One Man’s Wilderness – An Alaskan Odyssey

I haven't been doing much reading lately but today I finished One Man's Wilderness- An Alaskan Odyssey by Sam Keith from the Journals and Photographs of Richard Proenneke


In 1968 Richard Proenneke built himself a cabin on lake in Alaska 40 air miles from the nearest people. One Man's Wilderness is the story of the building of the cabin and his first 16 months living there.  The book was originally published in 1973. I read the 1999 edition. It is a wonderful book which makes me almost want to move to Alaska and live in the wilderness. The wonderful color pictures are worth enjoying even if you  don't read the text of the book.But the story is wonderful and engaging too. It is a great book.

According to Wikipedia, Proenneke lived in the cabin pretty much full time most of the next 30 years, coming to the lower 48 states only occasionally to visit family. I didn't read the introduction very carefully so as I was reading I assumed that he was in his 30s. Actually he was 52 when he built the cabin and lived there until he was 82. He died in 2003 at he age of 86. What an inspiration!

Here is a great quote from the book. Words to live by.

"I have often thought about what I would do out here if I were stricken with a serious illness. if I broke a leg, cut myself badly, or had an attack of appendicitis. Almost as quickly as the thought came, I dismissed it. Why worry about something that isn't? Worrying about something that might happen is not a healthy pastime. A man's a fool to live his life under a shadow like that. Maybe that's how an ulcer begins."

Author: marionvermazen

I am a traveler, hiker, avid reader, Sun alumnus, computer geek, Spanish and French language student, knitter and genealogist. I am retired after working for almost 30 years in the Computer Industry. I live in Reno, Nevada with my husband Duke.

2 thoughts on “One Man’s Wilderness – An Alaskan Odyssey”

  1. There is an awesome documentary on him living up there. They used to play it all the time on PBS when I lived in Washington State. I believe you can find it on ebay. Everytime it came on I watched it even though I had seen it many many times.


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