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3 Among the Wolves argues (though not explicitly or intentionally) that you’re never too old for anything. Picture this: A 58-year-old woman and her 69-year-old husband decide that it would be a good idea to take their wolf-dog, Charley, hike a week into the wilderness of the Northwest Territories, and spy on a wolfpack from April to October. Basically snow to snow. So they do.

That accomplished, still hungering for adventure, they outfit themselves for an expedition to the arctic to study the relationship of polar bears and wolves during the winter dark. They almost don’t make it back from that one. The arctic ocean does not lie supine under its ice pack, and when it starts heaving and surging, it tosses the ice pack around something terrible. You might step from ice to ocean, then get chomped in closing ice all in the motion of lifting up one foot and putting it down ahead of you. But they made it. And wrote about it.

This becomes a bit more comprehensible when you find out that Helen Thayer was a New Zealand luge champ at some young age, took off on a walk with dog Charley to the north pole at age 50 (first woman to do so. You can read about it in Polar Dream.) She later repeated the trip with her husband. Just to prove they weren’t addicted to ice, I guess, they wrote about Walking the Gobi. 1600 miles of it. Her Wikipedia biography says they’re headed for China in 2007 to study panda bears. Hope they made it. Bet they did.

sitting up clapping

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