By Bill Sherwonit
Changing Paths: Travels and Meditations in Alaska’s Arctic Wilderness is an autobiographical exploration of writer invoice Sherwonit’s courting with the Alaska wasteland. Written in 3 components, it first describes Sherwonit’s creation to the Brooks variety and his years as an exploration geologist. Taking a step again, the writer then takes us into the earlier to discover his formative years roots in rural Connecticut and his reputation of untamed nature as a shelter. He concludes together with his emergence as a nature author and desert recommend.
An engrossing, attention-grabbing, and eye-opening story of 1 man’s lifestyles and of desolate tract conceptions, this vibrant description of a space of Alaska that few humans get to adventure is real and enlightening. it's a rare contribution to the literature of position from one in every of Alaska’s so much complete nature writers.
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Additional resources for Changing Paths: Travels and Meditations in Alaska's Arctic Wilderness
For a price. Here, as in a growing number of communities across rural Alaska, Native residents have become less and less willing to freely share their stories with outsiders who show up unannounced, stay a short while, then abruptly leave. They’ve seen too many white folks take their memories, mythic tales, and family histories and, with not much more than a hurried thank-you, incorporate those stories into their own books, magazines, or tapes. Missionaries, anthropologists, journalists, and novelists have all contributed to this sense that outsiders are getting rich from Native stories they’ve collected.
Then, in late evening, a lone bull caribou weaves across the tundra. In his prime or close to it, the bull carries gigantic antlers and wears patchy, shedding summer hair. I envy the caribou’s easy, high-stepping movement across the tundra, his effortless grace. Unlike me, he seems to have no particular destination and meanders to and fro, stopping occasionally to graze on grasses, sedges, lichens, or willow leaves. One thing I don’t envy: caribou, more than humans or any other large northern mammal, are beleaguered by mosquitoes and parasitic flies that burrow into their nose or hide.
I’ll later ask some bear experts about this, both to satisfy my curiosity and get a more definitive answer. No such luck on the latter. But the variety of responses is nonetheless illuminating. Tom Smith, who spent many years studying Alaska’s brown bears—the coastal cousins of grizzlies—strongly advises against urinating anywhere near camp: “I actually tested the attractiveness of urine and indeed bears were attracted to it; once onto it they would exhibit classic scent rub/rolling behavior. ” Tom adds that his policy has been to urinate at least one hundred yards from camp.
Changing Paths: Travels and Meditations in Alaska's Arctic Wilderness by Bill Sherwonit