In 1862, a British lord named Viscount Milton and his friend from Cambridge, Dr. Cheadle, set out to travel across what is now western Canada. Not only did they want to explore the possibilities of a usable land-route through the Rockies to the Cariboo goldfields, but they craved the adventure an untouched land could provide. Starting their journey in the Red River Colony (Winnipeg), they hired guides and proceeded across the prairie, encountering both Natives and Hudson's Bay Company traders, and enduring a gruelling journey through the Yellowhead Pass, in terrible conditions, down the Thompson River to Kamloops. They moved down the Fraser River from the B.C. interior to New Westminster and took a steamer to Victoria, from which they visited the Cariboo goldfields, and then headed home from Victoria by ship via Panama. Their book about the trip, "The North-West Passage by Land," published in England in 1865, was a huge success. Now Michael Shaw Bond - a great-great-grandson of Viscount Milton, and a London journalist - has also travelled from Winnipeg west in the footsteps of his distinguished ancestor. Hitch-hiking and walking across the prairies, searching near Prince Albert for the descendants of the natives who helped Milton and Cheadle survive their first winter, and encountering both grandeur and extreme discomfort on horseback through the mountains, Bond tackles his experience with curiosity, good humour, and a good deal of Milton's own courage. In the process he discovers not only Milton's trail, but much about Milton - and himself. On his Canadian adventure Milton was able to escape the pressures and expectations of his position, and come to an awareness of what he did well. So too did Bond, dealing with a difficult relationship and a time of uncertainty in his life, find in his adventure a time in which life is reduced to essentials, and priorities are clarified - through the centuries the reward of pilgrimage.