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Inside: One Woman's Journey Through the Inside Passage

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  32 reviews
"Inside: One Woman's Journey Through the Inside Passage" is a plucky adventure memoir of the sea and soul told by a woman on a big adventure in a small boat along the coast of western North America. In Spring 2010, with her world scaled down to an 18-foot sea kayak and the 1,200 mile ribbon of water called the Inside Passage, Susan Conrad launched a journey that took her n ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 15th 2016 by Epicenter Press
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4.17  · 
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 ·  127 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Rue Kennington
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some of the better adventure writing I’ve read; parts of it would even stand alone as beautiful writing outside the context of what must be one of the most enchanting, raw journeys to be had on our little Eden. I thought some of the revelations of childhood traumas were a little joltingly personal and imperfectly braided into the “present day” narrative, but I appreciated the thoughtfulness and self-reflection as a whole and would probably have been less absorbed without it. I expect this book h ...more
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: Susan is a dear friend, so I'm biased. I witnessed her hard work and persistence in both paddling the Inside Passage and writing this book. Her memoir is a tale of both her inner and outer journey while paddling 1,200 miles of challenging ocean waters and attempting to synthesize 50 years of living — which has its own unique challenges. “Inside" has been called "'Wild' by kayak," but frankly I think Susan's story demonstrates far more self-awareness and awareness of the natural envir ...more
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a gift from Dave and Garrett last Christmas, and I thought I would throw it in a dry bag and read it on summer kayak adventures...which we never had. An enjoyable read, though, no matter what the season. I wondered if I would feel inspired to expand my paddling skills after reading this book, but no. To plan an expedition like the author did, and to paddle solo takes years of preparation and skill-building. I'm inspired to find more time in the future to sit in my kayak and connect with ...more
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure to hear Susan Conrad give a presentation about her journey through the Inside Passage and knew I had to read her book. I was not disappointed. It is a wonderful, insightful read. The motivations of people that take on the challenges climbing mountains, trekking thousand of miles, or in this case, kayaking for 66 days from Anacortes, Washington to Juneau, Alaska, can be hard to discern. Everyone has their own reasons for the challenges they take on. Conrad gives us insight into ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had the pleasure of meeting the author, Susan Conrad, in the ferry lineup on Salt Spring Island. I became immediately interested in her Inside Passage adventure, as my family and I experienced the I.P. and other parts of Alaska as a "shakedown" cruise on our 41 foot sailboat, prior to going off-shore for 5 years. Reading the book, I could relate to may of Susan's venturesome encounters.
There is much to like about this book. It is well written, detailed and informative. It is a "must read" if y
Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 maybe because in my mind I kept comparing it to Wild. I would have like to have known more about Susan and her motivations to undertake such a journey. If you have been to Alaska, you will enjoy being reminded of it and if you haven't, you will want to go, although perhaps not alone in a kayak. One important observation that stuck with me--"There is a difference between fear--that unpleasant emotion associated with the belief that someone or something is a threat--and being scared. Being sca ...more
Taylor S.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Loved the concept of an woman in the wild, adventuring alone. However, the writing itself lacks personal insight and thoughtfulness. She is an excellent descriptive writer. The landscape and physical experience of the kayak are well told and easy to imagine. She lacks in emotional depth and introspectiveness that a solo adventure might elicit. At the beginning of the book, she expresses a desire for time with herself to contemplate, yet never seems to. The focus instead on the exterior panoramas ...more
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir-read
Loved this journey. While I have read a number of extended journey books (Wild, other long term backpacking trip books on the PCT or Appalachian Trial) authors' approaches to these vary. Some are logistics heavy with less inner journey, others are more inward but fail to capture what it is really like "out there" or what the reader needs to picture in order to truly "go on the trip with you." This book is fantastic in its detail while not being self-indulgent. Having travelled the Inside Passage ...more
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I bought Susan's book after taking one of her classes and having a lovely conversation with her at lunch. I'm so glad I did. Not normally a memoir reader, I was struck by Susan's candid and visceral story that swept me up in her journey just like she'd stowed me away in a pocket and taken me along for the ride. Except I didn't have to endure swarms of flies or encounters with bears! Wonderful story and one heckuva adventure!
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Incredible voyage, very detailed, from chart reading to experiencing the day to day, life and nature's challenges, thick, takes time to get through. Quite the woman! A journey of the heart as well as one of personal transformation. Well done!
Michelle Delappe
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
The strength of this book, and the parts I enjoyed the most, were the vivid, detailed descriptions of the Inside Passage trip from a kayaker's perspective--and the perspective of a solo woman kayaker at that. I'm incredibly impressed with the author's feat and appreciate all the helpful advice--even down to the lists at the end of all her gear and recommended reading (including kayak safety and navigation classics that every paddler should read). Since I live in Seattle (along the longer version ...more
Bruce Cline
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Susan’s narrative is about her nearly 1200 mile, mostly solo paddle adventure from Anacortes, Washington to Juneau, Alaska over a 66 day period in 2010. By other, less conventional measurements, her voyage spanned “102 chocolate bars, 28 ibuprofen gel caps, seven temper tantrums, five anxiety attacks, two pairs of underwear, one foul wetsuit, and a million magical moments.” Arguably, the latter is a better measure of her trip than the former; this memoir is as much about her own internal persona ...more
Eva La Mar
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As with this genre, one gets more from some stories when they are looking into the depth of an experience. I thoroughly enjoyed her story, flashbacks and hardships included. Her story is that of being a human- with an extraordinary drive to overcome hardships be the hardships from childhood to that of kayaking a challenging IP course.

