The North Face – and the last supper.

The north face of Mt. Bona, in the University Range, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Black and white photo of Mt. Bona..

Hey Folks,

And so, with little to no ado, I bid adieu, for the time being. I’m hitting the road in the morning, and I’m not sure when I’ll have internet access again – hopefully it’ll be no more than a few days between swigs. I’m heading out in the morning to Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, to live in a cabin named “Shacky”. I’ll be there a couple of weeks or so at a time, then make a run to Anchorage for some groceries and a little warming up, then back to Shacky. If all goes as planned. If all does not go as planned, I’ll spend a few nights there, say something like ‘this is C-R-A-Z-E-E-E!!!’ and boogie on back to the relative comfort of Anchor-ville. I’ve too little pride to tolerate discomfort long.

I had a little leftover pasta for dinner this evening, followed by some eggnog, and a slice of killer homemade brownie with some Chai tea. That’s a real last supper. My last breakfast, in the morning, will probably be raisin bran and coffee. The post-last-supper tomorrow will probably be some kind of soupy-mash out of a can, eaten in a very cold van en route to McCarthy, Wrangell – St. Elias. I’m not sure yet how long I’ll take to get there – I would like to do some shooting along the way, but I’d also like to get the drive over with and start settling in – there’s much firewood to be cut.

I’ll try to get some stuff posted on the blog as I’m able updating the travels – photos of Shacky, the snow, my van, me, and, oh yes, some scenes from Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. Folks in the area do have internet access, via satellite dish, so I hopefully will be able to stay in touch that way. If I can’t get at least reasonably internet access, unfortunately I doubt it’ll work out for me, as I obviously need email access to maintain photo sales and trip inquiries for the coming summer. We’ll see how that goes.

Before I head out, I’ll comment on a few of my main concerns, and we’ll see how well-reasoned my worries were down the road, a la hindsight. In no particular order:

* Driving the McCarthy Rd in winter in a 2wd van.
* Figuring out how to put these da** chains on my van.
* Figuring out how to get these da** chains back off my van.
* Figuring out how to travel in a van without all my containers of water freezing.
* Convincing myself that sleeping in a cabin at 30 below zero temperatures is a good idea.
* Getting around in the park, having a 2wd van, no snow machine, no ATV, no plane. I do have snowshoes and a compass.
* Buying food for 2-3 weeks at a time, knowing I have no fridge, and the temperature is hovering around 0 <--> 15 below. My broccoli’s gunna freeze.
* Dealing with a generator for power.
* Deciding whether to bring my acoustic guitar.
* Keeping the iPod charged.
* Deciding (in the morning) whether to make one last run to REI and buy that -20 sleeping bag.
* Using a chainsaw in ridiculously cold temperatures.
* Using a chainsaw.

The photo posted is of the North Face of Mt. Bona, in the University Range, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. I converted it to black and white on the ole computer.

See ya when I see ya.



6 thoughts on “The North Face – and the last supper.

  1. Keba

    Pssssst, Carl, it’s me Keba, you know I wouldn’t say anything, but man, Musa, shes been kvetching all night about your latest post so I figure I better let you know…. First Musa looks around her quite comfortable domain and doesn’t see anything relative about it, all the comforts of a real home, as opposed to a shack, with no heat, elec or running water….second, Musa is all worried about your Chichakoo Aussie arse freezing to death out there and makes a couple of observation’s to be passed on don’t you think it would have been wise to practice putting on your chain’s on a freshly plowed quiet street when it was +30 and sunny as opposed to – 30 and pitch black? 60 degree’s does make a difference what you been doing the last month… better have that sat phone with you man…..hmmmm, speaking of practice, isn’t there a whole bunch of big wood in the green house that could have been practiced upon, now I like big wood to chew on myself, but Musa notes the fireplace is kind of small….anyway, just thought I’d let you know Musa is going to worry a bit, not a lot, but a bit, me you know I’m not the worrying type I just sleep but all that grousing from Musa has been keeping me up so I figured I’d better drop you a quick note…. You take care man….and when you are gnawing on that lamb bone tonight watch out for the wolves; I hear they are real pesky this year…..

  2. Ron Niebrugge

    Hey Bro!

    Be safe and have fun!

    I would say number one would be my biggest concern – that and your broccoli freezing. 🙂 Can you play your guitar with giant mittens?

    I will look forward to your updates,


  3. Mark

    Good luck man – looking forward to updates of your experience. You know this stuff is a piece of cake for Bear Grylls. Maybe he would have some tips for ya.

  4. admin

    Hey Folks

    Thanks for the comments.

    Ron, I’m loving it. I didn’t bring the guitar, as I’m worried about the temperature and changing temperatures and how that’ll affect the instrument .. but I’llbring it back with me next time … It’s crazy not having a guitar here – it’d be WAY too cool to play at night in the cabin.

    The Rd was no problem .. not at all .. didn’t even use chains! Just some extraordinary driving skillz! The potatoes froze .. bummer!

    Mark – who is “Bear Grylls”?

    Keba — Thanks for your “advice” – you’re a clever dog. But your spelling isn’t so hot – the word is “cheechako”. 🙂

    My cabin’s warmand toasty, and I’m loving it so far . it’s amazing how beautiful this palce is in the winter. Wow!

    Bye for now kids.



  5. Ron Niebrugge

    Hi Carl,

    Great to hear you are doing well! I know what you mean about that cold, calm air – I can almost here the crunch of snow under your feet from here!

    We had problems with wood furniture cracking due to the dry air – that would be my only worry for your guitar.

    Have fun!

  6. Carl Donohue

    Hey Ron,

    Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m worried about with the guitar. We’ll see how that goes, I guess.

    You should’ve seen the light on the Mtns yesterday morning. I, of course, should’ve had my camera with me instead of being lazy.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *