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True North – The Book Review


I just finished re-reading True North: Exploring the Great Wilderness by Bush Plane,written by George Erickson. I got it for Christmas 9 or 10 years ago, and enjoyed it the first time, but it was even better this time (is it because I’m flying now, or just because I’m older and wiser?)

George flew a straight Cub on floats from Minnesota through Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, the NWT, Yukon, BC and Alaska, doing sort of a rough figure 8 over the course of a couple weeks. He’d flown through the areas before, with friends and family, but this time he did it alone. I got the impression that it may have been his last epic flight – however, some internet research re-assured me that this is not the case. True North: Exploring the Great Wilderness by Bush Plane,was his first book, but he’s since written at least three more, including one called Back to the Barrens: On the Wing with Da Vinci & Friends

The story is great for the adventure, but its improved by Erickson’s breadth of knowledge. Sometimes its a personal story about a locale or incident, sometimes its a little known local historical fact, and sometimes its technical knowledge, but its all interesting.

I think what I like best about the book is that George doesn’t portray himself as a super hero, but rather as an ordinary pilot who prepares himself well for a great adventure, and then goes out and has it. The lesson is obvious – if he can do it, so can all of us. All it takes is a will and the effort to actually do it. Now, whether I actually fly all over the Arctic is still up in the air, but I’m confident that I can fly from Pitt Meadows to the Chilcotin, and Mr. Erickson has contributed to that confidence.

You can find out more about him on his website.

My name is Rob Chipman and I’m a realtor, pilot and all around goof off based in Vancouver, BC. I really enjoy flying, real estate and the Chilcotin.¬† My company is¬†Coronet Realty Ltd., located at 3582 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V5K 2A7. I have a C-150L that I own with two other pilots, based out of Pitt Meadows. Do not hesitate to contact me by email if I can help you do anything, especially if its likely to be interesting.


2 Responses to “True North – The Book Review”

  1. Nemesis says:

    Correct, Senor. None of those guyz/galz ever thought of themselves as ‘heros’… but many actually were (in the authentic sense of heroism – i.e. altruistic self sacrifice)… More entertainingly, many were genuine dare-devils… I once flew a cargo laden Dakota over the jungles of Mexico with one those guyz – among whose other exploits/dare-devilry included being the only pilot ever known to successfully/intentionally barrel roll a TwinOtter on floats. Don’t try that one at ‘home’, Senor. ;)

  2. Nemesis says:

    Afterthought, some illuminating historical context for you/your audience…

    http://tinyurl.com/459z8yr