One Man's Paradise

Sainte Terre

“Away back in the middle ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre’, ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently.”

John Muir


There are many things about winter that I like. The transformation of the mountains into pristine walls and ridges of snow and ice is probably my favorite aspect of the cold and dark season. When the storm clouds lift and some of that fresh, untouched powder is exposed, that’s when mountains turn into altars, as others have said.

Amen.

 

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Mixed bag

Into the White

We have been watching winter movies playing in remote places lately. Yesterday it was “Into the White”, a Norwegian movie by director Petter Næss.

A group of British and German soldiers find themselves stranded in a remote shelter in the midst of winter during WW II after crashing their planes in the Norwegian wilderness. Not a war movie, but a great portrait of humanity based on true events.


Some critics said the movie has soul, I concur.
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Life

Shine Your Light…

blog

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

“Shine your light
and make a positive impact on the world;
there is nothing so honorable as
helping improve the lives of others.”

Roy T. Bennett


I wish at the end of my days somebody tells me, I had a positive impact on the world. There are many ways to help out others in need. What will you do to make the world a better place?

Black Friday 2018, not a dime spent…

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Note to self

Miracles

“There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein


Today, more Noble Prize winners have been announced. Reminded me of Einstein, who was not only good for scientific theories that changed “our” views on matter and time. He also led a wild private life and is a great source for inspirational quotes.

I liken to think of life as a miracle. Sometimes there are rocks in the way. It takes effort to turn those rocks into insignificant pebbles.

I am reentering society, sort of, after being on the road for more than 4 months and living north of the arctic circle, where every day is a miracle. The solitude and remoteness, the weather, the landscape, and the small number of individuals that I encountered in that environment left me no choice, but marvel in the quality of every day. I could stayed up there and maybe I will return some day.

 

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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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Nature

Mammoth Hot Springs – № 2

“You can always back up
and pick a new fork.”

Kary Mullis


What’s the connection between Kary Mullis and Yellowstone National Park, you ask?

Well, Thermus aquaticus, a thermophilic, chemotroph bacterium was discovered in Yellowstone National Park. A number of enzymes were identified in this organism that likes to grow in 70 °C warm water. Make that 70 °C hot water. One of the enzymes, Taq polymerase, was later used in a technique called PCR, which revolutionized molecular biology. PCR is the brainchild of Kary Mullis.

If you want to read more about Kary Mullis, beware! You might find some strange believes and come across extraterrestrials in the form of a green fluorescent raccoon.

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Into the Wild

Into the wild – № 2

“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“.

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One Man's Paradise

Into the Wild

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)


An amazing book and movie, in my opinion, although the life of Chris McCandless, a.k.a. Alexander Supertramp, has been commented to death.

I have visited this place called Round Prairie now many times during this winter and it shows in a different light every time. On this day I was hoping for sun, but I got snowed on instead. Moose and bison like to hang out in this corner of Yellowstone. Only a handful of trees have managed to grow in this meadow that is surrounded by sheer cliffs and towering mountain tops.

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Quote

Instead of Words

“If I could say it in words
there would be no reason to take photographs.”

inspired by Edward Hopper


Edward Hopper did paint American scenes of daily life. His most famous painting is Nighthawks, an oil on canvas painting that portrays people in a downtown diner late at night. The original can be viewed at the Art Institute of Chicago.

One of his paintings sold for $36 million in 2013, 46 years after his death.

[Art is business, which may not benefit the artist.]

 

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