A trip from Indiana gone off the rails after a tumble into a frigid lake.

Victims of volatile weather in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A Minneapolis man who disappeared with little trace.

The circumstances of death and injury in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, by whatever means, grabs attention and sinks stomachs. Yet it remains, year in and year out, a consistent presence. This month's tragedy at Curtain Falls involving what appears to be a fatal plunge by paddlers is an immediate example. It occurred not long after a solo paddler from Duluth was found dead May 10 on Lake Agnes, north of Ely.

The accounts were on the radar of Minnesotan Joe Friedrichs, a former radio news director at WTIP in Grand Marais who also co-hosted the station's popular BWCAW podcast. Friedrichs and co-host Matthew Baxley still keep BWCAW at the center of their lives, but in a different capacity. Their new company Paddle and Portage, launched this year, features a monthly podcast and digital magazine.

The enterprise coincides with publication of Friedrichs' stirring new book, "Last Entry Point: Stories of Danger and Death in the Boundary Waters," which chronicles BWCAW trips from which, for some, there was no return.

While saddened by the recent BWCAW tragedies, he is matter-of-fact. "After years of doing this, covering the Boundary Waters in the way that I do, none of this is shocking to me or out of the ordinary to me. This is the whole point of the book," he said.

In a recent interview, Friedrichs talked about the underlying safety message in his book, his own close call while paddling last year and the care he took in sharing the stories of wilderness travel's dark side, like that of Gov. Tim Walz's brother, Craig, killed by a fallen white pine in stormy weather while camping on Duncan Lake in 2016. Here are edited excerpts from the conversation:

On his motivation for the book

My curiosity of storytelling and people and feeling completely detached from reading about someone's death in this wilderness area that is my favorite place on earth. After time that wore on me. It was, over time, who are these people I am talking about when I read this over the air?

On visiting with families and friends

They took a lot of time to cultivate trust. It always opened with, here is who I am. Here is what I know about your family member, and here is why I am contacting you. My approach with this is to educate people about how seriously you need to take wilderness travel. I developed relationships over months, and then started interviews that became the book.

On getting emotional at a book release

[The emotion] is in there. People have said, you've taken on a lot, carrying these stories, thinking about them and writing about them. I'm really grateful that I got to speak with these people. We are talking about people's lives and loved ones. It just came out in the moment that I did have a big emotional connection to these stories and still do.

On his capsize in rapids on the Temperance River

I needed more education and unfortunately it took a firsthand experience to drive that home — about slowing down and situational awareness. Another time, we were paddling in whitecaps on Pine Lake on the far east side of the Wilderness in late September last year. We wanted to cross. We took it all in with the highest degree of safety in a way that I never had before. I think that was the pinnacle of my understanding of how dangerous it is to paddle these lakes in May and September-October. It took the experience of writing the book and my personal experience to really change how I interact with the Boundary Waters.

On all the unreported experiences

How many times did someone not die? They were a hair's breath away. Nobody hears that story but their immediate circle. There are maybe two to three deaths per year, but how many close calls per year? That is a whole other number.

On the mental prep ahead of a trip

I think that it is probably best that people plan that nobody is coming to help you. Because of the amount of time and effort it takes to get in there. I think the mindset that I am all good because if something happens to me, someone is coming to get me, is dangerous.

In these pages, a warning

It's important that people understand that [emergencies] can and do happen. You are not going to read this kind of stuff from an outfitter or the Forest Service — not, when an emergency arises, this is what you should do. It's the sunsets, it's the beauty, it's the fish — that is the branding of the Boundary Waters. But there is whole other truth to what goes on out there. People are often in dangerous situations. It is very much a reality of this place. Whether it is a newcomer or an annual fishing trip, it is important that everybody understands this.

Friedrichs' upcoming events: Noon, June 8, The Bookstore at Fitger's, Duluth; 6 p.m. June 12, Next Chapter Booksellers, St. Paul.