Winds of Skilak: A Tale of True Grit, True Love and Survival in the Alaskan Wilderness

Winds of Skilak: A Tale of True Grit, True Love and Survival in the Alaskan Wilderness

by Bonnie Rose Ward


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Winds of Skilak: A Tale of True Grit, True Love and Survival in the Alaskan Wilderness by Bonnie Rose Ward

Winds of Skilak traces a young couple's adventurous move from the suburbs of Ohio to a remote island on ill-tempered Skilak Lake. As Sam and Bonnie adapt to a life without running water, electricity and telephones, the unforgiving, desolate environment tests their courage early on. Facing sub-freezing temperatures, unfriendly bears, and cabin fever, the Wards find strength in new friends, each other, and the awe-inspiring beauty of ''the last frontier.'' Just when they finally settle in, a freak accident proves to be the ultimate test of their resolve. Will they be able to survive in this isolated wilderness filled with unseen dangers?

Author Bonnie Ward chronicles an exciting and thought-provoking tale of one couple's faith in God and dedication to each other through all of Alaska's curveballs. Winds of Skilak is a true tale of absorbing force, sure to bring out your own sense of adventure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626524712
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Publication date: 12/31/2013
Pages: 404
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Dedications v

Chapter 1 We're Going to Alaska! 1

Chapter 2 Preparations & Goodbyes 5

Chapter 3 Bill 12

Chapter 4 Alaska 17

Chapter 5 Skilak Lake 22

Chapter 6 Bear Meat in Camp 34

Chapter 7 Angels in Disguise 40

Chapter 8 A Visit to the Island 45

Chapter 9 Tent City 57

Chapter 10 Breaking Ground 67

Chapter 11 By the Sweat of Our Backs 82

Chapter 12 A Lesson in Patience 88

Chapter 13 Anna 97

Chapter 14 A Clean Shave … Or Not! 101

Chapter 15 Brown Bear 105

Chapter 16 Progress & Skeptics 109

Chapter 17 The Accident 117

Chapter 18 Work Resumes 130

Chapter 19 The Salmon Are In 136

Chapter 20 Home Sweet Home 141

Chapter 21 My Chickens! My Chickens! 146

Chapter 22 Our Daily Bread 152

Chapter 23 Bears & Friends 159

Chapter 24 Farewell, Dear Friend 169

Chapter 25 Sam Gets a Job 174

Chapter 26 Alone in the Wilderness 178

Chapter 27 Sam Comes Home 195

Chapter 28 Stranded 205

Chapter 29 Rough Crossing 212

Chapter 30 Winter 219

Chapter 31 Trapping 229

Chapter 32 Moose Meat Sam 240

Chapter 33 Nels 251

Chapter 34 Another Cabin to Build 256

Chapter 35 Battered Like an Ice Hockey Puck 262

Chapter 36 Oh, For the Love of a Doctor! 269

Chapter 37 Cabin Fever 276

Chapter 38 Break Up 281

Chapter 39 Spring at Last 288

Chapter 40 Blessings 295

Chapter 41 Gold under That There Glacier 298

Chapter 42 Hoofing It 302

Chapter 43 The Chicken & the Egg 305

Chapter 44 Esther 308

Chapter 45 That Ain't No Sheep 315

Chapter 46 All Creatures Great & Small 326

Chapter 47 Golden Days of September 331

Chapter 48 My Vow 335

Chapter 49 Susan's Mother 341

Chapter 50 I Am a Wilderness Woman 345

Chapter 51 One Drop of Blood 350

Chapter 52 The Gift of Forgiving 356

Chapter 53 My Daniel Boone 360

Chapter 54 Wilderness Christmas 369

Chapter 55 Homesick 376

Chapter 56 Return to Skilak 384

Epilogue 384

Acknowledgments 388

About the Author 390

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Winds of Skilak: A Tale of True Grit, True Love and Survival in the Alaskan Wilderness 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
LoneAlaskanGypsy More than 1 year ago
At eighteen I sold all of my belongings and bought a one way ticket to rural Alaska. Since then I've fallen in love with this state and its remarkable people and their remarkable stories. Bonnie, happens to be one of those people. But contrary to others who've lived amazing lives, she documented hers- in beautiful wording and vivid description. The story starts at the beginning. Bonnie and her husband, Sam leave their midwest home and venture into the unknown of Alaska. The story follows Bonnie and her husband Sam's trials and triumphs as they attempt to make a life for themselves in a place so far from their original 'home'. Of course, for the few of us lucky enough to fall in love with this place, Ohio soon seems distant and foriegn (although the people left behind are deeply missed). Bonnie and Sam quickly make peace with the oddities of Alaska and find unique contentment