Look carefully and you will find odd flashbacks and some abrupt jumps, but that is part of the human experience. I don’t want to read about the Inland Passage from
Alex Zimmerman
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unsupported kayaking the length of the rugged coast of BC and Alaska is hard. Doing it solo is harder. In the 21st century, if you are a woman, it shouldn’t be a big deal for you to do this, but it still is – trying not carry the baggage of societal expectations, of facing up to your own doubts, fears and the very real dangers that confront women travelling alone.
Susan Conrad’s story of her solo trip up the legendary Inside Passage is one of grit, courage, determination and perseverance. We lea
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alaska, kayak, adventure, women
I picked this book up at the Ketchikan airport on my way back to Portland while a great fishing trip came to an end. Ketchikan and SE Alaska have become a mystical and magical place for my family to spend time fishing, exploring, and photographing.

When I see a story of a woman doing some adventure solo, I'm drawn to it. Susan's book did not disappoint. A wonderful blend of memoir and adventure journal. I even picked up a few new skills in seamanship. More importantly, I picked up more inspirati
Jim Corson
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I too paddled the Inland Passage eight years before the author. I always find it interesting to hear about and in this case read about how others approached this trip. I can relate to much of what she writes. I was fortunate in not having a rigid schedule to meet and was able to stay off the water or otherwise wait when the wind and waters didn't look good to me as a solo paddler. I also didn't have the psychological strain to deal with at Susan had. At any rate the Inland Passage is a wonderful ...more
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful reading experience about an area of the world I love best--the West Coast of British Columbia north to Alaska. This is not an adventure I'll ever take, so I loved reading about it. Read this with my Postal Book Group 7a, and so glad I did!
William Graney
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent mix of kayaking insights, descriptions of the environment, and personal reflections. As far as sea going adventures go, I hold this books in the same high regard as those by Bernard Moitessier and Jon Turk.
Doug Jones
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read

I literally couldn’t put the book down, very well written! She takes you there and you get to experience the journey with her!
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Susan narrates her epic solo canoe journey from Anacortes, WA to Juneau AK. Fascinating.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kayak, memoir
Amazing journey. Reading about it makes me want to pack up a kayak and do it myself, and stay at home where I'm safe and warm and dry, all at the same time!
Stephani Brink
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great undertaking! Exciting!
Susan Conrad
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed for Readers Favorite by Jack Magnus

Inside: One Woman's Journey Through the Inside Passage is a non-fiction adventure memoir written by Susan Marie Conrad. Conrad grew up loving the water despite her parents' fear of it, and, when she moved to Montana, she experienced being in a kayak for the first time. The closeness of the water and the sensation of being an integral part of her watercraft immediately had her hooked on kayaking. In 2009, almost twenty years after that first transcenden
Sep 01, 2016 rated it liked it
There is much to like about this book, especially if you have done some kayaking, or have explored the outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. The author accomplished a stunning journey, mostly solo, between Anacortes, Wa and Juneau, Alaska. Her endurance, skill and preparedness is mind-boggling. She has written a very detailed log of the journey, with some background about her early life, and ups and downs as an adult. She includes enough about her charts, navigation, struggles, mistakes, camping di ...more
Jacqueline Freeman
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
THIS was a good read. I have done a lot of kayaking, on the ocean and in whitewater, though I don't do it anymore. Years ago I fantasized about solo paddling up the Inside Passage. Now that I've read Susan's fascinating book and see what it took, I am so glad I didn't go.

I read the book thinking about what I knew about paddling and comparing it with her extensive preparation, detailed packing list and map reading abilities, awesome paddling skills in every kind of weather, and hands down, it's
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Susan Conrad reflects on her life as she bravely paddles the Inside Passage from Anacortes, Washington to Juneau, Alaska with all the highs and lows therein. Inside was honest, uplifting, and truly inspiring. It's amazing to think about what some people have had to overcome in their lives.

Here are some of the lessons I took away from it:
-You're never to old to chase your passion
-Always pack wine
-Sometimes you have to struggle and work hard to keep moving forward, but every little step is prog
Aug 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jan by: Barb
This is not the type of book usually read, but I'm so glad I did. It was loaned to me by a kayaking friend. She went to hear this author speak about her Kayak adventure up the Inside Passage and was so excited with the idea that she bought the book. I am not a kayaker at all, but I had mentioned to Barb that I was an enthusiastic reader, so she handed this book to me. It was difficult for me to get into at first. I usually read mysteries and gothic novels. But what an adventure Susan Conrad had, ...more
Richard Day
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome story

I have read everybody's books on the inside passage and they are all good, but this one was even better, the author has great story telling ability, and nothing gets boring with this book. I like the fact that she lists all of the gear she used on the trip. A very good read!
Kelli Estes
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved "riding" along with Susan on her journey kayaking through the Inside Passage and I learned it's a lot more dangerous than one might think! I heard this book described as "'Wild' on the water" and bought it based on that. It comes close, although I wished she would have gone emotionally deeper at times. Still worth 5 stars!
Nov 01, 2016 rated it liked it
About a woman who traveled the Inside Passage from Anacortes to Juneau.
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