One Man's Paradise

Brooks Range: Horizons

“I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Summer 2018 seems to go into the record books as a relatively cool and wet one, quite in contrast to the rest of the nation. Nevertheless, there were clear, warm, breezy, and calm days sprinkled into the mix. The constantly changing weather patterns made for great photo opportunities, I think. Rainy days were used for sorting through my images, making pastry, doing laundry, roughly in that order.

blog-22 On my blueberry and mushroom expeditions, I ended frequently on ridge tops, which offered the best views of the immensity of the Brooks Range, short of being in a bush plane. Haven’t seen a single paraglider, although these hills are just calling for it. Gentle slopes in all directions, no powerlines, no fences… Once in a while a golden eagle or a pair of ravens are cruising along the ridge lines, showing me where the upwinds are. The same hills should make for amazing backcountry skiing, sans the cold… Maybe I will come back in March or April, when the winter temperatures may be bearable, and come to think of it, when there is also sufficient daylight for this activity. At night, I could watch the northern lights.

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Endicott Mountains, Brooks Range, Alaska

The oldtimers say September brings cooler, clear days. We shall see. The North Slope has already been blanketed several times with a couple inches of snow.

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One Man's Paradise

Another Day in Paradise

“The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.”

Edward Abbey


Ed had an uncanny ability to express fundamental truth in words that anybody could understand, if they were only willing to listen. He has written more than just “Desert Solitaire” and “The Monkey Wrench Gang”…

When am I going to find the time to read all these books?

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The year that left us without David Bowie, Leonhard Cohen, and Prince.

The year Donald Trump was named “Person of the Year” by the New York Times.

Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize in Literature, but was too busy to attend the award ceremony.

Millions of fugitives starving, displaced, drowned, or killed.

The Dow at an all-time high.

Could the contrasts be more stark?

Living in remote Alaska makes it easy to feel sheltered from the tribulations of the rest of the world. Nevertheless oil prices, climate change, and the state budget impact our daily lives. In the end it feels as it all comes down to money… No escape.

So here is my crop of 2016. A dozen black and white images that each represent a  memorable moment in my sheltered life in the year of division and contrast.

Inside Out

2016 – The Year of Division and Contrast

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Note to self

Precious Moments

There were just 6 hours and 35 minutes of daylight left today.

A break in the weather provided a glimpse into the mountains, wearing their winter coat.

Not for long. The cold wind starts creeping through my layers of clothes.

My fingers go numb.

The next storm and night are approaching, back to my warm shelter.


November has been unseasonably mild in SE-Alaska, but now winter seems to get a hold of us. Temperatures plummeting  into the single digits and high winds have replaced weeks of sun and rain and balmy temperatures. Snow has come and gone three times, frozen waterfalls have formed and melted away. That’s Nature’s way. Season’s change and it takes (me) time getting used to it.


Tomorrow there will be 6 hours and 30 minutes of daylight.

Plenty of time for precious moments.

 

 

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