MY LIFETIME FOCUS REMAINS THE HUMANITIES. AFTER MANY YEARS OF ACADEMIC WRITING AND A TWO-YEAR LAYOFF FROM BLOGGING, I HAVE RE-KINDLED MY INTEREST IN THE NONFICTION GENRE. I ENJOY POSTING A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THE HUMAN CONDITION FROM MY PERSPECTIVE AND WELCOME ALL COMMENTS FROM READERS.
About 5% of the United States, which is an area slightly
larger than the state of California, is currently officially designated as “wilderness.”
Of course, about half of that lies in Alaska, leaving a wilderness area
approximately the size of Minnesota for the lower forty eight. In any event,
since the Wilderness Act was passed in 1964, thirteen states have designated
wilderness areas. I have explored many of them, and in preparation for my
upcoming Arkansas canoe excursion, I have been in the process of updating my
knowledge base before I travel through parts unknown.
As I stated in a prior post, my wife and I have been doing
quite a bit of canoeing these days. Getting back into it, we are using muscles
we had forgotten about years ago. Nevertheless, we are going through the
training. Recently, we explored portions of the Matanzas River here in Florida
that had been previously inaccessible. We learned quite a bit, especially how
to prevent some of the swifter currents from washing us into the Atlantic in a
tiny craft. That process alone had caused me to walk quite a few miles back to
our Jeep before returning home. So far, my wife is still hanging in there.
When we hit the headwaters of the Buffalo National River,
which flows down the center of the Arkansas Wilderness through a rough forested
land of steep slopes that descend into deep valleys, she might get a little rattled.
However, she has done these things before. The problem is the interior of the
Buffalo is so remote, most people would freak out. White-tailed deer, wild
turkeys, black bears, and eagles abound. Smaller animals like foxes, raccoons,
minks, beavers, and bobcats will make for some great photos.
When we portage the canoe, we will have to find our way
through the area without the assistance of maintained trails. That is a little
unnerving, but I love it. Whenever I return safely, I feel like I have the
right to opine about the wonder of Nature for another year.
Anyway, that is what we are up to, and yes, I know I should
probably do this myself. I will keep you posted on our progress.