Fernie & Elk Valley Culture Guide Issue 2 Fall 2016 - Page 19

FEATURE AUTHOR Jon Turk Explorer. Gardener. Adventure Paddler. Scientist. Backcountry Skier. Storyteller. Many words are needed to describe Jon Turk, the 70-yearold National Geographic nominee for Adventurer of the year (2012) who claims to have retired 50 years ago by simply stopping what he didn’t like to do. As a professional adventurer, Jon sustains himself on his books and public speaking, two income sources so tentative that he has learned to live without a five year plan. The same year Jon received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Colorado, he co-authored Ecology, Pollution, and the Environment that went on to sell over 100,000 copies. More than 30 science textbooks followed before his first creative non-fiction work: Cold Oceans, Adventures in Kayak, Rowboat, and Dogsled, published in 1998. In the Wake of the Jomon: Stone Age Mariners and a Voyage across the Pacific followed in 2005; the book recalls the author’s 2-year successful voyage across the Pacific. The voyage was named one of the ten greatest sea kayak expeditions of all time by Paddler Magazine. After Jomon, Jon’s focus changed to a search for inner healing, returning to Siberia to commune with the 100-year-old shaman he first met on his Pacific voyage. ‘Moolynaut’ had told him to: Come back. It will be good if you do, and he says that doing that changed his life. The result was The Raven’s Gift: A Scientist, a Shaman, and their Remarkable Journey through the Siberian Wilderness. Conrad Anker, North Face Extreme Alpinist, calls Jon’s latest book: An important read as our society collides headlong into an over-subscribed world. Available from Oolichan Books in September, Crocodiles and Ice, A Journey into Deep Wild, will be launched at the Fernie Heritage Library on September 15th at the first event of the Booked! 2016-2017 season. jonturk.net 19