Sunday, January 13, 2008

A man and his cabin in Alaska

One Man's Wilderness, by Sam Keith, from the journals and photographs of Richard Proenneke, is about Proenneke's adventures building a cabin on the shores of Twin Lakes, southwest of Anchorage and a mountain range away from Cook's Inlet. Proenneke was a mechanic before he retired to the Alaskan frontier in 1967 at age 51.

Proenneke's simple, declarative, often clunkily whimsical prose makes his world come to life. Step-by-step, but not bogged down in detail, he shares the pleasures and hard work of woodcraft with no power tools as his one-room cabin comes to life. With few exceptions (including a polyethylene cover for his roof, concrete mix in his chimney, and nails), Proenneke used all natural materials to build his home.

Check out this link for a 500-page National Park Service publication with more photographs and writings of Proenneke.

Below is an excerpt from a 60-minute long documentary DVD, Alone in the Wilderness. Most of the footage was shot by Proenneke.

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