in its surroundings. If you've ever dreamed of running away from the city life and delving headfirst into a homestead lifestyle, then you will absolutely love Bonnie's story- because essentially, that is the path Bonnie and Sam chose. As the story progresses you find yourself living life beside Bonnie. You get to experience it all. The building of a rural cabin. The gathering, hunting, and raising of foods. The simple events of an everyday wildnerness lifestyle. But, alas, the wildnerness is not always kind. And although you get to experience the utter joy entailed in Bonnie's life, you are also thrust into the many unfortunate events that Alaska bestows upon her. You'll find yourself cringing at the painful injuries Bonnie and Sam face. You'll struggle with the emotions tied to rural living and the sadness and heartbreak that the lifestyle sometimes brings. The place where Bonnie and Sam make home is amidst the infamous Skilak lake. The waters tell a story of their own, and Bonnie does an exquisite job of bringing their power and peacefulness into her tale. As with many Alaskans- Bonnie and Sam's lives are largely effected by the waters near them. Bonnie's story is no different. In her book you can find both her admiration and respect of Skilak. I find this to be such an intimate detail that can be found not-so-subtly plotted throughout the story. For individuals in Alaska this one small trait of the book will ring relatable and true. Nature is powerful here, and Bonnie chooses not to hide Alaska's harshness. But she also brings fourth Alaska's light- by showing the beauty that can be found amidst Skilak's tough waters. I found myself experiencing so many emotions throughout this tale. Bonnie's honest humour in many of her upbeat chapters made me feel as though I was chatting with an old friend. I found myself smiling and laughing at many of her uniquely Alaskan experiences. I continually rooted for Sam and her to have a wonderful life, and was always hoping for their success. And when misfortune struck, I was so deeply involved in the story that it actually often moved me to tears. This book is a beautiful tribute to Alaska. As an Alaskan myself I can truly say this is one of the few brilliant northern-based novels out there. It captures your imagination and fills your heart with the contentment of the wild. I envy Bonnie's life so dearly and will forever treasure her story. I was blessed enough to get a copy of her book signed- and I will hold this specific copy near and dear to me for years to come. It's earned its place on my bookshelf and I will reread it again and again. The Winds of Skilak is an inspiration for those with their heart yearning for this lovely state, and a memorium to those who are blessed enough to already lived here.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Paul Johnson for Readers' Favorite Sam and Bonnie Ward set out to do something right out of many peoples’ dreams. They leave behind friends, family, and their suburban life and embark on a journey into the Alaskan wilderness. A journey that will change them forever. This is the story of a young couple’s adventure, a move from the suburbs of Ohio to a remote island on the always dangerous Skilak Lake. Sam and Bonnie must learn to adapt to a life without running water, electricity, telephones and most of their usual ‘creature comforts’ and tackle head-on the unforgiving and sometimes deadly environment. Here they will face sub-freezing temperatures, unfriendly animals, and even an onset of cabin fever. But, the Wards find strength in new friends and each other, and the awe-inspiring beauty of nature at its very core. All is not easy for them as a freak accident proves to be the test of their tenacity. Will they be able to survive in this isolated wilderness filled with unseen dangers or will they return to a simple and safe life in suburbia? Author Bonnie Ward records an exciting and thought-provoking tale of their faith in each other through all the things Alaska has to throw at them. Winds of Skilak is a true account of enthralling force, sure to bring out a reader’s own sense of adventure as they eagerly move from chapter to chapter. The book also contains personal photos throughout the chapters, giving the reader glimpses so they can appreciate and get a better understanding and feel of just how the Wards truly lived… A thoroughly enjoyable read. Once I got started, I didn't want to stop. Well done.