I became a man in the Alaskan wilderness – just not in the way you might think
The Guardian » Alaska holidays
by Benjamin Alva Polley
3w ago
After years working for backcountry trail crews, Benjamin Alva Polley had a healthy respect for the whims of the wilderness. But when he and his wife headed to Alaska’s Brooks Range – the most remote frontier – fear crept in Silence washed over me as the float plane buzzed away, leaving us alone. I turned around and saw fresh grizzly and moose tracks the size of dinner plates imprinted in the mud. Panic tiptoed in, but it didn’t reign. I tried not to dwell on it, taking a deep breath and sinking into the beauty rioting everywhere. I didn’t want my wife to know I was intimidated. We were about ..read more
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The Alaska Highway: road trip through the wilds
The Guardian » Alaska holidays
by Anne Kostalas
3y ago
The Alaska Highway across Canada's British Columbia and Yukon is stunning, but even more memorable than the road trip itself are the people Anne Kostalas meets along the way There is something about a highway through the wilderness that attracts eccentrics. The 1,500-mile Alaska Highway, which crosses British Columbia and the Yukon for most of its route, has its fair share. Even the construction of the road, which turned 70 last year, was anything but normal. US soldiers were ordered to build the road – described as one of the greatest engineering feats in history – through unmapped territory ..read more
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What would you do if a bear charged you?
The Guardian » Alaska holidays
by Phil Daoust
3y ago
A group of tourists in Alaska had to find an answer to that question rather urgently when a hungry grizzly ran at their camp What would you do if a quarter-tonne bear came charging towards you? Run away as fast as you can, or stay where you are and cross your fingers? If you chose immobility, congratulations! You have what it takes to survive the wilds of Alaska. Just ask the tourists whose video of an unpleasantly close encounter with a grizzly in Katmai National Park in 2010 has gone viral this week. Larry Griffith and his friends were supposed to be watching bears from a safe distance when ..read more
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Ice cold in Alaska
The Guardian » Alaska holidays
by Eowyn Ivey
3y ago
Treacherous currents, icebergs and hungry grizzlies…Eowyn Ivey finds danger – and romance – round every bend as she and her husband raft down the Copper River The Copper River flows cold and fast out of the heart of Alaska, 300 miles through rocky canyons and past calving glaciers until it branches into a broad delta of wetlands and into the Gulf of Alaska. It is a river of wild salmon and seals and drowning men, and my imagination has been swirling in those waters. Now, on a sunny July day, I set afloat in its current. My husband Sam and I will spend the next five days alone, rafting the most ..read more
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Michelle Paver: Alaska's ice cave left me fizzing with ideas
The Guardian » Alaska holidays
by Michelle Paver
3y ago
The children’s author remembers an exhilarating hike to a glacier north of Juneau as research for one of her Wolf Brother books We’d flown over the ice field on the approach to Juneau, and my spirits had soared. Ice was what I’d come for. I needed a giant ice cave for the book I was writing, and I’d arranged a guided hike to a glacier the following day. I was on a month-long research trip for the latest of my Wolf Brother books, taking in Alaska’s Inside Passage and the remote Canadian islands of Haida Gwaii, where there’d be plenty of ice, even in early summer. When the plane landed, I was di ..read more
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‘I cultivated a joy in little things ’ - coping with isolation in the wild
The Guardian » Alaska holidays
by
4y ago
From living on an island with a population of two to a cabin in Alaska 300 miles from the nearest road, five writers tell us how they deal with loneliness ‘I live alone at sea – and love it’ ‘I opened myself to a world that would continue long after our money-grubbing species was gone ..read more
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The bear necessities in Alaska
The Guardian » Alaska holidays
by Mike MacEacheran
4y ago
Tongass National Park is one of the world’s great, unspoiled forests – and it’s home to more brown bears than anywhere else on earth Through the droplets on the binoculars, some distance away, two unidentifiable creatures appear to be wading across the tidal creek. Deer? Wolf? Moose? A faraway brown bear and cub, in fact. We watch as the maple-brown carnivores lumber straight for our group, swallowing up the space between us. Their determined pace hints at a head-on meeting. The tone of our guide, Peter Robertson, suggests all we need to do is keep quiet and sit stock-still. I can’t help but f ..read more
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