Paddling With Spirits: A Solo Kayak Journey

Posted December 9, 2017 at 5:59 am by

Join Grif­fin Bay Book­store at the San Juan Island Library on Decem­ber 13th at 7:00 pm for an excit­ing evening with Lopez­ian Irene Skyriv­er when she presents her won­der­ful book, Pad­dling With Spir­its, the sto­ry of her solo kayak trip from Alas­ka back to the islands.

Inspired part­ly by her own spir­it of adven­ture, and part­ly by the sto­ries of her native coastal ances­tors, Irene Skyriv­er cel­e­brat­ed her for­ti­eth year of life with a solo kayak voy­age, pad­dling from Alas­ka to her home in Washington’s San Juan Islands.

Pad­dling with Spir­its: A Solo Kayak Jour­ney inter­weaves the true account of her jour­ney with gen­er­a­tional sto­ries hand­ed down and vivid­ly re-imag­ined. Begin­ning with her great- grandmother’s seduc­tion of an Indi­an fight­er turned trad­er, and fol­low­ing her ances­tors on both sides through oil booms, orphan­ages, wartime romances, dance halls and cat­tle ranch­es, Pad­dling with Spir­its dips like a pad­dle itself between the sto­ries of those who inspired her, and Irene’s own jour­ney down a lone­ly coast.

As she encoun­ters harsh weath­er, wolves, bears, whales, and the wild beau­ty of the coastal waters, she reflects on her own life and on the lives of the many peo­ple she meets along the way, before her final tri­umphant return home. Pad­dling with Spir­its is a wild, brave, and thrilling­ly orig­i­nal adventure.

“The inter­weav­ing of the past and the present form a com­plex and beau­ti­ful fab­ric that car­ries this sto­ry beyond that of a sim­ple fam­i­ly his­to­ry.”Steve Brown, past cura­tor, Seat­tle Art Muse­um, Pacif­ic NW Coast Native collection

About the Author

A Wash­ing­ton native, Irene Skyriv­er was born in Port Townsend and raised in the coun­try. She moved with her chil­dren and hors­es to Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands thir­ty-eight years ago, where she lived off-the-grid, and as a sin­gle par­ent, spent most of those ear­ly years grow­ing a gar­den, and let­ting the out­doors and beach­es be her family’s sanc­tu­ary, inspi­ra­tion, and teacher.

She orga­nized parades for Earth Days, Inter­na­tion­al Women’s Days, and was one of the ear­ly founders and shapers of the Sum­mer and Win­ter Sol­stice cel­e­bra­tions, as well as Pas­sage Rites cer­e­monies for youth. A poet, dancer, and a singer of tra­di­tion­al Earth Cir­cle Songs, writ­ing came lat­er for her, most­ly because one has to sit down to do it!

Irene received a full fel­low­ship to Fish­trap Writ­ers Con­fer­ence, based on a sub­mis­sion from Pad­dling With Spir­its. This was fol­lowed by a grant to fin­ish the work. In between involve­ment in com­mu­ni­ty, her mar­ket gar­den, and milk­ing goats, she plans to sit down and accom­plish these new writ­ing endeav­ors and is at work on her sec­ond book, a novel.

You can support the San Juan Update by doing business with our loyal advertisers, and by making a one-time contribution or a recurring donation.


Categories: Arts, Nature, People, Recreation

No comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By submitting a comment you grant the San Juan Update a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate, irrelevant and contentious comments may not be published at an admin's discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.

Receive new post updates: Entries (RSS)
Receive followup comments updates: RSS 2.0