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Author | Journalist | Speaker

  • Ken Ilgunas

Updated: Mar 21



May ’06 – May ’07– I moved back up to Coldfoot to work as a cook and tour guide to begin to pay off my 32K student debt.

Summer ’08– First season as a backcountry ranger in the Gates of the Arctic National Park

Summer ’09– Second season as a backcountry ranger in the Gates of the Arctic National Park

The following stories were written in 2009 about my second season as a ranger.

6/1/09- Training week for us rangers.

6/12/09- Reflections on mosquitoes.

6/22/09- Some fairly close encounters with beaver and wolf.

7/3/09- I see James’ Suburban. One of my inspirations behind vandwelling.

7/4/09- My beard is 65 days old.

7/31/09- I patrol the Arrigetch Peaks.

8/6/09- I get stalked by a black bear.

8/25/09- I canoe down the Noatak River. Grizzly and caribou encounters.

8/30/09- I packraft down the Charley River and visit the site of a famous plane crash. [This story was added in January of 2011.] 10/30/09- I discuss Chris McCandless of Into the Wild-fame. 8/3/10- I write a letter to my old park complaining about the installation of four weather monitoring stations

I moved back to Coldfoot, Alaska in June 2011 to write my book.

6/4/11- I arrive in AK

6/6/11- Couple photos of animals in Denali

6/9/11- A tour of my new home.

6/13/11- Sightings of fox and porcupine

6/15/11- Couple pictures of the McCandless bus.

6/25/11- Pictures of my 2-day hike up Slate Creek Trail

7/5/11- Pictures from the Continental Divide in the Brooks Range

7/19/11- Thoughts on being the “Writer in Resident”

7/25/11- My best friend Josh is involved in a National Scandal

8/4/11- My friend Josh Spice and me take an exploratory trip up Nuterwik Creek

8/6/11- Some more reflections on Josh’s national scandal

8/7/11- I get paid well for writing for the first time. Plus some reflections on campus farms and sustainability education.

8/8/11- I take some odd jobs in the arctic to save a little money.

8/13/11- The owner of the camp asks me if I can fill in and work at Deadhorse for a couple weeks

8/15/11- First impressions of my new home, Deadhorse

8/21/11- I’m washing spoons now. Existential crisis, here I come.

8/30/11- I packraft the Sag River for three days

9/12/11- I try to packraft to the Arctic Ocean, but run out of time. Must, then, sneak through the hyper secure Prudhoe Bay oilfields.

10/5/11- A pina colada almost kills me. I leave Deadhorse.