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

Lamar River

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Lamar River, Wyoming

Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar II was a professor of law, a politician, and diplomat. He was a staunch opponent of Reconstruction, and did not consider freedmen and other black Americans fit to vote. He promoted “the supremacy of the unconquered and unconquerable Saxon race.”

Image result for Quintus Lamar

Despite that racist conviction he had an illustrious career. Lamar was confederate minister to Russia and special envoy to the United Kingdom and France. He also was a professor of metaphysics, social science and law. He served as a lieutenant colonel of the 19th Mississippi Infantry Regiment for one day. in 1856 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives  and served as United States Secretary of the Interior under President Grover Cleveland. From 1887, he was a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, where he served until his death on January 23, 1893.

During an 1884–85 Geological Survey, Geologist Arnold Hague named the East Fork of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park the Lamar River in his honor.

One of these days the United States Board on Geographic Names may reconsider that questionable honor?

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One Man's Paradise

The Valley of Wolves

This is Lamar Valley, where wolves, elk, bison, and moose roam. On the ridges you can see mountain goats and bighorn sheep. If you are lucky you may find a wolverine or a cougar track.

Located at the Northern end of Yellowstone National Park this gem is occasionally compared to the Serengeti in Africa. More than 4.2 million visitors come to the park annually. Most of them visit in the summertime. Only 100.000 visitors come to see this amazing place in the wintertime.

It is one of the few places in North America, where you can see wolves on a regular basis. There are about 100 wolves living in the park, where they are protected. To follow the fate of wolves in modern times is rather gruesome. Even in National Parks, such as YNP, wolves were until about 100 years systematically eradicated, using poison, traps, and bullets.

Bison experienced a similar decline. Within 30 years bison were brought to the brink of extinction. 15-30 million bison have roamed the plains and valleys of the West, when the first settlers showed. I thought for a long time that bison were killed for their meat and hide. Now I am learning that bison were at the center of the livelihood of First Nation people. The army recognized that and assisted in the killing of bison, as a mean to suppress First Nation people [1].

Interestingly, Lamar Valley was the place, where the last wild bison were captured and protected from hunters and poachers at the turn of the century. In 1995-96 wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone. One of the holding pens was and still is located in Lamar Valley.

A place, rich in history. One could argue a little piece of heaven (if it weren’t for the 4.2 million tourists). Imagine what this place must have looked like before Western civilization arrived. The same goes for other locations, that did not have the same spectacular landscape as Yellowstone and therefore, did not get the same protection.

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Into the Wild

New friends

Yesterday was my first ride on a sled pulled by a strong bunch of well behaved Alaskan huskies. They are my new friends.

Bailey has seen her share of snow flakes.

Bailey has seen her share of snow flakes.

After preparing sleds, gang lines, and dog houses for 2 weeks, after feeding my hungry and thirsty friends every day, and many other chores I was ready for the inaugural ride. It has been cold for a while now, one major snow storm dumped the first foot of snow, which was then blown around by blustery winds. The trail conditions were wild. Anything from windblown to deep powder and blank rock. My friends worked marvelously. Maybe we rode only 5 miles but that was pure bliss. Yes, I dumped my fellow musher out of the sled once, and I had to run a bit uphill, but it was worth the experience.

After the first run, I got to be the passenger in the sled. Another thrill. Being so low to the ground all seems so much faster. You see these small, strong creatures running gracefully and power, following the trail… Simply amazing.

Looking forward to the next snow storm, more runs, crispy mornings, sunny days, starry nights and all that.

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One Man's Paradise

Thursdays with Bearly: -5F

It is November 13, 2014. The thermometer reads -5F. This is way too cold for anyone spending the last couple of weeks in the Southwest. Freezing nose hair, burning skin after reentry, clam feet. It all comes back. It didn’t feel that cold last year in Alaska.

I hope my body and mind will adjust. Adding a down jacket and new gloves may help.

-5F

Granite Creek, Teton County, Wyoming

On my day off, I am couch-surfing in the library. Through the big windows I watch children play outside, throwing snowballs and doing somersaults from the snowy park benches. There it goes. It is all good. Just make the best out of it.

I have a warm bed at night, a hot meal during the day. Thank you.

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