Wednesday, November 2
I know, I can not beleive it either, but I actually had time to finish a whole book. This one was worth staying up a little later than I should.
One Man's Wilderness by Sam Keith, taken from the journals of the remarkable Dick Proenneke, is a great read. Full of all those details that make you think that you can do just what he did with only this book as a guide.
He gave up the modern world in the 60's and built his own cabin in the Alaskan wilderness, living alone and enjoying and appreciating his natural surroundings.
Some great videos:
Can I just say that he is a total work-a-holic - from sun up to sun down and sometimes earlier and later than that, this guy is working on things. I can not remember the amount of times I came across phrases like "cut 30 trees, shaved the bark and hauled and stacked before breakfast." Or before I knew it I "had cleared two acres of moss."
His reflections are are meaningful today as they were in the 60's with gems like "chores are easier if forethought is given to them and they are looked upon as little pleasures to perform instead of inconvieniences that steal time and try the patience." And "I guess if you learn not to expect much, you won't be disappointed too often." I could learn a lot for that second one...
His mentions of the outside world consist of Babe, the pilot who brings him supplies, his family who send him mail and gifts and hunters who are flown in once a year for the big sheep. He doesn't much care for them and I felt the same way as I read his observations about poor hunting practices and their "disreguard for the purity of the wilderness." He went around after they had gone and cleaned up all their trash.
Chapter 9, "Reflections", is may favorite in that he just lays it all out there. Needs vs. wants, hard work ethic, patience, pride in one's labors, the pace of life.