A the Outdoor Retailer trade show in 2010, I had the unique opportunity and privilege to sit down and talk with Helen Thayer, the highly-regarded modern day adventurer. (See article about that meeting: A Remarkable Woman, Helen Thayer).
Among her many life accomplishments, the one that made her famous was her solo unsupported ski trek to the magnetic North Pole in 1988. Not only was she the first woman to accomplish this, she did it at age 50! Helen recounted her adventure and journey details in her must read book, Polar Dream.
Polar Dream details her journey, with a day by day account of the obstacles she encountered, the close bond she developed with her live-saving Inuit dog Charlie, and the mental and physical challenges she faced and overcame. As I stayed up late at night finishing Polar Dream, I felt inspired by Helen’s persistence, ability to overcome fear, and mental strength to deal with the inhospitable conditions of the Arctic.
Despite her petite 5’3″ frame, she and her dog Charlie battled polar bears face to face. While lugging her 160 pound sled behind her, she crossed unsteady sea ice, blazed through white out conditions, and overcame hunger and thirst struggles for the last few days of her trip.
Helen’s resolve is motivating – nothing prevented her from completing her journey and her dream to explore and learn about a largely unknown part of our planet. Her observations aided in scientific studies, and continues to enable her to share her stories with school children though her Adventure Classroom program.
Polar Dream is easy to read, and even though she may not be the next Ernest Hemingway, Helen’s style is engaging and her story motivating!
Hiking Lady’s Recommendation: 5 of 5 stars