In 1986 Brian Keenan and John McCarthy were forced to take a journey without maps. For the next four years they were incarcerated in a Lebanese dungeon. From the blank outlook of a tiny cell, with only each other and a few volumes of an ancient American encyclopaedia to sustain them, they could only wander the wide open spaces of their imagination. To displace the ugly confines of their existence, they envisaged walking in the High Andes and across the wastes of Patagonia.Five years after their return Brian and John chose to travel together again to see how the reality of Chile matched their imagination and to revisit their past experiences. They journeyed by every means available through vast empty deserts, verdant plains and barren tundra. Between Extremes is the story of that journey which once more found them far from home, in an unfamiliar landscape, but which for the first time allowed them to live by their own rules.
Brian Keenan's fascination with Alaska began as a small boy while reading Jack London's wondrous Call of the Wild. With a head full of questions about its inspiring landscape and a heart informed by his love of desolate and barren places, Brian Keenan sets out for Alaska to discover its four geographical quarters from snowmelt in May to snowfall in September, and en route, finds a land as fantastical as a fairytale but whose vastness has a very peculiar type of allure...From dog-mushing on a frozen lake beneath the whirling colours of the aurora borealis to camping in a two dollar tent in the tundra of the arctic circle, Brian Keenan seeks out the ultimate wilderness experience and along the way, encounters hard-core survivalists who know what struggle and endurance mean from their daily battle with nature to exist.He discovers that true wilderness is as much a state of mind as it is a place.And ultimately to make Alaska home, one must surrender to the land.