“Almost fifteen years later, Alex Messenger revisits the canoeing expedition that in a matter of minutes turned into a life-changing ordeal. That distance lends honesty and verve to a narrative that steadily builds toward its gripping climax.” —David Roberts, author of Alone on the Ice and Four against the Arctic
A six-hundred-mile canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness is a seventeen-year-old’s dream adventure, but after he is mauled by a grizzly bear, it’s all about staying alive.
This true-life wilderness survival epic recounts seventeen-year-old Alex Messenger’s near-lethal encounter with a grizzly bear during a canoe trip in the Canadian tundra. The story follows Alex and his five companions as they paddle north through harrowing rapids and stunning terrain. Twenty-nine days into the trip, while out hiking alone, Alex is attacked by a barren-ground grizzly. Left for dead, he wakes to find that his summer adventure has become a struggle to stay alive. Over the next hours and days, Alex and his companions tend his wounds and use their resilience, ingenuity, and dogged perseverance to reach help at a remote village a thousand miles north of the US-Canadian border.
The Twenty-Ninth Day is a coming-of-age story like no other, filled with inspiring subarctic landscapes, thrilling riverine paddling, and a trial by fire of the human spirit.