Places to go: Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve in Alaska


NYTimes Roy Wood

Breathtaking! In the category of places to go this one is definitely on the top of the list. This article by Christopher Solomon in the NY times the other day gave me une nostalgie du voyage.. far far away.
Due to its remote location and difficult weather Aniakchak is one of the least visited national parks. 19 visitors last year! Compared to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with almost 9.7 million it makes this place quite a deserted island. The Preserve is situated on the Alaska Peninsula which makes it not accessible by road but only by floatplane or by boat.
Considering vacation (and I’m not talking about weekend trips to foreign cities) you can call us loners. The more isolated the home we rent the happier we are.
There is something about those lonely places. Certainly nature alone makes it a magnificent spot already but I think, the loneliness, the void of humans accounts a lot for its beauty. And then, it’s like Solomon says, we -or at least some of us, need this remoteness from time to time to ‘zoom out’ – how I like to call it.. to emerge our tangled life with all its bits and pieces and see the WHOLE, the whole from a different perspective.

“..We need this kind of remoteness more than ever. Today we brush elbows on a crowded planet. We fight traffic. We hunker in offices. We marinate in what the late David Foster Wallace called Total Noise. Maybe for you, too, this modern life overwhelms. If you’re like me, only getting far away from all that allows you to shake off the dross. Out there, the world shrinks until all that remains are “the rock-bottom facts of axe and wood and fire and frying pans,” as John Graves wrote. …
We spend our days trying to be big. In the middle of nowhere, though, we can surrender to smallness again and instead find where we fit in the landscape. Out there, where there’s nothing, is where there’s the most to learn.”


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