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Indian Creek Chronicles: A Winter Alone in the Wilderness Paperback – October 1, 2003


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Indian Creek Chronicles: A Winter Alone in the Wilderness + One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey + Call of the Wild: My Escape to Alaska
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312422725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312422721
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It was an act of bravado that prompted 19-year-old Fromm to leave college and accept a winter job with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in 1990. His assignment was to check daily on two million salmon eggs planted in a channel between the Selway River and Indian Creek. The nearest road was 40 miles from camp; by mid-November the only access was by snowmobile. Fromm had dreamed of being a "mountain man"--a la Jim Bridger or Jedidiah Smith--but he was a tenderfoot, hardly prepared to spend seven months alone with his dog Boone in the wilderness. Fromm gives an engaging account of that winter; his job took about 15 minutes a day, so he had to combat loneliness and fill the hours. He learned to hunt, to tan leather, to preserve meat. There were occasional parties with hunting groups, brief visits by the game wardens, a few narrow escapes. A fine tale of adventure and self-sufficiency.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-An absorbing personal account. Disenchanted with college, 20-year-old Fromm accepted a job with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and set off to spend the winter in the middle of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. For 15 minutes a day, 7 days a week, he checked salmon eggs planted in the channel between the Selway River and Indian Creek, and made sure ice was cleared from the end of it. The closest plowed road was 40 miles away and the closest person 60 miles. The fruit of his labors was about 20 fish returning to Indian Creek out of the 2 1/2 million he watched over. Entertaining nonfiction.
Pamela B. Rearden, Centreville Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This author made me feel as if I was right there with him.
Amazon Customer
This book was hard to put down and I read it in just a few days.
Steve Veatch
The book was very well written and contained lots of humor also.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on June 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
A chance conversation with a college friend sends the author venturing into the Bitterroot Wilderness along the Montana-Idaho border, where he spends a winter tending to salmon eggs for the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game. This responsibility takes only minutes out of each day; the rest of the time is his own, and what this gregarious, impulsive, party-loving 20-year-old does with seven months of isolation in the wilderness is the central theme of this book.
Fromm makes clear from the outset that he's almost utterly unprepared for this experience, with little guiding him but a fascination for the rugged, self-sufficient mountain men whose adventures he has read about. Packing a couple books on outdoor survival, he plans to figure it out as he goes, and given a need to keep himself busy and his mind off the isolation, he acquires a range of on-the-job skills, from operating a chain saw, to camp cooking, skinning animals, and curing meat. He also hunts for game, subsisting on grouse and squirrel until he amazingly (and illegally) bags a moose with a muzzle-loader.
In fact, Fromm is not entirely alone -- he has a dog as a constant companion -- and there is a trickle of visitors throughout the winter. Besides the occasional visit by the wardens, who bring mail and packages, there are hunters and their guides who trek in on snowmobiles (snowmachines, as he learns to call them). Welcoming the company -- and curious -- he goes along on hunts, witnessing the shooting of a mountain lion.
There are some disappointments. His father and brother travel from Milwaukee and attempt to ski in but are turned back by cold and bad trail conditions. A planned "vacation" with friends in Missoula has to be cancelled when snowslides make access difficult.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
I truly loved this book on many levels, from the hunting and fishing experiences the author shared to his personal reflections on several moral issues, which I felt were very poignant and truthful.

The majority of this book covers the author's seven-month stay in a canvas tent, deep in the Idaho wilderness during the months of October through May. His job was to watch over and protect millions of salmon eggs that had been cached in the gravel of a nearby river.

His love of mountain man books and the thrill of experiencing nature in all of its variety are ideals that initially lead him to volunteer for the long winter assignment. Later, his enthusiasm changes to loneliness and regret as he faces his separation from his friends and family.

On the surface, his tale recounts his meetings with hunters, guides, outfitters, forest rangers, wardens, and outdoors enthusiasts as they pass by his lonely tent in his remote meadow. He speaks of the extreme winter weather he faced, the wildlife he encountered, and the steps he took to survive in an isolated and severe environment.

The real beauty of this book, however, comes when the author shares how painful moments of loneliness affected him and ultimately how these experiences changed him into a person who became very secure with his own creative abilities and very comfortable with his own company.

He records some very personal reflections regarding what it meant to him to shoot various animals for meat during his long winter stay. As he accompanies various guides and hunters on their hunting trips, he recounts how he felt when others did not view their kills as the resources he believed they were.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
I found this book a nice easy read in general. My main reason for picking it up is because this true story takes place within minutes of my residence. It was interesting to read about another person's adventures in the same wilderness that I hike, hunt, camp, and explore in on a regular basis. It is honest in that the author is not constantly glorifying himself or trying to prove that he was an expert mountain man. He also shows the reader the harsh, unforgiving environment that this area can become during the long winter months, and the dangers of not being prepared. Since it is a true story told in first-person perspective, it is more of a journal or autobiography than escape literature.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rodney C. Sullivan on July 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't want to put this book down. Perhaps it just appeals to me but I really enjoyed the story. I found it well written. Definately not boring. If you like books like: Swiss Family Robinson, A Place in the Woods (Helen Hoover), April Morning, Robinson Crusoe, I believe you will like this one too. The story takes me to a winter wilderness camp and I feel I can identify with the story teller. Makes me wish I had been there myselfto see all he saw and feel all he felt. Makes me wish for my own youth back so I could be so implusive and adventurous.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sloane Citron on October 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you love adventure travel books, such as Kon-Tiki or Blue Highways, this a book for you. Though it is short, it immediately brings you in. A thoroughly enjoyable book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MXS on December 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Indian Creek Chronicles is an authentic look at personal growth, transformation and adaptation. And, it occurs in one of the most beautiful isolated wilderness areas in North America: The Idaho-Montana Selway River region near Nez Perce Pass. It occurs in winter too, which, considering the extreme cold and heavy snow creates some unique challenges and "opportunities."
Author Pete Fromm is a willing adventurer, at least in the beginning. But uninitiated and psychologically unprepared his journey from city boy/college kid to mountain man is fraught with challenges and misgivings.
Without giving too much away, the circumstance of the book is this: Fromm is a college student who takes a winter-long job guarding salmon eggs in Indian Creek, a tributary to the Selway.
His job is to make sure that the outlet of a small channel in the stream doesn't freeze and prevent water from flowing over some 2.5 million salmon eggs incubating in the gravel. So once a day, every day, Fromm must check the outlet and chop away any ice that has formed. He lives in a canvas tent with only a Husky/Shepherd puppy for compansionship.
I do realize that one of Fromm's chapters won a Sierra Club writing award, and that would be enough to discourage anyone from holding it in very high regard. The Sierra Club, after all, is one of the most self-righteous, pedantic, arrogant, condescending, narrow-minded and elitist organizations ever conceived.
That fact notwithstanding, "Chronicles" is one of the best books I've ever read. If you are an outdoorsman (or outdoorswoman), if you like camping or hiking, or just love the wildnerness, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a more fun or interesting book.
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