04 January 2008

Alaska's never been so close


That's Jenn there, resting in a rocky bed, deep in Alaska's Denali National Park in 2004. The park's namesake mountain, which you might know better as Mt. McKinley, is back behind her many miles yet. She might not look that high, but we're only about 20 yards beneath the tree line.

The jarring hike back down the mountain is what we think sent her, finally, to the knee doctor for a scope. So the picture's bittersweet. Still, when we look at it, we both want to go back to the place where you can draw air in giant lungfuls and smell nothing but trees and your ears are filled with the sound of coursing rivers with water that's so raw off the glacier even fish don't live in it.

We're sick that way. Even seeing the tragic "Into the Wild" made us want to go back. Never mind about the poor kid dying there and all that...

For now, we can subsist by just driving to Atlanta's Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum, where there's an exhibition of more than 36 large-format photographs by Robert Glenn Ketchum of the parks and wilderness of Southwest Alaska. That's one of his, there on the right. The exhibit stays up through April 13. Ketchum offers a free lecture on Jan. 24.

Big Joe Jumps Again!Big Joe Duskin
"North To Alaska" (mp3)
from "Big Joe Jumps Again!"
(Yellow Dog Records)
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