Dick Griffith will give a presentation about his wilderness travels followed by a book signing at Jitters in Eagle River, at 10 am Saturday, October 6. Dick Griffith has traveled, by foot and ski, more than 6,000 miles across Alaska and the Canadian Arctic. Even before his adventures in the North, Griffith was a pioneer of rafting on the Green and Colorado rivers and is considered the grandfather of packrafting. He recently received a commendation from the Alaska State Legislature for embodying the Spirit of Alaska. Griffith's story is now told in his new biography Canyons and Ice: The Wilderness Travels of Dick Griffith written by author Kaylene Johnson.
From Jon Krakauer
In Canyons and Ice, Kaylene Johnson recounts the adventures of Dick Griffith, who has undertaken a series of remarkable wilderness journeys across Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and the American West over the past six decades. On at least one of these trips he barely survived. Stoical, utterly self-reliant, and attracted by challenges of immense scale, Griffith brings to mind heroic figures of an earlier, less craven era -- stalwart individuals like Shackleton, Amundsen, Nansen, and Stefansson who explored some of the least hospitable places on earth without benefit of GPS, Gore-Tex, or the possibility of rescue. Unlike most of his celebrated antecedents, however, Griffith’s motives for seeking a life of risk and hardship had nothing to do with a desire for wealth or prestige. As this gripping and inspiring book explains, Griffith is simply “afflicted” with an irresistible inclination to attempt what others say can’t be done. When asked what possesses a man to repeatedly strike out alone across hundreds of miles of rugged, lonely country, he replies, “Every so often, it’s just time to walk.”
– Jon Krakauer, Author of Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven, and Where Men Win Glory
From Craig Medred
Dick Griffith has lived the sort of big, wild life that most cardboard-cutout adventurers of today only dream of living. He has engaged the wilderness in his own way on his own terms without ever once pandering to sponsors. He has undertaken adventures hard to believe, and survived every one of them. The result is a life so awe inspiring you may not believe this book true. But every damn word is as real as the north-country dangers that have killed lesser men.
– Craig Medred, is reporter for Alaska Dispatch, long-time outdoor columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and author ofGraveyard of Dreams."