by Theodora Stanwell-Fletcher
Driftwood Valley is a book with a big heart, full of love for the wilderness. There's lots of adventures as every time they traveled to meet a plane or explore a new area they had to pack all their gear and food on their backs, and walk all the way on snowshoes. Eventually they acquired a few dogs and two horses, which made their lives incredibly easier- the animals could help carry packs so they could travel further, the dogs snuggled against them at night kept them warm, and their presence at the cabin protected the couple's privacy (as the Indians were afraid of them).
There were a lot of interesting things happening besides wilderness adventures. The book was written by the wife, and she talked quite a bit about how most people thought women were too weak to live in such a remote area. Once she camped out at night all by herself just to prove she could do it- the main goal being to survive! She examines the Indian's culture and in particular is upset by how poorly they treat their pack dogs- the Indians in return are astonished at how well she treats her own. I would dearly love to read her husband's take on the whole adventure; she mentioned once that reading his journal showed the opposite side of everything- he wrote in detail about things that didn't interest her at all, and vice versa. But I don't think he published anything about this trip (it lasted about a year and a half).
I also would have liked to read more details about the wildlife- a lot of animals are mentioned in passing, and that is all. Many of the creatures they only ever saw footprints- especially of marten, wolverine, etc. It was not until the very end of their trip that they ever saw a wolf- and that encounter sounds breathtaking.
Rating: 4/5 ........ 384 pages, 1946
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