Into the Wild, One Man's Paradise

Words and Images

“ When words become unclear,
I shall focus with photographs.

When images become inadequate,
I shall be content with silence. ”

Ansel Adams

One Man's Paradise

First Light

“A person whose head is bowed and whose eyes are heavy cannot look at the light.”

Christine de Pizan


First Light – Chilkat Mountains – Alaska

On a rare, clear day, after sunrise, this is my view across the Chilkat Inlet: first light on mountains with no name.

Winter in a remote corner of Alaska is my way to recuperate from a busy summer schedule. One could say I am living under a rock. A weekly trip into town running errands to replenish my food supply, pick a book and some DVDs from the library and check my PO box are my direct encounters with human society. I have access to the internet, so I can, or should I say I could (?), stay in touch with world news.

Part of my home entertainment consists of watching TV marathons, my way of catching up. I had not watched TV for years and this is when I realize how detached I have been. No regrets here. Watching “House of Cards”, “The Wire”, “The Shield”, and “Homeland” I am wondering how close fiction is to real life. Full of violence, intrigue and deception. What I read in the news is not so different from what I see in the TV dramas.

So here is my simple request to you. What feel-good TV series should I watch, or which books should I read to restore my faith in human society?

While patiently awaiting your response I am looking up and forward to another splendid sunrise. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not the day after. But some day the sun will be back and expel the gray.

One Man's Paradise

The view from above…

“A desk is a dangerous place
from which to view the world.”

John le Carré

Last week I had the privilege to be on a flightseeing tour with Mountain Flying Services, seeing the beautiful Chilkat Mountains and Glacier Bay National Park from above. Another picture perfect day in Southeast Alaska. On the way back to Haines we crossed the delta of the Chilkat River feeding into the Upper Lynn Canal. At low tide a maze of small channels became visible, finding their way into the ocean.

On this day, sitting in a small plane, was the perfect place to view the world.

One Man's Paradise

“The love of wilderness…

is more than a hunger
for what is always beyond reach.

It’s also an expression of loyalty to 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

Today was a No-Ship day.



Lower Dewey Lake, AK

That means most everybody in town gets a day off to relax or take care of personal business. We decided to go on a hike. Lower Dewey Lake was our destination. A short hike leads to a 3 mile loop around the lake: beautiful. Spruce and hemlock surround the lake, which was almost like a mirror this morning.

The light was just right. A secluded, pristine paradise. Foamy bubbles drift on the surface of the lake. Sometimes they connect to form swirls and twirls, floating along the shore.

A short hike from our sleepy little town, awaiting the next big ship.

One Man's Paradise

From the Mountains

to the Sea…

I am still in disbelief about the place I find myself in. White mountains dropping right into the sea.

Haines and Skagway are still sleepy towns, although behind the scenes the locals are working quietly on getting ready for the first cruise ships to arrive in a few days. Shoulder season.

It has been a sunny week since we left Prince Rupert, Ketchikan, and Juneau with their menacing skies behind. The snow in the mountains rising above the Upper Lynn Canal still looks pristine, although the heat of the sun has released  spring avalanches. The snowline is slowly creeping up. A landscape in transition. For the next four months that will be the theme: transition. I remember well, how Nature changed around us in Denali two years ago. You could watch the snow loosing ground, day by day, until it was replaced by plants, flowers, and seeds. Next thing you knew it was colorful fall and the white coat came back.

Not so fast! I’ll enjoy day by day in this spectacular setting.

Lynn Canal, Alaska

Lynn Canal, Alaska