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Alaska

Style | 15 Mar 2017

THE ENORMOUS IN A PURE FORM

 

Alaska. Is it possible to imagine, before you leave, a state bigger than Texas, California and Montana all together, where less than a million people live? Compared with New York and - demographically speaking and in number of people per square meter - there would be fifteen on the entire island of Manhattan. I take a deep breath. I embrace nature. I surrender to silence.
Before I left, I realized that many of earth´s present inhabitants which I´m blessed with have a fascination for Alaska. "A once-in-a lifetime journey," they tell me as one who saves for the future an enormous World´s treasure, while they hide in the imaginary of the planes, in the leafy branches of a city tree.
The name "Alaska", used by the United States to refer, first, to the entire region and then to the State after being bought from the Russians in 1867, appoints to a place where the sea is conducted. Often translated as "Great Land," it is the only state that extends to the Eastern Hemisphere.
And yes, the Land is Great. Away from the inhabited towns, it is in the enormity of a golden embrace that I am welcomed by Alaska in the beautiful shades of September. The territory is immense, so in the departure, I named two postcards that should not to be missed in this fundamental visit.

 

Kodiak, where bears come close

I land in Anchorage but the destination will be another. In the memory of all our inner child dwells a hug of an old bear. One of the best loved animals in the world is after all one of the most feared in adulthood and that´s why I chose the island of Kodiak. The brown bears a disappearing species are privileged in this group of islands. Emigrants in the Kodiak peninsula, about twelve thousand years ago, as the climate warmed up at the end of the last ice age and sea level rose, these bears became an isolated population. The non-threatened type is at a high historical level with three thousand five hundred bears, most of them occupying the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. Considered to be the largest bears in the world - they can go up to four meters - they have the particularity of being omnivores, eating fish, herbs, plants and berries. Accustomed to live together with humans, almost eight thousand years ago, the possible continuity of the species a few meters away makes this experience one of the most fascinating and safe in the imaginary of bears and this brown endemic animal becomes famous as a singular case of wildlife study.Speechless and with the sense of what is sacred, I was wrapped in a fusion with nature when I saw myself part of an idyllic and improbable picture. Accompanied by a guide at Andrew Airways, we flew by hydroplane over Katmai National Park & ​​Preserve. On a journey of silence and flying over nature`s exciting aerial postcards, we landed in the heart of the park for a walk, perhaps one of the most worthwhile I`ve had the privilege of doing on Earth. In a few short minutes, a bear a few feet away. The video I share on the site confirms the uniqueness of this experience, and if you go in June or July you are guaranteed to see an amazing amount of bears on the banks of the river.

 

The Glaciers Colony and Matanuska, in the path to the most transparent 

To visit Alaska is to spread your wings to the sky. In three weeks there were twenty take-offs, always with gentle landings on the water. A precious time to enjoy the textures, that in an embrace of immensity made me submit to these lands of the North. Wings open on this great land. Air is the road of all emotions. A feeling of completeness assured that it could, in such beauty, be the last day of life on earth. Rust`s Flying takes me to Lake George. Flying over indescribable postcards, glaciers, the immense purity of blue and white breathe in between autumn watercolors painting one after the other. At Lake George we flew over Colony Glacier. We are six members on board and we all flew in silence. The ladies shake hands with the gentlemen, my reaction was to smile as I look at the reflection in the window and the word gratitude appears in my mind. To live a terrestrial experience in its pure state, silence touches the divine and turns alive the presence of those who have departed, one day we will all be part of this immensity. With 43 km long and 6.4 km wide, the Matanuska Glacier is the largest glacier we can reach by road. There is not, there will never be Alaska like in September and no, I would not change these autumn colours that confirm the road to Matanuska as one of the most beautiful I have ever crossed in the world. The glacier moves every day and while the boots´ “crampons” bringing me into the beauty of blue, the formula of respect for limitless cracks, just as in life, is only one, that of trust.

 

Chugach Explorer, looking for the Spencer Glacier

The Alaskan historic train is, since 1923, one of the astounding experiences of the State. Hot autumn postcards, this journey through the Chugach National Forest will take me to The Spencer Glacier with more than ten thousand years and that can only be reached by train. In the last stop you leave the Alaska Chugach Explorer Train directly into the forest and walk by foot until you find the Spencer Glacier. The lesson is unquestionable. Before one of the 300 thousand glaciers of this immense land, express gratitude to all that this planet presents us, humbly. Above all, an enormous awareness, urgent to the preservation of this magnanimous habitat, where we have the blessing of dwelling.

 


© Reefs to Rockies

 

Text and Photography: Sancha Trindade, author of the television show A Cidade na ponta dos dedos with broadcast on RTP3 and TAP TV.

 

Kodiak

kodiakbearcenter.com

nps.gov/katm/index.htm

andrewaiways.com

alpenview.com

 

Achorage

sackscafe.com

snowcitycafe.com

flyrusts.com

flyrusts.com

salmonberrytours.com

 

Alaska Railroad

alaskarailroad.com

alaskanrafting.com

 

Books I recommend

The Island of Sukkwan, David Vann

The Caribou Island, David Vann

Passage to Juneau, Jonathan Raban

Travels in Alaska, John Muir

 

Other Adress Book

recreation.gov

dnr.alaska.gov

ultimathulelodge.com

favoritebay.com

tordrillomountainlodge.com

katmai-wilderness.com

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