A Long Trek Home: 4,000 Miles by Boot, Raft, and Ski

By Erin McKittrick, author of Small Feet, Big Land, My Coyote Nose and Ptarmigan Toes, and Mud Flats and Fish Camps. From Mountaineers Books, 2009.

Find it on Amazon.

“an outstanding example of how adventure travel literature should be written, yet too often isn’t” - Fairbanks Daily News Miner

From the Puget Sound to the Bering Sea

Four thousand miles along the edge of the Pacific

A world reduced to just two small packs and the next 100 yards…

From the back cover of A Long Trek Home

In June 2007, Erin McKittrick and her husband, Hig, left Seattle for the Aleutian Islands, traveling solely by human power through some of the most rugged terrain in the world. This is the story of their unprecedented trek along the northwest coast and their encounters with pelting rains, ferocious winds, blizzards, and bears, as well as with the tiny communities that dot this wild region.

An epic wilderness adventure, their journey is also one of learning and discovery. Erin and Hig set out with a desire to better understand the interplay between human communities, ecosystems, and natural resources along their route. They pass through clear cuts, mining areas, and streams with declining wild salmon populations. By taking each mile step by step, they intimately explore the coastal regions of Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. By hiking, cross-country skiing, and packrafting, they see the wilderness in its larger context and gain a unique, on-the-ground perspective.

Whether discussing politics with off-the-grid back-to-the-landers, spooking a grizzly from the underbursh, repairing gear with dental floss, or catching a still-warm pizza falling from the sky, Erin and Hig experience a rich and varied coast, a world facing destructive change, but with hope for a sustainable future.

Want to see more?

The story has been turned into a full-length documentary - Journey on the Wild Coast. You can also see trip videos (including the infamous bear encounter) on our YouTube Channel.


Since the book came out in October 2009, we’ve held dozens of events - in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and the western U.S. We had a lot of great turnouts and a lot of excellent events, and I’d like to thank all the folks who came out to listen, our hosts, and everyone who made the events happen. The book is in its third printing and going strong. Thanks!