This is the narrative of a canoe trip by renowned news commentator Eric Sevareid (1912-1992). After graduating from Minneapolis High School, he embarked with his classmate, Walt Port, on a journey that would take them up the Minnesota River to Big Stone Lake and from there to the Red River of the North and Lake Winnipeg. They paddled along the eastern shore of Lake Winnipeg to Norway House and then through five hundred miles of wilderness to York Factory, the historic trading center at Hudson Bay. They succeeded in becoming the first Americans on record to complete the route, which was over 2,250 miles long and required an entire summer, and their regular dispatches were published by the Minneapolis Star. Though aided initially by conveniences available at towns and settlements along the river banks, their route became progressively wilder and more challenging. During the last leg of the trip, when they found themselves ill-equipped to endure the climate, scarcity of food, and unanticipated hazards, they depended heavily on assistance from traders and the Cree, of whom Sevareid sometimes speaks disparagingly. The book focuses on adventure and personal experience rather than natural description or ethnographic information. Severeid himself viewed his journey as a rite of passage from adolescence into manhood.