Fred Nelson

about the author

fred nelson

The author was born and raised in the state of New York. After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he was directed to report for duty in the Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. There he joined the Beavercreek Junior Chamber of Commerce and was asked to pose in a canoe for publicity pictures that the local newspaper would use to announce an upcoming canoe race on the Little Miami River near Dayton. Then, for the first time in a canoe, he paddled down the river for 12 miles and tipped over three times. This began his love of canoeing that would last a lifetime. He participated on a total of 19 canoe trips in the wilderness of northern Canada. Nearly all of the trips ended on either the Arctic Ocean or Hudson Bay.

The Thlewiaza River canoe trip, which is described in this book, took place in 1978. It was the seventh trip made by the author. One of the canoeists on the trip, Gary Gnauck, prepared the log for the trip to give to all the participants. Gary decided in 2018 to redo the log with the benefit of modern computer technology to integrate the photos with text. The author just completed a review of the new log when his wife, an avid book reader, asked if he had something exciting to read. The author handed her Gary’s log and said, “Read this, it’s exciting”. The next afternoon, she returned the log which surprised the author because she returned it so quickly so he asked if she liked it. She said she couldn’t put it down and added, “If I knew your canoe trips were like this, I would never have let you go.” This reaction from an excellent book critic persuaded the author to publish the log as a book so others could enjoy this real life adventure. The author tried to contact Gary to see if he was agreeable to such a book, but initial efforts to locate him failed. After learning that Gary had passed away, the author was able to contact Gary’s daughter who was very pleased that Gary’s log would be the basis for a book.