Discovering Denali: A Voyage into Alaska and Self

Any serious student of spirituality and the American landscape must one day address his/her relationship with Alaska, and once in Alaska, he/she must confront Denali, the heart of the state, the state of the heart.

| September 2015

In Rhythm of the Wild (Lyons Press, 2015), Kim Heacox weaves his personal narrative with the histories of Denali National Park. He eloquently makes the argument that we must save these places of natural beauty so they in turn may save us. Below is an excerpt from the first chapter, in which he is just beginning her voyage into the park.

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The Midnight Ride of Kimmy the Kid

SUNDAY, a day of rest. I find an old ten-speed bicycle—did I borrow it? Steal it? I can’t remember. I begin riding west into the park, the direction of dreams. I follow the paved road and leave behind seasonal ranger housing and park headquarters in Hines Creek drainage and climb slowly uphill toward tree line and beyond. I have a daypack with food and water, nothing else. No first-aid kit, no radio.

A cell phone is science fiction in 1981.