• Alaskan Retreater's Notebook

  • One Man's Journey into the Alaskan Wilderness
  • By: Ray Ordorica
  • Narrated by: Stephen Bel Davies
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (118 ratings)

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Alaskan Retreater's Notebook

By: Ray Ordorica
Narrated by: Stephen Bel Davies
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Publisher's Summary

In the fall of 1978, Ray Ordorica packed everything he thought he would need into his Toyota LandCruiser and drove north to Alaska. He came to a land he had never seen, to find something he wasn't even sure existed: a wilderness cabin he could use for a year or more to live, think, relax, read, and write. Ordorica found his cabin, fixed it up, and, although it was just an un-insulated 12- by 16-foot one-room log structure, he spent three winters in it in relative comfort.

Ordorica's life in that cabin fulfilled a dream he had had for more than 10 years. During his long winters in Alaska, it occurred to him that there must be many others who have put off an extended wilderness visit out of ignorance or fear. They have as many questions about Alaska as he had before he arrived: How do you cope with 40 below? How do you get water? Is it totally dark in mid-winter? These questions and many more gave Ordorica the idea to write the Alaskan Retreater's Notebook, an epic memoir about one man's journey into the Alaskan wilderness. With his wisdom, you will learn how to live with the country, and not against it.

©2016 Ray Ordorica (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Alaskan Retreater's Notebook

Average Customer Ratings
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He used the Lord's name in vain.

It would have been OK but he used the Lord's name in vain.
That is unacceptable to me.

5 people found this helpful

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Love this book

Love listening. great story it is great to listen t9 to fall asleep as he has a great voice

4 people found this helpful

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  • Tm
  • 09-27-16

A brave man on a timeless quest.

I enjoyed this tale every step of the way. Alaskan adventures are my guilty pleasure. The story starts as an expert to do list and ends as a mans timeless quest to find peace of mind. I also enjoyed the narration and will look for his work.

4 people found this helpful

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The title is a little misleading!

The book started out good but quickly degraded to something that could pass for a Disney tale. with telepathic animals that follow him through the woods finding game for him. At times the author seems modest but jumps to something very egotistical and a master of most things. I would not recommend this book for anyone looking for Alaskan information.

3 people found this helpful

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Started out good...

This book started out really good. Towards the last fourth of the book it was more boring than reading a persons grocery list. It seems as if the author wanted just to fill space.

2 people found this helpful

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Great book!

I really enjoyed the story and experiences of the author. Very entertaining. I would recommend this book to any adventurer or prepper or anyone who wants to experience wild Alaska. This book kept me entertained throughout. Full of useful information and relevant personal experiences.

2 people found this helpful

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very interesting story but sounds like cabin fever

it was really a very genuine account from the Alaskan wild. alone in a cabin at 50 below for a very long winter.

1 person found this helpful

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Solid info, good story

Frustrating when the speaker would talk quiet, for effect. Too quiet for the volume level so you miss things. Happens frequently.

1 person found this helpful

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Odd but good.

Real stories from a passionate fellow. Heavy on guns and gun lore for my taste.

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review

this one has been my absolute favorite, and am sad that it is now over.

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  • Bev
  • 10-18-16

if you like Alaska the Final frontier try this

really enjoyable, I preferred the journal information but the survival tips were good too. I found the stories about his pet critters very sweet

2 people found this helpful

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  • Just a reader
  • 12-01-21

Weird little book, still fun

What a weird little book this is. I enjoyed it a lot in some parts, was raising my eyebrows in others. All in all it was a fun listen, though.

Some words of caution/praise:

Caution: This is NOT an actual book to get if you want to move to Alaska. It touts itself as a practical journal, but the events described happened 20 to 40 years ago so the info is not relevant anymore at all. For instance he squats on a partially abandoned military base for a while which to me does not seem like a well thought-out plan nowadays. No use of internet, no relevant laws, nothing. Some portions also describe his life just living in cities going from odd job to odd job and those parts are not really interesting at all. Some portions are weirdly boastful about having 'a young girlfriend' and hanging out with rich directors of oil companies. A little tone deaf and not in touch with the theme of the book. He is also a self-proclaimed gun nut and writes articles for gun magazines for a living, so there is a LOT of gun-talk. Depending on your own interests, this may either be a plus or a negative.

