Thursday, September 23, 2021

My article, Out of the Wild, in National Parks Magazine

I have the cover story for National Parks Magazine this month. The story is about my summer living among grizzly bears in southern Alaska. I titled it "Out of the Wild," a playful allusion to Krakauer's "Into the Wild." There are many stories that call us to be "Wild," to go "Into the Wild," or to heed the "Call of the Wild," but there aren't any to my knowledge that call for you to leave the wild and live a, well, more normal life. Perhaps that's a less exciting story, but it's an honest one and probably a common one, and therefore it ought to be explored and told. My story is about how a bunch of bears, and the many shortcomings of the seasonal itinerant life (no place to call home, weak relationships, unclear life direction), led one man to say goodbye to Alaska. (For now...) 

"That summer in Lake Clark National Park, I went into the wilderness, and the wilderness told me to leave. Sometimes the right journey isn’t to venture into the wild, but out of it."


Bev said...

We look forward to reading this. Thanks. WE greatly appreciate your work and your insights.

Chris Foster said...

I appreciate the honesty of this piece, it’s insightful, and I don’t feel I get a lot of that from this genre.

Ron Piccirilli said...

Hello Ken,
I really enjoyed this article! I have followed your work for years and have read most of your books. Your insights into the natural world are inspiring. Your adventures in Alaska, canoeing, hitchhiking, vandwelling, being a Ranger and an author make for a life well-lived so far.
I could tell "Out of the Wild" had some literary influences of Thoreau and Jon Krakauer's work on Chris McCandless that have influenced your own work. This article also answered my question of why you are living long-term in Scotland.
Keep up the great work! It is refreshing to read your articles about living in Scotland and to hear what you are doing. You have been a great influence for more people than you may realize!

colorado geologist said...

Ken, I just read your Out of the Wild article. You brought me into the wilderness there at Lake Clark NP with your writing that kept me riveted in the reading moment. Thank you, I'm sending it to friends and my family in Seward, Ak. I love the magazine with it's excellent articles. I worked in the Alaskan bush in my 20's. I was glad to see the note about how the wilderness there would be destroyed if the Prebble Mine went through next to your article by Katherine DeGroff. Hope people are so alarmed they will pressure any gov't group that wants to put it through. -Theresa (Terry) Cookro

Ken said...

Thanks for kind words, everyone. My latest idea is turning this article into a proper book. We'll see. -Ken