Adventure travel book of the year: a canoe odyssey in the Yukon

In this extract from Kings of the Yukon, a winner in the 2019 Stanford Travel Writing Awards, Adam Weymouth ‘sheds the city’ for the stillness of nature

I leave Teslin after three days. It is early June. Out on Teslin Lake it is hot, too hot to paddle, too hot to think. I float and drift and loaf. A loon is out there somewhere, warbling through its crazy cries. I sing dumb songs. I scare the ducks for something to do, like a small boy. Trucks rumble far off, out along the highway. All along the shore are the remains of families’ fishing camps, old bits of metal glinting in the sun. Through binoculars, I watch two kids on a quad-bike scrounging one for firewood. I watch my paddle, the line and vortex of each stroke drifting away behind me like footprints across the water. I stop and swim and carry on, I stop and swim and camp. One evening I catch a grayling, and fry it up beside potatoes in my skillet on the fire. The sun turns circles in the sky overhead. I have already forgotten darkness.

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