“Our village life would stagnate if it were not for the unexplored forests and meadows which surround it.  We need the tonic of wilderness. . . . “
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Vast wilderness on the lonely road from Glennallen to Paxton, Alaska

Mountains near the remote old mining town of McCarthy-Kennicott, Alaska

Holgate Glacier calving into Resurrection Bay, Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park

“The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.”
— Richard Louv, The Nature Principle:  Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
— John Muir, from John Muir and His Legacy by Stephen R. Fox

Immersion in Nature is an antidote to the stress of our contemporary lives.  Nature comes in many forms, from well-maintained city parks, to gardens, to campgrounds, to back country wilderness.  I am appreciative of the gifts of nature I find in the city, but I long for travel to the wilds of our national parks and forests.  Those opportunities seem few and far between.

My memories of wild places evoke some of the same restorative benefits of actually being there — winter in Yellowstone, cruising in Glacier Bay National Park, and RVing through Alaska, watching the sun rise from atop a great sand dune in Namibia.  These are just some of the memories I can call on when I feel the need to escape the stresses of my city life.

What are your special wild places?