College Of The Rockies Alum Publishes Travel Book
College of the Rockies’ Adventure Tourism Business Operations (ATBO) alumnus, Kevin Ucci, has self-published a book detailing his kayaking expedition in the beautiful Haida Gwaii region.
Along the Knife’s Edge evolved from Ucci’s meticulous notes, taken during the expedition with the aim of writing an article.
“When the trip was finished and I began writing it, it quickly grew to something lengthier,” Ucci said. “It wasn’t because of anything we did, it was just because Haida Gwaii itself was such a special place.”
Ucci, originally from Elliot Lake, Ontario, grew up spending a lot of time in the outdoors. When he was 18, he moved to B.C. and immediately fell in love with the mountains. Skiing was always one of his favourite sports, but once he had a taste of skiing in the Rockies -- especially around Golden, B.C. -- it evolved into one of his greatest passions.
It was while spending a winter in Golden, that he was introduced to the ATBO program at the College’s Golden campus.
“I met a few people in Golden who were taking the course. The way they described what they were doing made me want to do the same,” he said.
The sea kayaking skills he gained in the ATBO program prepared him for his Haida Gwaii adventure.
“I had an interest in all of Canada’s National Parks,” he said. “The one called Gwaii Haanas, at the southern end of Haida Gwaii, caught my attention right away. I learned that Gwaii Haanas is actually a national park reserve and Haida heritage site, and to visit is quite expensive. Learning to sea kayak as an ATBO student meant I could visit the area without a lot of cost, and also afforded me the opportunity to view the west side of the islands, a place that few get to visit.”
Though intended as a way for Ucci to better remember the expedition, as well as to communicate the beauty of the region with his friends and family, his book is now used as a resource in one of the ATBO elective courses, Travel Writing.
“I’m very humbled by them using my book,” he said. “I’m happy to give back to the program in any way possible. This type of positive feedback is a great encouragement to keep learning and to keep writing.”
Ucci, who currently works as a kayak guide in the summer, and travels or works hospitality jobs in the winter, has plans to return to school to obtain a teaching degree.
“I think teaching is a good way to not only gain full-time employment, but to also continue to promote outdoor education,” he added.