When he was 17, Duluth author and photographer Alex Messenger was on the trip of a lifetime.
With five friends he set off on a 600-mile canoe trip through the Canadian wilderness.
They knew it would be tough. They dealt with dangerous river rapids and bad weather that battered them and their boats.
Then, as they were entering the final leg of the trip, Messenger took a short solo hike and found himself face-to-face with a very large bear, which mauled him.
He recounts his story and its lasting effect on his life in an upcoming memoir, "The Twenty-Ninth Day: Surviving a Grizzly Attack in the Canadian Tundra." The book will be published in November.
Related: To hear Alex Messenger read an excerpt from his memoir, click the player below.
Guest host Euan Kerr met Messenger at Leif Erikson Park in Duluth. They sat on a bench in the middle of the park and talked about that trip -- what Messenger did to survive the attack, what he does now to cope and how his bond with nature has changed in the years since.
To hear more about Alex Messenger’s encounter with a bear, click play on the audio player above.