Michael Modzelewski: Inside Passage Living With Killer Whales Bald Eagles and Kwakiutl Indians

Like a modern take on Thoreau s Walden Modzelewski shares the tale of his 18 months living alone in a cabin on the inside passage Having enjoyed his heartfelt nature talks on an Alaskan cruise I spontaneously bought his book He writes in a manner that is overly poetic however after having met him and after completing the book I feel that this is a genuine representation of his person He is not trying to impress anyone or dress things up it s really just an expression of his passion on the topic His experiences with the surrounding land air and waters were profound and his awe is leg This is the first travel book I have read The descriptions of the locations and events are so vivid and colorful it makes you feel part of the adventures After seeing him lecture on our Alaska Cruise I bought all 3 of his books This was a captivating read You felt like you were right there with him If you love nature if you feel united with the universe if you wish you could be another Jeremiah Johnson this book is one to settle down with and read Michael Modzelewski leaves civilization behind him and lives on an island in the Inside Passage mostly all by himself with the occasional company of another man and his wife Michael was a naturalist speaker on an Alaskan cruise I was on just a couple weeks ago and I was captivated by his stories on board the ship so I bought a couple of his books He has a profound appreciation for all things in nature and what I really appreciated about this book was how he incorporated sayings from so many other writers showing his own appreciation for a wide range of writers and topics Towards the end of the book he mentions Melville s term Isolato people content to be cut off cast away free to explore the universe within and that describes this author He is a sensual person in tune with nature and the Inspired by Robinson Crusoe and Jack London Michael Modzelewski jettisoned all baggage accompanying life in the comfortable middle class and set out to find raw unharnessed wilderness He found it on Blackfish Sound Blackfish is the Kwakiutl Indian word for the iller whale in the Inside Passage the rugged coastline between Seattle and Alaska Leaving his home in Aspen which had become a false Shangri La for him Modzelewski settled on a desolate island in the

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Nturer Interesting reading Modzelewski s book a few months after I had finished Into the Wild because in many ways he and Chris McCandless are identical They both abandoned society to live free in the back country of Alaska The biggest difference is that Modzelewski survived McCandless did not But there are other smaller differences too Modzelewski doesn t shun human contact uite the way McCandless did he also approaches the challenge of Alaska with respect and humility Perhaps it s the difference of several years of maturity between the two men Either way the fact is Modzelewski succeeded where McCandless did notI became aware of this book after a cruise this summer on the Golden Princess where Modzelewski was the ship s naturalist He did a series of talks for the passengers on his experiences living solo in the inside passage As a speaker Modzelewski is uite good He has a flowing rhythm as he talks and speaks in flowery prose However the same style that makes him such an excellent speaker I found somewhat less enjoyable on the page His descriptions can become almost overbearingly poetic at times to the point where it sometimes felt forced or heavy handed None the less if you can forgive him for that the story is an interesting pleasant read particularly for someone who has recently been to southeastern Alaska Purchased the book on the Princess Cruise s Inside passage trip to Alaska Very well written by Michael about his adventures during his stay in Alaska wilderness He has a very flowery way of writing I enjoyed reading the book Great book about Alaska living in solitude Met him in person and thoroughly enjoyed the bood Dave and I both enjoyed this book very much It immersed us in the flora fauna and culture of the Inside Passage The rich beautiful chapter about autumn was in my opinion worth the whole book. Dians loners and the owner of the house he is staying at Will Malloff a man of oversized personality a healer builder woodsman and thinker Modzelewski writes with a love for nature and gentle humor about his interactions with the native animals eagles whales wolves local animals cats dogs tame wild boars and other settlers Inside Passage is the powerful story of one man learning the ways of self reliance in a soul filled search through the northern wilderness.

Niverse and his writing is really beautiful and enlightening Modzelewski has an incredible writing style and use of language that makes inside passage a terrific read His chapter on Spring Awakening was one of the best passages I ve ever read I discovered Inside Passage Living with Killer Whales Bald Eagles and Kwakiutl Indians by Michael Modzelewski during my summer vacation an Alaskan cruiseOne of the cruise s featured speakers Michael Modzelewski shared his enthusiasm for Alaska through stories and pictures of Alaska s people wildlife and natural beauty Even though his book was first published in 1991 his enthusiasm for Alaska s natural beauty still echoed through his presentations As I later read the book I recognized some of the stories from his lectures His uniue cadence and inflection became my internal narrator and I felt like I was on vacation againHis philosophical and romantic view toward nature makes for a distinctive almost poetic writing style Autumn on the island was my favorite season The summer led procession of people had vanished and now the air was nife edge een There was a great reach and clarity in the sky The blue was so transparent that the planets were still visible at midmorning The north wind infused me with endless energy I worked with arms and back all day and then fully charged wrote and read into the night Although his words may wax poetic his descriptions are clear and concise how duck feathers repel water how whale s bones evolved from land to sea life or how an expert fisherman catches salmon on a troll lineAlthough I m not adverse to the outdoors it s unlikely that I ll ever live off the land chop my own wood grow my own food or sleep naked under the stars If you agree I recommend this book as a way to vicariously experience life in Alaska through the eyes of a modern day adve. Nside Passage a place which after seducing you with beauty would shake you with fear An unpredictable place that Dead-End Road Mysteries kept you always prepared honed to theeen edge of life Here he lived alone for months on end Inside Passage describes his experiences in this unspoiled setting where the sky is his ceiling mountains are his walls and physical challenges test him down to the marrow He also forms unusual friendships with passing yachters salmon fishermen Kwakiutl In.