About my wilderness blog
We’re into our thirteenth year of living off-grid and without any road connection in the remote region where the Yukon Territory, BC, and Alaska meet. Have a cup of tea with us, the chores are almost done: garden work, cutting firewood, washing laundry by hand, baking bread, and hammering away at an interminable number of building projects.
Depending on the season, there’s moose meat, lake trout and veggies to can and dry, berries and medicinal plants to pick and process. No matter what time of the year it is, running water always means we have to run down to the lake with a bucket to get it.
But it’s not all work; far from it. Long walks and boat trips open up windows into the lives of our wildlife neighbours. And there is always time to curl up with a good book, watch the sunrise,—and write. So from deep in the middle of nowhere, these words have flung themselves up into the atmosphere via satellite internet and found their way back down to Earth thanks to assorted antennas, cables and modems, to to emerge on your computer screen. Such is modern communication in the bush: I don’t press a tattered piece of paper into the hand of a frost-coated musher and ask him to mail it at the post office. I just press enter - exit the words.
Three days after receiving my bachelor’s degree in Social Work, I stuffed my belongings into a backpack and left Germany for Canada. The following decade was spent in far-flung places all over BC until in 2005, we began building our wilderness homestead. Tucked into the remote region where Alaska, the Yukon Territory and British Columbia meet, our log cabin is separated from the closest road and village by glacier-fed lakes and a whitewater river.
I have been the coordinator for a grassroots environmental organization, a youth worker with the local First Nation, did flight watch for heliski operators and, among other jobs, helped restore two gold rush era buildings. Most recently, I have put in a 10-month volunteer stint at Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter in Smithers, BC, raising orphaned black bear cubs and other wildlife.
I work as a literary translator, freelance writer and have published two books. Twice a year I leave the solitude of bush life and paddle into town.
Wilderness can make us feel small and vulnerable, the way we really are. Difficult tasks can rarely be delegated to somebody else, and even in emergencies help is slow to come. The question: “What if…?” simmers at the back of the mind. And this very thought creates the most intriguing stories—no matter where they play out.
My literary translations include several novels for German Luzifer Verlag, among them the works of award-winning authors Robert McCammon, Kealan Patrick Burke and Greg F. Gifune, as well as a travel memoir for Sorriso Verlag. My articles and photography have appeared in international travel magazines, Canadian newspapers, and online magazines.
In 2015, my wilderness memoir “Ein Blockhaus in der Einsamkeit” and the thriller "Highway 16" were published by 360°medien mettmann and Sieben Verlag in Germany.