Praise:
Large portions of the book do describe his life in Alaska and those are pretty fun to listen to. Mind you, he's not deep in the wilderness Dick Proenneke - style, just in a remote area. I liked hearing his somewhat eccentric tales. At one point he tries to shoot a hole in the ice to create a fishing spot and the way this obviously ridiculous action is described had me laughing out loud. His concerns and love for animals/nature/wildlife are also pretty touching and told in an engaging way.

What helps to sell all this is the top notch narration. Davies does not have the type of voice that I would normally enjoy, but it suits the material SO well here. I was honestly surprised that it wasn't the author narrating it, because he sounded exactly like I imagined a guy like Ordorica would sound. Due to this narration this book is like listening to a guy sitting next to you in a bar telling you interesting tales about his previous life. Nothing life-shattering, but fun for an evening.

This title is free on plus now and it is worth trying out in terms of time investment. if I had gotten it for a full credit I would have been a bit 'meh'. but if I had gotten it in a 2 for 1 sale I would have considered it a good deal.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joe
  • 11-03-22

Thoroughly enjoyable

It's informative, entertaining, funny and towards the end even quite moving. It's also read very well.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-30-22

I loved this book

Great listening on my way to & from work. The narrator has a fantastic story telling voice. Great tails with the animals.
I would listen to it again.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • BravoPanda
  • 09-17-22

Interesting and insightful

Honestly struggling to review this book as the narrator's voice is distinctly female, so my enjoyment was more because I thought I was listening to a hardcore middle aged/ageing woman take on the elements and wild Alaska.

Upon searching for more it turns out this is not so.

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  • Craig S
  • 02-09-22

A bit self absorbed, but easy listening!

I would have been disappointed if I had used funds for this. It’s a long winded story that has some eyebrow raising moments, monologues about how great the author is and guns.

Descriptively brings the environment to life, although city scenes are dated as to be expected. Performance was good, emotive and engaging narrator. Would listen to him again.

Despite the glass gazing tendencies of Dr Doolittle it was an easy listen if you find yourself with little else to do.

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  • sinbad4england
  • 01-13-22

Pretty Good......

Pretty good tail of going off grid in the Alaskan bush. There was plenty of interesting detail into how to survive in those conditions and the narration helped me to picture the scenes being described. The author clearly has a love of guns which took up too much time for my liking. There was some repetition but all in all I enjoyed this audiobook.

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  • Paul McFerra
  • 09-11-21

Good Listen

Very interesting listen, well worth the time. Would love to have the bottle to live in this way

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  • MR N A Woliter
  • 09-02-21

Exiting and Adventurous

Loved every minute of it. Great insight and knowledge of Alaska. The narrator was flawless.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lee Slater
  • 02-04-20

Brilliant ! Very inspiring read. Very inspiring.

love this book. a real dead honest insight to living in a harsh environment.

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  • Josh van der vlugt
  • 06-16-16

thoroughly enjoyable

This book is now up there with my favorite 'one man's wilderness, I enjoyed the storys of his wild friends and the information and it truly is a fountain of knowledge for the adventurer heading to alaska. The narator was upbeat and jolly throughout made it a delight to listen to.
It is much like the book I mentioned one man's wilderness even set in the 70s and even the naration was the same.
so if you enjoyed that one you will enjoy this one and vice versa.

best of luck to you and your wild friends Ray!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Grant David Bauckham
  • 09-11-22

great read love tails of Alaska

loved it
would love to hear more
throughly enjoy tails of Alaskan life through the seasons

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-22-21

oh so dull. ...and repetitive

Being alone in an Alaskan cabin would be more exciting. I had hoped I'd learn something.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • P Hensley
  • 12-08-21

50 : 50

The first half of the book (I thought) lacked passion, the second half was awesome.. in the second half, Ray shared a lot more of himself and his personal challenges... in the first half, the physical challenges were well written, however Ray's heart/passion was missing, when he finally opened up... the writing flowed heaps better.... a great read!

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  • Bree
  • 11-17-21

An enjoyable listen

I liked the wildlife, the observations in nature, certain survival aspects, a little poetic in parts which was nice. Some good advice there (eg never take cheap tools). I liked it.