Patrick Dobson has lived most of his life on the fringes of the Great Plains. His second book, Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer, was published this year with the University of Nebraska Press. His first book, Seldom Seen: A Journey into the Great Plains, was published to critical acclaim in 2009. He earned a Master’s degree from the University of Wyoming in 1993 and a doctorate in History and American literature from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2013. He is a writer, college professor, and union ironworker in Kansas City, Missouri.
Dobson walked to Helena, Montana, from Kansas City, Missouri, and canoed back on the Missouri River in 1995. Before he put his boat the river, he had no experience in a canoe. This excerpt from Canoeing the Great Plains features a woman who tried to tell Dobson his fate as he set out on the flooded river.