When legendary Canadian solo canoeist Herb Pohl died tragically on Lake Superior in 2007, friends found on his desk a rough memoir about 40 years of wilderness travel that he intended to publish in a book he wanted to call The Lure of Faraway Places. James knew Herb, but not all that well, but he agreed to help compile and edit Herb’s stories and eventually a book was published. In the process of doing this work for this kindred spirit in canoeing, James came to see his work not so much as a series of trip reports but as a story about one man’s love for the wilderness. In the particular’s of Herb Pohl’s story, James found elements of his own feelings about self-propelled experiences in unspoiled nature and a set of affirming universal truths about the value and importance of wild places to the sanity and sanctity of human kind. A similar version of this story that compares the lives and peregrinations of Sir George Simpson and Herb Pohl was packaged in a talk called “Of Northern Emperors and The Lure of Far Away Places.