“The Inside Passage is a real dream country. Modzelewski’s enthusiastic tale of his adventures on a wild northern island will inspire dreamers and doers alike.” – William L. Sullivan, author of Listening For Coyote
“A unique blend of scientific fact with the genuinely mystical, Inside Passage provides the reader with a glimpse of the inspiration of nature and the grand adventure of the wild.” – HarperCollins
Following in the footsteps of a father who played professional football would undoubtedly be a dream many young men would pursue, however for Michael Modzelewski it was the allure of the wilderness rather than the gridiron that held fascination. After graduating from college, Modzelewski met a true wilderness pioneer, Will Malloff, who led him to an island in the Blackfish Sound in the Inside Passage, the coastline between Seattle and Alaska. In Inside Passage: Living With Killer Whales, Bald Eagles, and Kwakiutl Indians, Modzelewski chronicles the adventures of an eighteen month stay on this island. Modzelewski writes, “On a wilderness island, to a great extent you relinquish control. Nature rules. It forms the questions that you must answer to survive.” Modzelewski not only met the challenge to survive, but also became immersed in the mysticism of the land, the inspiration of nature, and the satisfaction of thriving in the wild.
With Malloff away for long periods of time, Modzelewski often faced months of solitude. During his first interval of seclusion, Modzelewski was challenged by an island native, a Kwakiutl Indian who told him, “You college guys are all the same — loaded down with knowledge but no wisdom. You won’t survive here. I’ll be by next time to pick up your bones.” When, on his next visit, the Indian found Modzelewski alive and well, the native unofficially accepted Modzelewski into his world and introduced him to the myths of the Kwakiutl culture.
Along with challenges from the Indians came encounters with the wildlife of the island. Surrounded by killer whales, bald eagles, wolves, bears, and cougars, Modzelewski experienced firsthand the majesty and potential danger posed by each creature. Several unique experiences with such animals, including an inspirational exchange with a bald eagle, led Modzelewski to discover that “life often assumed the reality of myth.”
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*A portion of profits will go to The World Wildlife Fund to aid their efforts in saving endangered species.