Into the Wild (no starvation required)

Sorry I've been away a while, folks, but sometimes my work takes me places that just aren't accessible to the Net. Thanks to Innowen, as usual, for her tireless leadership (and great articles, as usual!) while I was away.

Wood Bison, (c) 2008 Douglas Johnston

So, I came face-to-face with a small herd of wood bison last week. These are truly wild, shaggy creatures nearly the size of a small SUV --I'm told they're the largest land animal in North America-- and quite capable of running up to 50 mph. And right now, at the end of the lean season, they can be downright ornery and rather dangerous as they roam through the sub-Arctic Northwest Territories wilderness in search of patches of frozen, dried-up grasses. I did manage to sneak up within 20 or 30 feet of them and take a goodly number of photographs before my fingers went numb with the cold and I lost the ability to manual focus. When the alpha male began to feign charges, I figured it was a good time to leave.

Here's yet another shout-out for Noodler's Polar Black fountain pen ink. Yes, it does work in extreme cold, and I've used it in -50C temperatures. As soon as I got back to the vehicle, I wrote up my notes using a still-frigid Moleskine and Polar Black in my red Lamy Safari. (Red, because it inspires warmth....)

On a vaguely semi-related note, does anybody else think the main character of Into the Wild should have spent less time reading Thoreau and more time reading nature books, and perhaps even buying a map and compass? Sheesh. An excellent film, but ultimately a very frustrating one for me to watch.

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Into the Wild

Arggh! I was incredibly frustrated by the way that movie ended. The movie makes it seem like he's this experienced mountain man until the river rises, and then, pow, he starts eating plants he can barely identify. What's wrong with eating the maggots? If my choice is die or eat bugs, I opt for the bugs. Also, go cross the hell upstream where it's shallower and come back down. There might be food or people up there. Or at least make a raft. The fact that the guy just sits there and waits to die just made me think he had nothing to offer me in terms of wisdom.

Yes, I also found it quite frustrating

Leaving the map behind was such a bad idea. Read the book, and they state that there was an easier way to cross the river not too far from where he was, if only he had bothered to bring a map along with him.

Watching this over the weekend!

This movie just came up on my NetFlix - should arrive tomorrow. I am sure I will have a frustrating comment to add on Monday! ;)

into the wild

It was tragic that McCandless died out there in the wilderness; but then again, so many people have benefited from his story... a couple of years of hitchhiking led to his story challenging thousands (millions?) of people to reexamine their lives