG TEAM and BIG-ENOUGH ANNA. Pam has spoken to more than 700,000 students at over 1,200 schools and has spoken at the Smithsonian, the St. Louis Science Center, and hundreds of public libraries. Ann Dixon is the author of eight picture books for children and one nonfiction title for young adults, as well as poems, essays, and nonfiction for adults. She lives in Homer, Alaska, where she works as the director of the Homer Public Library. Her children's books have garnered numerous awards, including the National Outdoor Book Award, Ben Franklin Award, and Patricia Gallagher Award. She and her husband have two grown daughters.


Pam Flowers on The Moth radio show:

An inspring story, well told. --Booklist

A freelance writer for several outdoor magazines and a participant in Alaska's famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Flowers here chronicles her 2500-mile, solo dogsled journey from Point Barrow, AK, to Repulse Bay in the Northwest Territory of Canada. Her journey began in the dark of winter 1993 as she sledded east following a route first taken by the fifth Thule Expedition in 1922. Even though Alaskan sled dogs are wild, bred to pull, and usually kept chained up when not hitched to a sled, Flowers developed a close relationship with each of her eight dogs (each of whose personalities she describes here). But despite all her affection, she almost had to abandon the trip when her lead dog, Douggie, ran away for 12 days. Along the way, she steadfastly endured the persistent Arctic storms and the ever-present fear of animal predators and encountered many of the people and places described in Jonathan Waterman's ARCTIC CROSSING. Beautiful color photographs greatly enhance this delightful and well-written story of perseverance. Recommended for public libraries.--SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
Coauthored with Dixon, a children's book author (Blueberry Shoe), this exciting memoir recounts Flowers's 2,500-mile journey across the North American Arctic, undertaken at the age of 46. Retracing in reverse a 1924 expedition led by Norwegian explorer Knud Rasmussen, Flowers and her eight sled dogs mushed from Barrow, Alaska, to Repulse Bay in Northwest Canada, becoming the first woman and the first American to do so. Fulfilling a lifelong dream and driven by an adventurous spirit forged in childhood, she left her job as a respiratory therapist and began seriously training for the expedition in 1992; the trip began in February 1993. The sled dogs, for whom the author has "tremendous respect," ranged in age from one to nine years and spring to life through descriptions of their strengths and distinct personalities. Dependent on one another for survival, Flowers details the care she took to make sure the dogs received enough food, water, rest and love for each day's travel. She recounts how her lead dog, Douggie, was able to sense the right direction even when she could not. She and her dogs battled cold, wind, storms and exhaustion on the tundra. Their isolation was broken by brief visits with settlers in the small Alaskan and Canadian communities where they rested and Flowers picked up supplies. At one point, due to unsafe summertime sea ice, she briefly considered giving up. Instead, the team rested for several months in an Inuit village and successfully completed the expedition in January 1994.--Publishers Weekly
"Pam spurned conventional rewards, entrusted her dream to eight powerful huskies, and set out alone to cross the Arctic. . . . a most extraordinary journey." --Sir Ranulph Fiennes, renowned adventurer "A fine armchair read . . . packed with ongoing action."--The Bookwatch "Forget mystery novels! I couldn't put this book down."--Patricia McConnell, PhD, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
Gr 5-10-With a young dogsled team, no sponsors, and no spare lead dog, Flowers set out to fulfill a lifelong dream to retrace, in reverse, a 1923-24 expedition by Norwegian explorer Knud Rasmussen and two Inuit companions, who traveled the length of the North American coast by dog team. If Flowers succeeded, she would be the first female and first American to mush that route solo. Using a balanced content of narrative, journal entries, boxed information bits, and numerous photographs, Flowers, with Dixon, details the exhilarating and often harrowing journey. Journal excerpts capture much of the emotion: "My eyelashes freeze together and I can't open my eyes. I have to crawl back to the tent on my knees-and frantically claw the snow away from my eyes." Readers will be fascinated by the descriptions of her dog team, introduced individually with photographs and comments. About Roald, for example, she writes: "Though intelligent, Roald lacked confidence, which sometimes caused him to clown around rather than try his hardest." A list of equipment and supplies is included. The message of this exciting book is important. At journey's end, as she stood alone with her dogs, she summarized her emotions. "The dogs, I believe, felt it too. We'd done well, and in doing so, had won what I consider the greatest reward of all: self-respect. We carry it with us wherever we go." This is an engaging survival story with broad appeal.--School Library Journal