ABOUT Norman Stroll

Norman Stroll
passionate about the outdoors, canoeing,camping, hiking,father and son survival in the wilderness


Just as we had done for almost 25 years, my son and I set out in mid-September for a two-week wilderness adventure in the north woods of Quebec. Although both of us were seasoned outdoorsmen, a compounding of small mistakes led to a near catastrophic result when a rain-gorged river ripped the canoe from our hands as we were lining it along the shore and smashed it against a boulder, collapsing it like a soufflé. From that instant, our lives changed, radically and rapidly. We were stranded, most of our food lost, with no way of returning to civilization on our own. We faced starvation, hypothermia, near-fatal accidents, storms, and the onset of winter along with the chilling thought of a lonely death in the remote area near Hudson Bay. Our only hope was a rescue plane. We knew we would most likely hear a plane before we saw it, but we didn’t know if we would ever hear it, and time was working against us. After 21 days of agony, misery and dangerous misadventures we were totally exhausted. I strained my ears to listen. At this critical moment it was only my hearing, not physical strength, that really mattered; we had nowhere else to walk, no more loads to haul, no more food, no more bonfires to build, and so far there were no rescue teams to wave to. It was clear to me that this was very close to the moment when a person with nothing left to give wants nothing else in life but to be kept alive. And so I stood there shivering. My son had disappeared over a low ridge to my left as though viewing the sky from a vantage point 20 vertical feet higher than the river bank would enable him to see a possible incoming plane more easily. On my right the river, which had been our sole means of transit and was now the agent of our impending death, roared mindlessly past, gorged with rain, a degree or two above freezing, obliterating most other sounds, particularly any that might be the music of an approaching airplane. I cried not because I was afraid of dying but because I didn’t want my son to die here. See photos:

Two Strolls in the Wilderness was/wasn't an easy read.

It was easy because so much suspense was weaved through the adventures and the writer's vocabulary and use of the English language made it a pleasure. It was not an easy read because the vivid descriptions drew such empathy that I could only devote short sittings to this true story least my high blood pressure rise over the top.

This book should be required reading for every father, especially young ones. I hope that it is followed by a sequel or a film.
5.0 out of 5 starsEmpathise With the Daring!, December 3, 2009