And the River Still Sings

A Wilderness Dweller's Journey

Chris Czajkowski

How does one go from English villager to wilderness dweller?

Chris Czajkowski was born and raised at the edge of a large village in England, until she abandoned the company of others to roam the countryside in search of the natural world. As a young adult she studied dairy farming and travelled to Uganda to teach at a farm school. Returning to England she found nothing to hold her interest, so in 1971 she hitchhiked around the world spending as little time as possible in cities. Her travels took her to remote areas, where she learned mountain skills and discovered the wonderful joy of solitude.

Arriving in Canada in 1979, Chris travelled to the West Chilcotin and built a cabin deep in the woods of British Columbia’s Coast Mountains. A few years later she built her second cabin beside an untouched and remote high-altitude lake. She called her new home Nuk Tessli and lived there for twenty-three years, turning her paradise into a thriving wilderness resort and guiding business.

In 1980, Chris began writing about her adventures. Encouraged by her supporter Peter Gzowski, she published Cabin at Singing River, which became a national sensation and led to more books about living in BC’s beautiful wilderness. In 2012, after many happy years of living alone in the bush, Chris sold Nuk Tessli, closing a significant chapter of her life.

And the River Still Sings goes beyond the tales with which we are so familiar, exploring both the experiences that led Chris to a solitary lifestyle and her transition to a life closer to the grid. Chris’s “retirement home” has easier access to a road and neighbours although she still lives beyond the end of the power line. Her new book is a personal and honest insight into the “Wilderness Dweller.”

“And the River Still Sings is the uplifting story of a woman who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty or use her female muscles to accomplish a task. It’s a book I will encourage my granddaughters to read because it demonstrates that dreams, even those that seem impossible, are there for the taking if one is willing to work for them. It’s also a book I would encourage the grandmothers of the world to read because it speaks of a beauty of spirit that doesn’t have to dim with time.”
Story Circle Book Reviews
“Her easy-going writing draws you into her unique life and feels as familiar as a letter from a friend. She tells of the joy of the solitary life without metaphor and speaks of the hardships without remorse.”
North Shore News