This Film Takes You Down Alaska's Inside Passage in a Wooden Canoe

'The Passage' is a story about growing up, growing old, and the wild places that define us. Day's Edge Productions

A single grand adventure as a young person can shape who you'll be for the rest of your life. But how does it shape the rest of your family, including children who are born years after the adventure comes to a close? How does that event define you and the generations that follow?

These are the weighty questions explored in "The Passage."

Filmmaker Nate Dappen of Day's Edge Productions was raised hearing the stories of his father's and uncle’s journey through Alaska’s Inside Passage as young men, paddling wooden canoes they’d made themselves in a garage in Washington state. But it wasn’t until Dappen was an adult and a father himself — that he marveled at how a journey he never experienced was such a critical part of his own identity.

"My brother and I grew up paddling those canoes — fishing on them in the Pacific Northwest and exploring Eastern rivers like the Shenandoah," says Dappen. "They still hang in our parents' garage and the 1974 adventure has become legend in our family — shaping who we've become, how we view our parents, and certainly how our parents view themselves. How did an adventure we never experienced affect our lives so deeply?”

So, Dappen loaded up his cameras into canoes and set out with his father, brother and uncle to complete 300 miles of paddling the Inside Passage.

"In 1974 our Dad and Andy were young adults looking forward to the limitless possibilities of their lives. Now, 43 years later, they are near the ends of their careers, with more behind them than ahead. But, they still have at least one more adventure left in them."

The result is a gorgeous film that explores growing up and how adventure and exploration shape our identities. Filled with stunning scenery and wildlife, the beauty of travel is highlighted just as much as the beauty of family connection and history.

You can see the full 25-minute film here:

"The Passage" will have you thinking about the stories from your family’s history that stand out to you, and how they've influenced how you see yourself and your family.

Check out these photos taken while the movie was filmed:

Surrounding oneself in such grand landscapes reminds us how small we really are.
Surrounding yourself in such grand landscapes reminds you how small humans really are. Day's Edge Productions
Fishing is part of daily life when spending weeks paddling.
Fishing is part of daily life when you spend weeks paddling. Day's Edge Productions
Wildlife encounters are one of the big draws of spending time out on the water.
Wildlife encounters are one of the big draws of spending time out on the water. Day's Edge Productions
The Dappen family on another great adventure of a lifetime.
The Dappen family on another great adventure of a lifetime. Day's Edge Productions