The remarkable eighty-five-day journey of the first two women to canoe the 2,000-mile route from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay
Unrelenting winds, carnivorous polar bears, snake nests, sweltering heat, and constant hunger. Paddling from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay, following the 2,000-mile route made famous by Eric Sevareid in his 1935 classic Canoeing with the Cree, Natalie Warren and Ann Raiho faced unexpected trials, some harrowing, some simply odd. But for the two friends—the first women to make this expedition—there was one timeless challenge: the occasional pitfalls that test character and friendship. Warren’s spellbinding account retraces the women’s journey from inspiration to Arctic waters, giving readers an insider view from the practicalities of planning a three-month canoe expedition to the successful accomplishment of the adventure of a lifetime.
Along the route we meet the people who live and work on the waterways, including denizens of a resort who supply much-needed sustenance; a solitary resident in the wilderness who helps plug a leak; and the people of the Cree First Nation at Norway House, where the canoeists acquire a furry companion. Describing the tensions that erupt between the women (who at one point communicate with each other only by note) and the natural and human-made phenomena they encounter—from islands of trash to waterfalls and a wolf pack—Warren brings us into her experience, and we join these modern women (and their dog) as they recreate this historic trip, including the pleasures and perils, the sexism, the social and environmental implications, and the enduring wonder of the wilderness.
Natalie Warren is a Minneapolis-based author, scholar, and public speaker on environmental issues. A lifelong paddler and river lover, she canoed the length of the Mississippi River and won first place in the Yukon River Quest in the women’s voyageur division, paddling 450 miles in fifty-three hours. A contributing writer to outdoor publications, she has worked with Bancroft Arnesen Explore, St. Croix River Association, and River Management Society, and she started a nonprofit to present urban rivers as natural, dynamic classrooms for youth.
Ann Bancroft is one of the world’s preeminent polar explorers and an internationally recognized educator, speaker, and philanthropist. With Liv Arnesen, she is author of No Horizon Is So Far: Two Women and Their Historic Journey across Antarctica (Minnesota, 2019).
"Ann and Natalie would be heralded for showing that adventure can still be had in a changing environment, and that women have not only a place in the landscape of adventure, but an important voice that needs to be heard. [Their] journey illuminates the physical landscapes, hardships, and human encounters; it also uncovers the heart of any good journey, the human spirit."—Ann Bancroft, from the Foreword
"Hudson Bay Bound is a story of friendship forged on the river as two young women paddle 2,000 miles to the Arctic. With the candor and enthusiasm of a first grand adventure, Natalie Warren shares the joys and trials of living by water, propelled northward by muscle power and the belief that anything is possible."—Caroline Van Hemert, author of The Sun is a Compass: A 4,000–Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds
"Natalie Warren's Hudson Bay Bound is part adventure-memoir, part nontraditional love story. Her adoration for the water and deep respect for the history of the land it weaves through is clear throughout the journey. Complemented by the intimacy of a friendship cultivated in motion, this is a refreshing, fun, and thoughtful read."—Gale Straub, author of She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild
"Natalie and Ann’s story is classic example of how the exuberance of youth and a healthy dose of grit make any dream possible. From the foggy swirl of excitement as they launched their canoe into the flooded Minnesota River to their final paddle strokes down the Hayes River, Hudson Bay Bound provides a vivid account of an awesome adventure that we couldn’t put down."—Amy and Dave Freeman, authors of A Year in the Wilderness: Bearing Witness in the Boundary Waters
"A friendly, educational quest story for readers of everyone from Rachel Carson to Edward Abbey."—Kirkus Reviews
"Hudson Bay Bound exudes female strength and resilience, and shares the obstacles women still face in the outdoors industry."—Rochester Post-Bulletin
"An inspiration for young people everywhere to chart their own course."—The Christian Science Monitor
"A delightful journey."—International Falls Daily Journal
"Written in a storytelling style by Natalie, it’s about adventure, danger, fierce storms, winds, portages, running rapids, wild animals, friendship, humour and a window into the people and communities living along the urban and wilderness waterways."—Northern Wilds
"In Hudson Bay Bound, Warren is spreading the gospel of outdoor adventure for teenage girls who feel like they don’t fit in."—Outside
"This book is for anyone who wants to reminisce about their own past adventures, wants to understand why their own loved ones have gone or want to go on a nature expedition, and most importantly, to whet the palate of those who desire to set out on their own but are held back by other obligations."—Tower-Soudan Timberjay
"You will be inspired as you paddle along with them on their adventure into the wild."—Northeaster
"Sometimes that flow is filled with lightning storms, high winds, bears, and other tests of stamina, as Natalie Warren describes in Hudson Bay Bound."—Minnesota Women’s Press
"The story takes readers on an engaging, fast-paced journey through both a physical space of interest and the lives of its young adventurers."—Anchorage Daily News
"This would be great trail reading."—Ely Summer Times