Love in Northern Rapids recounts canoe trips over more than a dozen years on many arctic rivers and on the Beaufort Sea, as well as the Inside Passages (in both B.C. and Alaska), the Sea of Cortez, and other waterways. Freda’s tales of wilderness exploration will entertain experienced recreationalists as well as armchair adventurers—for the places she describes are so remote that they are visited by very few. Woven into the stories are the couple’s ups and downs of their growing relationship.
At age sixty-two, seven years a widow, the author met Ted Mellenthin, an enthusiastic whitewater paddler of the same age who brought along a canoe on their very first date. The adventurous pair hit it off immediately, and Ted started to teach Freda the first basic paddling strokes.
In the summer of 1999, only months after that first blind date, Freda and Ted set out on their first canoe expedition— into the Canadian Arctic. They paddled 1200 kilometres in six weeks, from northeast of Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories, to Baker Lake, in Nunavut. Despite run-ins with wildlife, dangerous whitewater, and punishing portages, they were soon planning their next adventure.