• Ken Ilgunas

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."