“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit
is his passion for adventure.”
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Not all may subscribe to this statement. And adventure means different things to different people. To me an adventure begins with the unknown. Some level of uncertainty. If I step outside in the morning and go look for wildlife or visit a familiar location like this place at Round Prairie I never know what to expect. I have come back to this place many times because there is a magnificent mountain in the distance that gets illuminated by the setting sun in the right conditions. Well, it has happened only once so far. But even on a snowy day, I found snow covered bison, moose nibbling on willows or lovely snow mounds.
What’s your next adventure?
By the way, if you want to read a nice write-up about the adventures of Chris McCandless and his followers visit Eva Hollands essay “Chasing Alexander Supertramp“.
“The world’s big
and I want to have a good look at it
before it gets dark.”
Great quote from a wise man. I am on the same page.
Mammoth Hot Springs is such a place that deserves a visit. Located close to the North entrance of Yellowstone National Park, accessible by a board walk, never the same. I plan on visiting this place a few more times this winter, as I imagine the contrast between snow, ice, steam, and hot water during the cold season is just out of this world.
Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and many other features of the park experience a break from the summer crowds. All roads inside the park, except the one from Gardiner to Cooke City, are closed to wheeled vehicles for the winter, and there is no riding with snow coaches or snow machines, yet. Currently, you could have Old Faithful all to yourself.
For years I have been contemplating a really long bicycle tour.
Growing up my first overnight trips away from home were bicycle tours with friends, involving camping or staying in youth hostels. I have great memories of those days. Later in life, I was grinding on mountain bike trails on short day trips to stay in shape. Now, I feel, the time has come to combine both experiences.
What better place, than to try the Great Divide. On paper this trail sounds epic. 2750 miles, climbing 5 times the height of Mt. Everest, that’s a lot. But, those are just numbers. Along those many miles, there is an amazing amount of wild and remote back country to take in. For most of us this will be a once in a lifetime experience.
So here I am. Old, overweight and out of shape. The bike ride will change all of that. That’s my hope.
If you want to follow that adventure you can do so at bikeeatsleepblog.wordpress.com.
This is a great story by the man, who walked the Iditarod first. Oh, there are a few hardy souls these days that walk parts of the Iditarod to McGrath, even fewer go on all the way to Nome. This year’s Invitational was especially challenging with temps around -40, Fahrenheit or Celsius, your pick.
Denis Douglas made it to the Yukon River (Ruby) two days before Iditarod front runners, Joe Runyan and Doug Swingley.
Booty Road – The First to Walk the Iditarod Trail
by Denis Douglas
The sun got hotter as I walked, and sweat rolled down my back soaking my shirt… No. I must be hallucinating again. Actually it’s about 40 below zero and I’m trudging down the Yukon River with a twenty-mile-an-hour wind blowing in my face. Such was my first walk from Knik to Nome.
Let me back up a little here. Two years earlier I was asked by a hunter to fly from Anchorage into the Farewell area just on the far side of Rainy Pass. The man was from Texas and had drawn a permit for a buffalo during the spring hunt. He shot a cow at about twenty yards and soon we had the animal field dressed…
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Hélėne Grimbaud was labeled an uncontrollable, unmanageable and unpredictable child. Good for her. I think, some of these traits helped her to succeed as a classical pianist later in life. “Wild Harmonies” is an account of her upbringing in France, concerts all over the world, and her move to the US. In Florida of all places she would have her first encounter with a wolf that changed her life. Her life and work between wolves and music make this unconventional biography a worthwhile read. I can only imagine what a pleasure it must be to read her book in French. The English translation is stellar.
Seeing a wolf in the wild is an unforgettable experience. They are magnificent animals. Native American tribes recognized the wolf for its extreme devotion to its family, and drew parallels between the society of a wolf pack and that of a tribe. Also, the wolf’s superior and cooperative hunting skills made it the envy of many tribes. Unfortunately, the rest of the world attached an undeserved stigma to the wolf. It has been severely diminished in many of his previous hunting grounds in the Northern hemisphere. Russia and Canada have the largest populations of the Gray Wolf.
“The caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong.”
A long winter with a short skiing season…
That’s how winter 2015/16 in SE Alaska goes down in my books. First, a lot of rain in October and November, not the desirable white fluffy stuff. Then unsettled weather in December and January, short days, not enough to venture too far off the road. February and March were good to us. Not the usual weather pattern, though. And then came spring, one month early.
I have learned something about back country skiing in the Coastal Mountains: So many runs, not enough time.
Can’t wait to explore more next winter, which is going to be epic!