A Guide's Tale
by Gerald Patterson
This breathtaking memoir follows the early life and times of Gerald R. Patterson, a remarkable young man raised in the lake area of northern Minnesota that serves as the portal to the Boundary Waters canoeing country and the Canadian Quetico. Of the thirty-one people who lived on Patterson's Robinson Lake, twenty-eight were relatives, each relying on one another to survive the harsh seasons and economic hardships of the Great Depression. The author invites readers to get to know the family as he shares stories from his wilderness upbringing, successfully recapturing the wonder and imagination they inspired in him as a child. He later details his experience as a Scout and freelance canoe guide in the 1940s and 50s, narrating tales of adventure, risk, and bravado, yet never straying far from a quiet sense of beauty and appreciation for his surroundings. Eventually caught up in World War II, Patterson's life story comes full circle when he returns to his family and realizes he can never lose what he learned there. Ultimately, A Guide's Tale is a moving tribute to the family and the wilderness that shaped an adventurous spirit, and an insightful journey into the life of a canoe guide, as it has never been told before.