When DJ Lee’s dear friend vanishes in the vast Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of Idaho and Montana, she travels there to seek answers. The journey unexpectedly brings to an end her fifteen-year quest to uncover the buried history of her family in this remote place. Although Lee doesn’t find all the answers, she comes away with a penetrating memoir that weaves her present-day story with past excursions into the region, wilderness history, and family secrets.
As she grapples with wild animal stand-offs, bush plane flights in dense fog, raging forest fires, and strange characters who have come to the wilderness to seek or hide, Lee learns how she can survive emotionally and how the wilderness survives as an ecosystem. Her growing knowledge of the life cycles of salmon and wolverine, the regenerative role of fire, and Nimíipuu land practices helps her find intimacy in this remote landscape.
Skillfully intertwining history, outdoor adventure, and mystery, Lee’s memoir is an engaging contribution to the growing body of literature on women and wilderness and a lyrical tribute to the spiritual connection between people and the natural world.