My Transcendental Journey

Justin Anderson

Introduction

Transcendentalism is a literary movement that can be defined as a philosophy that emphasizes spiritual over the empirical. This means that being fulfilling your desires and having a rich spirit is more valuable than acquiring knowledge through observation and teachings. This definition can be applied to the concept of a transcendentalist journey in which an individual embarks on to fulfill their spiritual desires as a person. My transcendentalist journey's goal was to do just that. The main theme of my journey was to become more connected to nature and to experience what the wilderness really is like firsthand. This desire was instilled in me as a child through numerous works of literature. Titles such as Hatchet by Gary Paulsen piqued my interest and inspired me to learn more about what the wilderness and its way of life. In order to accomplish this I embarked on my transcendentalist journey to the last frontier in the United States that state of Alaska.


Day 1: Kodiak Island, Alaska

Kodiak Island is a large island on the Southern coast of the state of Alaska. The island is the second largest island in the United States and has a variety of landscape ranging from tree filled mountains to treeless plains. Since my youth I have had a fascination with the outdoors and the wilderness in general. The solitude and harsh life of the wild has intrigued me my entire life, and I have always wanted to experience what the harshness of the wilderness is really like. The state of Alaska is known as the "The last frontier" as it is one of the most wild and remote places in the United States, and the remote Kodiak Island makes it a perfect place to fulfill my desire of visiting a wild place. In Kodiak Island I will be able to fulfill these desires in a variety of ways. I will begin my journey by visiting a guide to embark on a bear viewing excursion. Kodiak Grizzly bears are some of the largest bears on the face of the earth, and it will be quite the sight to see the sheer size and power of this animal in it's natural habitat. I will also partake in fishing trips across the various rivers of the Kodiak Island which will allow to experience nature firsthand. I will wrap up my day with a tour of the waters surrounding the island allowing me to experience all the various types of wildlife that the island and it's waters have to show.


http://www.kodiak.org/

Day 2: Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park is located west of Juneau and spans across 3.3 millon acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines and sheltered fjords. Glacier Bay National Park is another perfect spot to help accomplish my transcendental journey's goal of becoming closer to nature and the wilderness. During my time at Glacier Bay National Park I plan on viewing the variety of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife that this park has to offer. Wether its visiting the coastlines and freshwater rivers and lakes or traversing through the snowcapped mountain ranges and tidewater glaciers I will definitely experience nature and it's animals first hand.

http://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm




Day 3: Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park spans 669, 984 acres in length and is located at the edge of the Kenai Peninsula in the state of Alaska. This park contains the famous Harding ice field which is one of only four ice fields locating in the United States. The numerous glaciers are surrounded by a very diverse aquatic ecosystem filled with different organisms. The National Park is also home to numerous terrestrial mammals and birds as well. My main goal of experiencing the harshness of the wilderness can definitely be accomplished in this National Park and this is why it is an important stop in my transcendental journey.

http://www.nps.gov/kefj/index.htm

Final Destination: Denali National Park

Denali National Park encompasses more than 6 million acres and is centered on the highest mountain in the United States Mount McKinley. The park is a mixture of forests, snow, rock, and tundra and filled with various forms of wildlife both aquatic and terrestrial alike. The Denali National Park is the last stop on my transcendental journey and what I believe is the most important one. Not only am I able to accomplish my goal of becoming closer to nature and the wilderness in this National Park, I can also visit a place that I have become very interested in the last few months of my life. After reading the story of Christopher McCandless and his journey to the Alaskan bush I became extremely interested in his journey and experiences in the bush and it added to my already passion for experiencing the outdoors. In Denali National Park I can visit the same stomping grounds that Christopher spent his final days in and attempt to experience the same harsh wilderness that Chris did. During my trip to Denali National Park I will venture through the dense wilderness and take in the all the views of the landscape and it's creatures and truly cap off my journey of experiencing nature firsthand.

http://www.nps.gov/dena/index.htm



Conclusion

I am hopeful that my transcendentalist journey will have a profound impact on my life. Through my experiences and sights that I acquired by visiting some of the most remote places in the United States I hope to truly become connected to nature spiritually and truly experience the sheer beauty and power that is the wilderness and mother nature. I also hope to truly experience what Christopher McCandless went through during his journey in the Alaskan bush and to understand how unpredictable and wild that the wilderness truly is.


Citations

“Denali National Park.” Fine Art America. FineArtAmerica, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013. <http://fineartamerica.com/featured/denali-national-park-john-hyde.html>.

“Denali National Park in the Fall.” Mapquest National Parks. MapQuest, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013. <http://parks.mapquest.com/national-parks/denali-national-park-and-preserve/>.

“Glacier Bay National Park.” Glacier Bay Country Inn. Glacier Bay Country Inn, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013. <http://www.glacierbayalaska.com/adventure/glacier-bay-national-park/>.

“Glacier Bay National Park Photo.” Wild Nature Images. Ron Niebrugger, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013. <http://www.wildnatureimages.com/Glacier_Bay_National_Park_Photo.htm>.

“Kenai Fjords National Park.” Mapquest National Parks. MapQuest, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013. <http://parks.mapquest.com/national-parks/kenai-fjords-national-park/>.

“Kenai Fjords National Park.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013. <http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/national-parks/kenai-fjords-national-park/?rptregcta=reg_free_np&rptregcampaign=20131016_rw_membership_r1p_us_se_c1#close-modal>.

“Kodiak Grizzly Bear.” Trip Advisor. TripAdvisor, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013. <http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g31037-Kodiak_Island_Alaska-Vacations.html>.

“Kodiak Island.” Discover Kodiak. DiscoverKodiak, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013. <http://www.kodiak.org/uploads/gallery_slides/image/.1400x800/mountain.jpg>.

“Kodiak Island.” Trip Advisor. TripAdvisor, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013. <http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g31037-Kodiak_Island_Alaska-Vacations.html#17470613>.